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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 17 - 23  > UN special rapporteur on privacy expresses concern about ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill
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2017 May 17 - 23 [POLITICS]

UN special rapporteur on privacy expresses concern about ‘anti-conspiracy’ bill

May 20 & 21, 2017
It has come to light that the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy sent Prime Minister Abe Shinzo a letter (dated May 18) expressing concern about the “anti-conspiracy” bill.

This was announced by a lawyers’ group opposing the controversial bill at a press conference held in Tokyo on May 19.

Special Rapporteur Joseph Cannataci in his letter pointed out that if the bill is enacted, it may be combined with various laws and applied to a wide range of citizens’ activities. He said that the bill “may affect the exercise of the right to privacy as well as other fundamental public freedoms”.

Cannataci stated that although the bill is designed to criminalize “planning” and “preparatory actions” of crimes, the definitions of the two terms are vague. He also mentioned that the proposed bill covers crimes which are evidently unrelated to terrorism and organized crimes. Noting that the bill’s concepts may be interpreted broadly to cover an extremely wide range of crimes, the UN expert criticized the proposed legislation for failing to meet the principle of legal certainty which is essential for a Criminal Code.

The special rapporteur said that if the bill becomes law, police authorities would increase surveillance on citizens in order to collect evidence regarding conspiracy. However, he went on to say, the bill contains no provision for safeguarding the right to privacy. Cannataci expressed his concern that the bill lacks measures to reinforce ex-ante warrants for the carrying out of police surveillance.
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