Tokyo, March 23 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Justice Ministry on Tuesday launched a study group for the digitalization of criminal justice procedures, planning to hold its first meeting March 31.
No deadline has been set for realizing the digitalization, such as the introduction of online warrant requests and the conversion of documentary evidence into digital format.
But a ministry official said, “This is an urgent issue, so speed is important.”
The Code of Criminal Procedure requires that warrants and other documents be in paper form and that signatures and seals be affixed to some of them.
The study group will identify rules that hinder the digitalization and then consider how to promote the use of information technology in criminal justice.
If a law revision becomes necessary, the Legislative Council, which advises the justice minister, will hold discussion.
The study group consists of officials of the Supreme Court and the National Police Agency, as well as information security, legal and other experts. It will meet about once a month.
The group will also consider how to conduct online trials.
In its new IT strategy adopted in July last year, the government called for digitalizing the criminal justice procedures, noting the importance of the shift amid the novel coronavirus epidemic.