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[FYI] (Fwd) Konformitaetsdruck in Japan
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- Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 07:16:29 +0100
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Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1998 21:42:22 -0500
From: Dave Banisar <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [News] Japan Supreme Court Rebukes Judge for Comments Against
To: Global Internet Liberty Campaign <email@example.com>
TOKYO, Dec. 2 (Kyodo) -- The Supreme Court has supported a high
court's disciplinary action that reprimanded a district court judge
for speaking at a political rally, saying restrictions on a judge's
freedom of expression are constitutional, court officials said
In its ruling against an appeal from Kazushi Teranishi, 34, an
assistant judge at the Sendai District Court, the Supreme Court's
15-justice grand bench recognized for the first time the
constitutionality of the Court Organization Law that bans judges from
engaging in "aggressive political activities."
In April, Teranishi spoke at a civic meeting in Tokyo that was
to protest an anti-organized crime bill allowing police to engage in
He did not comment on the wiretapping issue, saying only that he
intended to speak as a panelist but was unable to do so because he had
been warned against speaking by the head of the Sendai District Court.
He was reprimanded in July by the Sendai High Court, and he
appealed the decision to the top court.
Presiding Judge Shigeru Yamaguchi, chief justice of the Supreme
said in the ruling that Teranishi should be reprimanded because his
deeds were "aggressive political activities" that conflicted with his
duty as a judge.
The ruling marked the first time that a judge in Japan has been
reprimanded for political activities, a Supreme Court official said.
Five of the 15 justices dissented from the ruling. Of the five,
judges who formerly were attorneys, said Teranishi's act did not
constitute an "aggressive political activity."
But the majority of justices maintained that Teranishi's remarks
encouraged and promoted the civic movement against the wiretapping
Teranishi had argued his speech at the rally was just an
his situation, not a political activity.
Teranishi, who has expressed his views on judicial system reform by
contributing articles to newspapers and magazines, insisted that
attending the meeting and making remarks there were legitimate
exercises of freedom of expression.
David Banisar (Banisar@epic.org) * 202-544-9240
(tel) Electronic Privacy Information Center *
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