A Japanese court has read the civil law in Japan as a right and declared that a person who can be held legally accountable for any damage caused by his or her cellphone can be convicted of battery, according to a decision handed down on Monday.
The court said that the civil rights enshrined in the Japanese constitution do not allow people to be held liable for harm caused by their cellphone.
The court said it had found that the right of self-defence in Japanese law “can be interpreted as protection against the harm caused to other persons”.
The decision was made after the High Court, which has jurisdiction over the matter, had ruled that Japan’s cellphone law violated the Japanese Constitution’s right to privacy.
In March, the court said the law violated Article 12, which protects the right to liberty and the right not to be deprived of life.
Article 12 guarantees “freedom of movement, personal security, freedom from torture, and other fundamental rights”.
The court had also ruled that the law was unconstitutional as it did not guarantee a person’s right not be arrested or to be subjected to torture.
The High Court had also said that it had no authority to rule on whether the law should be modified to ensure a person has the right against self-incrimination.
A separate court had earlier ruled that Japanese citizens had a right to be protected from harassment from their cellphone owners.
In August, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that the cellphone law did not violate the right, although it noted that the court had found “that the law does not protect the right and that it was unclear whether the right could be interpreted to include the right ‘to keep the phone in the same house or not to keep it in the house’.”
The Supreme Court said it was satisfied with the High Supreme Court decision.
The Japan Times reported that the Supreme Courts decision is likely to be appealed to the Japanese Constitutional Court.