The Crime Of Information Leakage: Japanese Physiatrist Reveal Patient’s Private Information
The plaintiff X was a psychiatrist. As an expert witness of a juvenile probation case, he allegedly disclosed the content of the boy’s statement, the probation report and other documents to a publisher. This kind of behavior was a serious invasion of privacy and was the crime of Information Leakage under the Criminal Law. The plaintiff X was sentenced to imprisonment of 4 months with 3 years’ suspension.
The defendant was a minister of MHLW (Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare). Based on the result of the criminal judgment mentioned above, the minister suspended the plaintiff X for 1 year according to the provisions of Article 4 of the Physician Law. The plaintiff X was dissatisfied with the penalty imposed on him, so he pressed charge against the minister of MHLW. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, for the plaintiff’s leakage of secret was malicious and lack of legitimacy, and that the suspension ordered by the defendant wasn’t an unlawful abuse of power.