Japan Fair Trade Commission seeks comments on introduction of professional privilege

The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) has opened a public consultation into the draft of the amendment of the ‘Rules on Reporting and Submission of Supporting Materials Regarding Immunity from or Reduction of Surcharges’, and the draft of the ‘Guidelines to the Reduction System for Cooperation in Investigation’, following the passage of new anti-monopoly laws last year.

The rule changes being consulted on include rules stating that investigators cannot access documents containing confidential communication between an enterprise and an attorney regarding legal advice about unreasonable restraint of trade, assuming certain conditions are met. Leading to the introduction of professional privilege in Japan for the first time (only in relation to competition law). With Japan being one of only 3 OECD countries which do not recognise attorney-client privilege.

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