On July 18, 2023, Chief Justice TOKURA and Justice NAGAMINE held an online judicial meeting with The Right Honourable The Lord Reed of Allermuir, the President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (UKSC), and The Right Honourable Lord Hodge, the Deputy President of the UKSC. The online meeting this time was the second one with the British judiciary since January 2021.
Chief Justice TOKURA explained the current situation of digitalization of court proceedings in Japan and pointed out the difficulty of changing the paper-based court business which we are accustomed to. He stated that the Japanese judiciary would like to learn from the courts in the UK, where advanced efforts are made to introduce digital technology into the traditional legal systems. Lord Reed explained that digitalization of court proceedings progressed on the occasion of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK and they are in the process of making comprehensive change of court business by effective use of technology. He also explained that burden on judges has not become so serious under the court system where oral hearings are emphasized, while the quantity of documents submitted by the parties has increased, according to the progress of the digitalization.
There was also a lively discussion on strengthening judicial exchanges between the UK and Japan. Lord Hodge suggested some ideas of developing the current relations, and Justice NAGAMINE responded that the Japanese judiciary would be happy to further discuss the details of such exchanges.
In closing, Chief Justice TOKURA stated, "It is a great honour to have such an online meeting again", and Lord Reed responded, "This has been an important meeting in history of our court." Chief Justice TOKURA and Lord Reed agreed to continue dialogues between the Supreme Courts of Japan and the UK, and the meeting ended in a friendly atmosphere.