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法科大学院 少数精鋭で質の高い教育を

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jul. 26, 2009)
Law schools must put quality before quantity
法科大学院 少数精鋭で質の高い教育を(7月26日付・読売社説)

To ensure our judicial system functions as it should, capable judges, prosecutors and lawyers must be nurtured. So it is inevitable that law schools that play an insufficient role in training these much-needed workers in the legal field will be culled.
 信頼される司法制度を構築するには、有能な裁判官、検察官、弁護士の養成が必要だ。その養成機関としての役割を担えない一部の法科大学院の淘汰(とうた)は避けられまい。

The number of applicants for the nation's 74 law schools for the 2009 academic year fell 25 percent from the previous year, marking the first time applications have fallen below 30,000.
 今春、法科大学院に入った学生が対象だった2009年度入試の志願者数は、前年度より25%減少し、初めて3万人を割った。
Out of the total, the ratio of total applicants to successful applicants fell below two to one at 42 schools. At one law school that offered 30 places, only five were filled.
競争倍率は、74校のうち42校で2倍未満だった。定員30人のところ、入学者が5人の大学院もあった。

The entrance exam process for law schools for the 2010 academic year will begin soon, but it seems the number of applicants will remain low. Law schools were introduced in 2004 as a key pillar of judicial system reform, but they likely have reached a watershed earlier than expected.
 10年度入試が間もなく本格化するが、志願者数の低迷は続くとみられる。司法制度改革の柱として04年に誕生した法科大学院は早くも転換期にあるといえよう。

All law school graduates are eligible to sit the national bar examination, for which the pass rate was initially predicted to be about 70 to 80 percent. However, the actual pass rate has fallen far short of this mark, with the rate last year a mere 33 percent.
 法科大学院の修了者には司法試験の受験資格が与えられる。その合格率は当初、7~8割に達するとの見通しだった。
 だが、実際の合格率は振るわず、昨年は33%だった。

Under the current circumstances, students who are studying at law school are far from guaranteed a place in the legal field, which inevitably leads to a decline in applicant numbers.
法科大学院に入っても法曹への道が開かれない現状が、志願者減につながっていることは間違いないだろう。

===

Vicious circle

Law schools are required to teach students the basics of the legal profession, giving them a good grounding in legal theory and practice, and not placing undue weight on preparations for the bar exam.
 法科大学院には、司法試験の受験指導に偏らず、法理論や実務面で、法律家としての基礎を身に着けさせることが望まれている。

If law schools cannot attract high-quality applicants, they will have no choice but to accept less capable students. Under such circumstances, students with less aptitude than courses have been designed to accommodate would have to sit the bar exam without receiving sufficient training and, as a result, likely would fail. It really is a vicious circle.
 しかし、質の高い志願者が集まらなければ、大学院は能力的に劣る学生を受け入れざるを得ない。学生は十分な力を身に着けられないまま司法試験に臨み、不合格となる。まさに悪循環である。

The Central Council for Education has asked law schools whose ratio of total applicants to successful applicants falls below two to one to cut the number of students allowed to enroll. So far, about 50 law schools have decided to cut their intake quotas. This is to be expected as a way of ensuring the quality of students.
 中央教育審議会は、入試の倍率が2倍未満の法科大学院に対し、定員を減らすよう求めている。これまでに約50校が定員削減を決めたのは、学生の質の確保の観点から、当然のことといえる。

The root cause of this vicious circle is that possibly all 74 of the nation's law schools currently fail to meet the necessary standards. The trend of applicants not enrolling at law school will increase if law schools cannot produce good results. Therefore, a number of law schools will struggle and some are bound to fail.
 悪循環のそもそもの原因は、74の大学院が乱立していることにある。今後、実績を残せない大学院が敬遠される傾向は、さらに進むだろう。その結果、経営が悪化し、淘汰されるケースが出てくるのもやむを得まい。

The government should actively promote the reorganization and integration of law schools.
 大学院同士の統合や再編も積極的に進めるべきだ。

===

Quotas to be raised

The government plans to increase the number of places on offer to those who sit the bar exam from about 2,000 in 2008 to 3,000 in 2010. This plan should be firmly adhered to as a way of addressing the uneven distribution of lawyers across the nation, brought about largely by the concentration of lawyers in urban areas, as well as other problems.
 政府は、昨年は2000人余だった司法試験の合格者を、10年には3000人に増やす方針だ。都市部に集中する弁護士の偏在解消などのため、この増員計画は堅持していかねばならない。

In doing so, the question of how to halt the declining quality of successful applicants will need to be addressed.
 その際、合格者の質の低下をどう抑えるかが課題である。

Every law school should be required to implement an advanced education program for a few select, highly capable students.
各大学院が、少数精鋭のきめ細かい教育を実践することが求められる。

From the 2011 academic year, a preliminary examination system will be introduced that will ensure that even those who do not graduate from law school can still sit the bar exam if they pass a preliminary exam. If a high number of students choose to sit the preliminary test, the very reason for law schools existing will be called into question.
 11年度からは、法科大学院を経なくても司法試験を受験できる予備試験が始まる。この受験者が多くなれば、法科大学院は存在意義が問われることになる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 26, 2009)
(2009年7月26日01時20分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2009-07-26 07:36 | 英字新聞

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