1票の格差違憲 立法府は司法の警告に応えよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 8, 2013)
Diet must correct disparities in value of votes
1票の格差違憲 立法府は司法の警告に応えよ(3月7日付・読売社説)

Once again, a severe judgment has been handed down against the Diet, which keeps on failing to correct disparities in the value of votes.
 「1票の格差」を一向に是正しない国会に対する厳しい司法判断が、再び示された。

The Tokyo High Court on Wednesday said the December House of Representatives election, in which votes in some constituencies carried up to 2.43 times the weight of votes in other constituencies, was unconstitutional, as it violated the Constitution's stipulation of people's equality under the law.
 格差が最大で2・43倍だった昨年12月の衆院選について、東京高裁は、法の下の平等を定めた憲法に違反していたと断じる「違憲判決」を言い渡した。

The Diet has had ample time to correct the disparities, but it took no effective measures before carrying out the election. The high court criticized the Diet's inaction, calling it a lapse that cannot be overlooked.
 格差是正の時間的余裕はあったのに、有効な措置を講じず、選挙を実施した国会の不作為を「看過できない」と批判した。

Lawmakers must take the court ruling seriously and correct the disparities without further delay.
 国会は判決を重く受け止め、格差是正を急がねばならない。

The latest ruling was handed down in light of a decision made by the Grand Bench of the Supreme Court in March 2011.
 今回の判決は、最高裁大法廷が2011年3月に出した判決を踏まえたものだ。

In that ruling, the top court said that the 2009 lower house election, when the maximum disparity was 2.30, was held under a considerably unequal situation. However, it stopped short of declaring it unconstitutional, instead judging it to be in a "state of unconstitutionality." The court explained this by saying, "A reasonable time period to correct the disparities has not yet elapsed."
 最高裁は格差が最大2・30倍だった09年衆院選について、著しい不平等は認めたが、「違憲状態」との判断にとどめていた。「是正する合理的期間は過ぎていない」という理由からだった。

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No measures taken

During the extraordinary Diet session, the ruling and opposition parties made a legal revision to cut five lower house seats by scrapping five single-seat constituencies. However, a review of electoral districts based on the law was not made in time for the December election, which was thus held in the unconstitutional state.
 与野党は先の臨時国会で、緊急避難的に小選挙区を「0増5減」とする法改正を行った。だが、区割り作業は間に合わず、衆院選は違憲状態のままで行われた。

Despite the warning from the Supreme Court, correction of the disparities in vote values did not progress. The Tokyo High Court did not declare the election invalid, but its decision surely goes farther than the 2011 Supreme Court ruling.
 最高裁が警鐘を鳴らしたにもかかわらず、格差是正は進まない。東京高裁は、選挙無効こそ認めなかったものの、一歩踏み込んだ判断を示したと言える。

Similar cases are currently being tried at 14 high courts and branches throughout the country. All of the rulings are scheduled to be handed down within this month.
 同様の訴訟は、全国14の高裁・支部で審理され、いずれも今月中に判決が言い渡される。

The Public Offices Election Law requires a court to try to hand down a ruling within 100 days after a suit is filed. Although there have been past cases in which it took more than half a year for courts to hand down decisions, courts are now following the rule, thus urging the Diet to take swift corrective action.
 公職選挙法には、裁判所は提訴から100日以内に判決を出すよう努めるとの規定がある。これまでは半年以上かかるケースがあったが、今回、規定通りに判断を示す裁判所の姿勢は、国会に速やかな格差是正を迫るものだ。

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Division of ultimate power

The group of lawyers who filed the latest suit argued, based in part on the Constitution's preamble that "sovereign power resides with the people," that the vote of one person holding such power should be strictly equal to the votes of others.
 訴訟を起こした弁護士グループは、憲法前文にある「国民主権」の見地などから、主権者である国民の1票は厳格に平等でなければならない、と主張した。

The Tokyo High Court rejected this claim, but it will be a focal point in subsequent rulings to come.
 東京高裁は、この主張については退けたが、今後の判決でも注目点の一つとなるだろう。

Members of the ruling and opposition parties said, "We will take the ruling seriously," or "The ruling includes condemnation of the legislative branch of the government." These are natural responses. Lawmakers must take concrete action to improve the situation.
 判決に対して与野党は「厳粛に受け止める」「立法府への糾弾の意味も含まれている」としている。当然の反応である。ただちに具体的な行動をとるべきだ。

The Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan have agreed to carry out a drastic review of the lower house election system, including reduction of lower house seats, during the current Diet session. However, work to realize the agreement has been slow. Since the election system affects the rise and fall of political parties, it must face twists and turns for the parties to reach an agreement on concrete measures.
 自民、公明、民主3党は、今国会中に定数是正を含む衆院選挙制度の抜本的な見直しを行うことで合意したものの、作業は遅々として進展していない。選挙制度は、各党の消長にかかわる問題だけに、合意形成は難航しよう。

However, they have little time. Further negligence is simply unacceptable, as it erodes the very authority of the Diet as the legislative branch.
 だが、時間は限られている。立法府の権威を自らおとしめる、これ以上の怠慢は許されない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 7, 2013)
(2013年3月7日01時21分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-03-09 06:50 | 英字新聞

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