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後見と選挙権 違憲判決が制度の甘さ突いた

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 18, 2013)
Guardian system must not interfere with right to vote
後見と選挙権 違憲判決が制度の甘さ突いた(3月17日付・読売社説)

The Tokyo District Court has ruled unconstitutional a provision in the Public Offices Election Law that denies the right to vote to adults who live under the statutory adult guardianship system.
 成年後見人が付いた人から選挙権を奪う公職選挙法の規定について、東京地裁が「違憲」とする判決を言い渡した。

The court ruling highly evaluates the rights of people with mental disorders or intellectual disabilities.
 障害者の権利を尊重した司法判断である。

The plaintiff in the suit was an intellectually challenged woman.
 原告は知的障害のある女性だ。

Immediately after a family court chose the father of the adult woman as her guardian in 2007, she was deprived of the right to vote.
2007年、家庭裁判所が女性の成年後見人として父親を選任した途端、選挙権を失った。

The adult guardianship system is designed to allow those who are considered incapable of making judgments to have someone act on their behalf to manage property, make contracts and carry out other procedures.
 判断能力が欠如した人の財産管理や契約などを代行するのが、成年後見制度だ。

The Public Offices Election Law does not allow people to whom this system applies the right to vote in national and local elections.
公選法は、この制度が適用された人については、選挙権を認めていない。

===

Unjustifiable denial

The court decision on Thursday acknowledged that the woman had the right to vote on the grounds that depriving her of this right as guaranteed by the Constitution "must be limited to extremely exceptional circumstances."
 判決は、憲法が保障する選挙権を奪うのは「極めて例外的な場合に限られる」として、女性に選挙権があることを認めた。

The ruling also noted: "What the family court decided concerned her ability to administer her property by herself, and not her competency in exercising her right to vote.
 さらに、「家裁が判断したのは財産を管理する能力であって、選挙権を行使する能力ではない。

"A large number of people probably are capable of exercising their right to vote even if they are unable to manage their assets."
財産管理はできなくとも、選挙権を行使できる人は少なからずいるはずだ」とも指摘した。

It is not surprising that the court ruled the law's provision null and void, as it uniformly restricts voting rights by using two systems intended to serve different purposes.
 判決が、趣旨の異なる制度を使って、一律に選挙権を制限している公選法の規定を無効としたことは妥当である。

Denying disabled people the right to vote merely because they have been placed under the adult guardianship system should also be deemed problematic from the viewpoint of ensuring public equity.
同じ障害者でも、後見人が付いた人だけが選挙権を失うのは、公平性の観点からも問題があるだろう。

Before being deprived of her right to vote, the plaintiff voted in almost all elections. In addition, she is able to read and write simple kanji characters. The district court probably gave a great deal of thought to these facts in handing down the ruling.
 選挙権を失うまで、女性はほぼ毎回、投票所に足を運んでいた。簡単な漢字の読み書きもできる。東京地裁は、そうした事情も重視したのではないか。

The court ruling, however, should not be taken as a blanket denial of restrictions on voting rights in all circumstances.
 判決は選挙権制限の必要性を全面的に否定したわけではない。

The ruling said the restrictions on voting rights for people who lack the competence to exercise the right to vote is not unreasonable.
権利を行使する能力がない人への制限について、「合理性を欠くとは言えない」との見解も示した。

While this country uniformly deprives the vote to right to people under the adult guardianship system, the United States and Europe are heading in the opposite direction.
 だが、後見人が付くと一律に選挙権を失う日本のような制度は、欧米ではなくなりつつある。

Japan's adult guardianship system, which was introduced in 2000, is aimed at protecting the rights of the disabled and the elderly with insufficient capacities to make judgments.
 そもそも、2000年に導入された成年後見制度は、判断能力に欠ける障害者や高齢者の権利保護が目的だ。

The system of incompetency that was abolished in 2000 under the civil law also covered those with reckless spending habits, who were excluded from the list of people covered by the adult guardianship system.
従前の禁治産制度は浪費を繰り返す人も対象だったが、成年後見制度では除外した。

In light of this, the Public Offices Election Law's provision to remove the right to vote from people with guardians does not fit in with the spirit of the system.
 選挙権を奪う公選法の規定は、制度の趣旨にそぐわない。

There are more than 130,000 adult wards with court-designated guardians across the country.
 後見制度の利用者は全国で13万人以上に上る。

===

Applications rising

Because of the rapid graying of society, applications to use the guardianship system number more than 20,000 annually. The court ruling is expected to have various repercussions on how the guardianship system is conducted from now on.
高齢化が進む中、申し立ては年間2万件以上に達している。判決は今後の制度運用に様々な影響を及ぼすだろう。

When the system was introduced, the then Home Affairs Ministry asserted that depriving people with guardians of their right to vote was intended to prevent voting irregularities.
 制度導入の際、旧自治省は「不正投票の防止」を理由に、選挙権を奪う規定の存続を強く主張した経緯がある。

Didn't the ministry overestimate the possibility of voting irregularities concerning the exercise, under the guardianship system, of the right to vote, which is the essence of parliamentary democracy?
民主主義の根幹に位置付けられる選挙権の行使に関し、不正投票の可能性を過大に見積もってはいないか。

The court's ruling should be thought of as a warning from the judiciary regarding the slipshod design of the adult guardianship system.
 判決は、制度設計の甘さに対する警告である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 17, 2013)
(2013年3月17日01時25分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-03-19 08:21 | 英字新聞

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