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衆院選違憲判決 国会は司法の警告に即応せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 28, 2013)
Diet should respond quickly to warnings from judiciary
衆院選違憲判決 国会は司法の警告に即応せよ(3月27日付・読売社説)

 ◆「無効」判断は無責任ではないか◆

Never before has the legislature been so harshly criticized for its negligence by the judiciary.
 立法府が、司法からこれほどまで怠慢を指摘されたのは、かつてなかったことだ。

Rulings have been handed down in 15 of 16 lawsuits heard at high courts and high court branches across Japan over vote-value disparities in the December House of Representatives election.
 昨年12月の衆院選を巡り、全国の高裁・支部で審理された16件の「1票の格差」訴訟のうち、15件で判決が言い渡された。

In 13 of the cases, the courts found results in related single-seat constituencies in the Dec. 16 lower house election to be unconstitutional. In the two remaining cases, the election results were found to be in an "unconstitutional state."
There was not a single case in which the election results were ruled constitutional.
 13件は「違憲」と断じた。残る2件も「違憲状態」と指摘し、合憲判断は一つもなかった。

The rulings were handed down as a result of examinations by about 50 high court judges. The Diet must seriously take the rulings to heart and quickly take concrete measures to correct vote-value disparities.
 約50人もの高裁判事が審理した結果である。国会は判決を重く受け止め、早期に具体的な是正措置を講じなければならない。

===

Rectification taking too long
 ◆進まない格差の是正◆

Do vote-value disparities in last year's lower house election--with votes in one constituency worth up to 2.43 times as much as those in another--violate the Constitution, which guarantees people's equality under the law?
 最大2・43倍だった1票の格差が、法の下での平等を保障した憲法に違反するか。

If so, is the time period in which the Diet left the disparities unaddressed permissible? These were points of contention in the lawsuits.
違反であれば、国会が格差を放置した期間は許容できる範囲内か。いずれの訴訟もこの2点が主な争点だ。

The rulings that found the election results to be unconstitutional judged that vote-value disparities violate the Constitution and that a reasonable time period to correct the disparities had elapsed.
 「違憲」判決は、格差が憲法違反である上、格差是正の合理的期間も過ぎたと判断した。

The rulings that found the election results to be in an unconstitutional state consider the vote-value disparities to violate the Constitution but view the time period in which the disparities were left unaddressed as permissible.
「違憲状態」判決は、憲法違反だが、格差の放置は許される期間内だとの見解である。

In March 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that the 2009 lower house election, in which the maximum vote-value disparity was 2.30-to-1, was in an unconstitutional state. The disparity widened further in the lower house election last year.
 最大格差が2・30倍だった2009年の衆院選について、最高裁は11年3月、「違憲状態」とする判決を出した。昨年末の衆院選時には、それよりも格差が拡大していた。

Therefore, it was only to be expected that a series of tough judgments would be handed down by the high courts.
 高裁の一連の厳しい判断は、予想できたと言えよう。

But how large can a vote-value disparity grow and still be considered constitutional? The rulings handed down so far are not necessarily clear on this point.
 ただ、1票の格差は、何倍までならば合憲なのか、各高裁の判決からは必ずしも判然としない。

Another problem is that the Hiroshima High Court and the high court's Okayama branch declared results in certain single-seat constituencies in the December lower house election were invalid.
 さらに、問題なのは、広島高裁と広島高裁岡山支部が、選挙の無効まで宣告したことである。

Other courts have applied the legal principle of "circumstantial ruling" and found election results themselves to be valid in consideration of the confusion that might be created if they were ruled invalid.
 裁判所はこれまで「事情判決」の法理を適用し、選挙そのものは有効としてきた。無効とした場合の混乱を考慮してのことだ。

But the Hiroshima High Court did not apply this circumstantial ruling principle, saying, "The Supreme Court's right to determine the constitutionality of laws has been disregarded."
 これに対し、広島高裁は「最高裁の違憲審査権が軽視されている」として、事情判決を適用しなかった。

The high court also expressed a view that September of last year, 1-1/2 years after the top court's ruling, should have been the deadline for rectifying vote-value disparities.
「最高裁判決から1年半が経過した昨年9月」を、格差是正の期限とする見解も示した。

However, no concrete basis for this standard was given.
 だが、この線引きの具体的根拠は示されていない。

===

Undue judicial interference
 ◆「将来効」判決は疑問◆

The Hiroshima High Court also ruled that the election results in the Hiroshima constituencies will be rendered invalid after Nov. 26 this year.
 無効の効力は、今年11月26日を経過して発生するとも判示した。

The decision took into account the fact that the Council on House of Representatives Electoral Districts has been working on revamping these districts since Nov. 26 last year.
衆院の「選挙区画定審議会」が、昨年11月26日から改定作業を始めたことを重視したのだという。

It is not clear if a one-year grace period is necessary before the ruling takes effect.
 一定期間を経た後に効力が生じるという「将来効」の考え方だが、1年という区切りの必然性は明確でない。

Staying the effect of the ruling can be taken as an intrusion by the judiciary into territory where discretionary power is granted to the legislature.
立法府の裁量権に司法が踏み込んだとも言える。

The Okayama branch of the Hiroshima High Court immediately invalidated the result for an Okayama Prefecture constituency as the principle of equality in the value of each vote, it said, took precedence over concerns for political confusion. We find such a ruling unacceptably reckless.
 岡山支部は、選挙を「即時無効」と判断した。「政治的混乱より投票価値の平等」を重視したというが、あまりに乱暴過ぎる。

The existing Public Offices Election Law has no detailed stipulations about revoting, should an election be deemed invalid.
 現行の公職選挙法には、選挙無効が確定した場合の詳細なやり直し規定がない。

For example, no clear legal procedures for revoting are mentioned, including whether new elections should be held only in constituencies where lawmakers lost their seats, or if instead the lower house should be dissolved for a general election.
例えば、失職した議員の選挙区のみ再選挙をするのか、解散・総選挙になるのか、法的手続きは整理されていない。

Should the rulings nullifying the election results stick, Japan's politics would be thrown into utter confusion.
 無効判決が確定すれば、政治は混乱するばかりだ。

All rulings related to vote disparities are expected to be taken to the Supreme Court. It is hoped that the top court will make a realistic decision.
 すべての訴訟は上告される見通しだ。最高裁には現実的な判断を示してもらいたい。

===

Parties must cooperate on solution
 ◆与野党合意できぬなら◆

Meanwhile, the government and ruling parties should ensure that a draft bill be enacted swiftly to reduce five seats in less populated constituencies in an effort to narrow vote disparities among the least and most represented constituencies to within a 1-to-2 ratio. Then, they must take on the task of revamping the electoral districts.
 一方、政府・与党は、1票の格差を2倍未満に収める「0増5減」の区割りを決める公選法改正案を早期に成立させた上で抜本改革に取り組まねばならない。

Reducing five seats without increasing any seats in densely populated districts, as stipulated in the draft bill, is based on the current zoning method, which the top court deemed a major cause for producing vote disparities and urged to be abolished.
The current zoning method first allocates one seat each to Tokyo and 46 prefectures out of the 300 district seats and then distributes the rest of the seats to each prefecture based on population.
 ただ、0増5減は、最高裁が1票の格差を生む主因として廃止を求めた「1人別枠方式」による定数配分を基礎としている。

As the ruling by the Okayama branch indicated, the reduction of a mere five seats does not amount to an appropriate legislative step to rectify the gap in the value of each vote.
 岡山支部判決が指摘するように「投票価値の格差是正への立法措置とは言い難い」だろう。

There is, however, no prospect in sight for a sweeping electoral rezoning, hampered by conflicting interests of parties in both the ruling and opposition camps.
 抜本改革となると、与野党それぞれの思惑が絡んで、進展の見通しは全く立っていない。

The Liberal Democratic Party's reform plan calls for reducing seats under the proportional representation section from 180 to 150. Sixty of the seats would be preferentially allotted to the political parties ranked second or lower.
Such a preferential seat allotment, many say, would violate the Constitution's guarantee of equality in the value of each vote.
 自民党がまとめた案は、比例選の定数を30減の150議席とし、そのうち60は得票数が2位以下の政党に配分する優遇枠とした。優遇枠については、「1票の価値の平等」という観点から憲法違反の恐れが指摘されている。

The electoral zoning deemed unconstitutional by the judiciary should not be replaced, as part of electoral reforms, by a different system feared to also be unconstitutional.
 司法が「違憲」と判断した制度を見直すのに、またもや違憲の恐れがある制度をもって代えてよいはずがあるまい。

Upper house electoral zoning, like that of the lower house, has been ruled to be in an unconstitutional state.
Last November, the Diet revised the Public Offices Election Law to add four seats in populated prefectures and eliminate four seats from less populated prefectures.
The law revision, however, was only a stop-gap measure.
 衆院選と同様に参院選も「違憲状態」と判断されている。国会は参院選の1票の格差を是正するために昨年11月、公選法を改正し、選挙区定数を「4増4減」したが、応急的な措置に過ぎない。

The electoral system not only expresses the will of the public but also serves as the foundation of a smooth political process. The Diet must carry out drastic electoral reforms after studying on how parliamentary duties should be divided between the upper and lower chambers.
 選挙制度は、ただ民意を反映するだけのものではなく、政治が物事を円滑に決めるための基盤でもある。国会は衆院、参院の役割分担を検討したうえで、抜本的な制度改革を進めるべきだ。

If conflicting interests of political parties stand in the way of electoral reform, the only way left is to set up an expert council to get electoral reform under way.
 各党の党利党略によって、選挙制度改革が困難というのなら、有識者による選挙制度審議会を設けてでも改革を図るしかない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 27, 2013)
(2013年3月27日01時12分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2013-03-29 08:09 | 英字新聞

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