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2008年12月27日 (土)

裁判員制度―裁判官も公判には白紙で

2008/12/27

--The Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 26(IHT/Asahi: December 27,2008)

EDITORIAL: Citizen judge system

裁判員制度―裁判官も公判には白紙で

Criminal trials are often described as attempts to "find the truth" about crimes. During the process, prosecutors and defense lawyers present their respective cases and offer evidence to support their claims so that the truth can be established.

 刑事裁判は「真実発見の場」といわれる。それは当事者である検察、被告・弁護側の双方が証拠を出しあって、お互いの言い分をぶつけ合いながら真相の解明に努めるからだ。 

But if important evidence for either the defense or the prosecution is excluded without good reason, it is impossible to uncover the truth.

 だが、肝心の証拠を十分出せずに審理が尽くされないなら、真実を見つけることなど出来るはずもない。 

In a recent ruling over the killing of a 7-year-old girl three years ago in the city of Hiroshima, the Hiroshima High Court criticized the lower court's handling of the case as inappropriate.

 そうした審理不足を指摘したのが、3年前に広島市で起きた女児殺害事件で、先ごろ言い渡された広島高裁の判決だ。

The high court reversed the Hiroshima District Court's decision, which had sentenced the accused to life imprisonment, and remanded the case to the lower court.

Why did the high court criticize the lower court's handling of the case?

無期懲役とした一審判決を破棄し、広島地裁に審理のやり直しを命じたのだが、高裁判決が地裁の審理を批判するようなことがなぜ起きたのか。 

The district court trial was conducted as a model for the new citizen judge system, which will be introduced in spring next year. To ensure a verdict could be reached in a short and intensive trial, pre-trial conferences were held among the presiding judge, the prosecution and the defense to sort out key issues and presentable evidence.

 一審は、来春から導入される裁判員裁判のモデルケースとされた。公判前整理手続きで裁判所と検察、弁護側が事前に争点や証拠を整理し、短期間で集中的に審理する方式がとられた。 

During the pre-trial conference, the defense refused to allow as evidence an investigator's record of oral statements by the accused. But the district court terminated the pre-trial process without learning how the prosecution would try to prove the guilt of the accused.

 公判前整理手続きでは、被告の捜査段階の供述調書を証拠とすることに弁護側が同意しなかった。だが、地裁は検察側に立証の方針などを確かめないまま整理手続きを打ち切った。

During the trial, the two sides debated over whether the accused was forced to make those statements. Without investigating the issue, the district court rejected the prosecution's request to use the defendant's statements as evidence.

公判では供述調書の任意性が争いになったが、地裁は何の取り調べもせずに検察側の証拠請求を却下した。 

The interrogation record contained the suspect's remarks concerning a blanket found in his apartment that contained hair and blood of the victim.

The remarks suggested the accused didn't bring the blanket out of his room on the day the girl was killed. If his statement had been regarded as credible, prosecutors could have shown that the girl was killed in his apartment.

 その調書には「事件当日、毛布を部屋から外へ出していない」と受け取れる被告の供述があった。アパートの被告の部屋から押収された毛布には被害女児の毛髪や血が付いていた。供述が信用できるなら、犯行現場は被告の部屋と認定できたはずだ。 

Pointing out this procedural lapse, the high court said the lower court ruling contained factual mistakes. The lower court failed to make clear the location of the crime, only saying the girl was killed in the apartment or somewhere around it. The high court criticized the district court's failure to make sufficient efforts to identify the location of the crime.

 高裁はそう指摘して、犯行現場を「アパート及びその周辺」とあいまいにした一審判決を事実誤認と批判した。犯行場所について真相を解明する努力を怠ったという理由からだ。 

The high court also said the lower court terminated the pre-trial process prematurely in a rush to ensure the trial would be held according to schedule.

 さらに高裁は一審の訴訟手続きについても言及し、「裁判の日程を優先するあまり、公判前整理手続きを十分しないまま終結させた」と指摘した。 

The objective of pre-trial conferences is to lay out a plan for the trial by sorting out key arguments and possible evidence. The process is essential to ensure a short and intensive trial. It is also a prerequisite for the new lay-judge system because citizens cannot be bound to their judge-duty obligations for a prolonged period.

 公判前整理手続きの目的は、争点と証拠を整理して公判を進める計画をつくることだ。裁判に参加する市民を長期間拘束できないため、それが集中審理の実現に欠かせないからだ。 

In the Hiroshima murder case, however, the district court judge apparently narrowed down the arguments and evidence too much during the pre-trial process in an attempt to establish a route to the verdict.

 だが今回の事件で一審の裁判官は、公判前整理手続きの段階で判決に至る道筋まで決めようとして、争点や証拠を絞り込みすぎたのではないか。 

The lay-judge system is designed to have diverse views of ordinary citizens reflected in the determination of facts and appropriate punishment.

 裁判員制度は、事実認定や量刑判断に市民の多様な意見を反映させるのがねらいだ。 

All issues and evidence that ordinary citizens would regard as relevant to the trial should be presented to the court. Judges should not narrow down evidence at their discretion so that the trial will run in line with their specific position on the case.

 裁判員には、市民なら審理に必要と考えるような争点や証拠も提示すべきだ。公判前の段階で裁判官が事件について一定の見方に沿って証拠を絞るべきではない。

The professional judge's role should be limited to ensuring that the trial will proceed in an orderly manner by controlling how the defense and prosecution present their cases.

裁判官の役割は当事者の主張のいわば交通整理であるはずだ。 

Unless both the professional judges and citizen judges are free from any prejudgment when they attend the first hearing of the trial, the new lay-judge system cannot achieve its purpose.

 裁判官は初公判に、裁判員とともに白紙の状態で臨む。そうした心構えがなくては、裁判員制度は絵に描いた餅になってしまう。

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