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2010年5月26日 (水)

社説:検察審査会 課題克服し信頼保とう

民主党小沢幹事長が恐いのはこの検察審査会、検察は恐れていないようだ。
市民が感情に左右されて間違った判断をする恐れがあるというのが問題点として指摘されている。
しかしながら一連の不誠実な対応をみれば誰だって憤りを感じるに違いない。
今度の2度目の検察審査会は正念場、十分に審議をつくしてもらいたい。

srachai from khonkaen, thailand

(Mainichi Japan) May 26, 2010
Overcome challenges to maintain confidence in prosecution inquest system
社説:検察審査会 課題克服し信頼保とう

The prosecution inquest system, under which panels comprised of those selected from members of the general public scrutinize whether prosecutors' decisions not to indict crime suspects are appropriate, is drawing growing attention from the public.
 検察の不起訴処分が適切かどうかを市民が判断する検察審査会制度が注目されている。

Under the system, a prosecution inquest committee recommends that a suspect who evaded prosecution should be indicted if at least eight of its 11 members vote for it.
 審査員11人中8人以上が「起訴すべきだ」に賛成すれば起訴相当の議決となる。

A prosecution inquest committee unanimously voted to recommend that ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa be indicted for violating the Law to Regulate Money Used for Political Activities over a political funding scandal involving his political fund management body.
民主党の小沢一郎幹事長の資金管理団体を巡る事件では先月、全員一致で起訴相当を議決した。

Under the law regulating the system amended in May last year, if such a panel votes for a second time to recommend that a suspect be prosecuted, a court-appointed panel of lawyers indicts the suspect on behalf of prosecutors.
 昨年5月施行の改正法で権限が強化され、起訴相当2回で強制的に起訴される。

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office once again decided not to indict Ozawa for a lack of evidence. If the panel votes again to recommend that he be indicted, he will be forcibly charged. Therefore, citizens appointed to prosecution inquest panels are required to assume heavy responsibilities.
東京地検が再び不起訴としたが、検審が再度、起訴すべきだと議決すれば、小沢氏は起訴される。実に重い判断を市民が担う。

Over the past year, prosecution inquest committees have recommended that suspects be prosecuted in a series of widely publicized cases that had a huge impact on society, stirring criticism of the system. Some legal experts question whether those who are not professionals should be allowed to decide whether to indict suspects through their emotional judgments, even though "reflecting on the sense of ordinary citizens" for criminal justice sounds justifiable.
 この1年、兵庫県明石市の歩道橋事故とJR福知山線脱線事故で、元警察副署長と歴代社長らが既に強制起訴になっている。
 社会的影響が大きい事件・事故で起訴相当の議決が相次ぎ、制度に批判的な声も出始めた。市民感覚といえば聞こえがいいが、素人の感情的な判断で重大な刑事処分を決めていいのか、といったものだ。

However, the panels make judgments while considering court precedence and the opinions of lawyers who join them as advisers. Therefore, even if the panels' evaluation of evidence is different from that made by prosecutors, it cannot be immediately determined that members of such panels made emotional judgments.
 だが、補助役の弁護士が加わり、判例なども踏まえて判断している。結果的に証拠に対する評価が検察とは異なっても、感情優先の議決をしたとは評価できまい。

After the recommendation that Ozawa be prosecuted, a DPJ parliamentary league pointed to the possibility of reviewing the system. The move appears to be hasty and opportunistic, even though anyone can freely discuss the issue.
 小沢氏の議決後、民主党の議連が検審制度見直しに言及した。議論は自由だが、性急でご都合主義的だ。

In Japan, over 99 percent of those indicted are convicted, an extremely high level as compared with those in the West. This is because prosecutors who have the discretionary power to indict suspects file charges only in cases where they are confident that the defendants will be convicted.
 99%を超える日本の有罪率は、欧米に比べて断トツに高い。起訴裁量権を持つ検察が有罪を確信する事件しか起訴しないからである。

As a result, Japan's criminal justice system is dominated by legal professionals and closed to the public. Reflecting on this problem, the judicial system should be reformed into a more open one that reflects ordinary citizens' sound common sense. The lay judge system has been introduced and the prosecution inquest system strengthened as a means of the democratization of the judicial system.
 だが、このような刑事司法システムが、専門家だけの閉じた世界を作った。その反省を踏まえ、市民の「健全な社会常識」を取り入れた風通しのよいシステムに変えようというのが司法改革の原点である。いわば司法の民主化の手段として、裁判員制度が導入され、検審の機能強化が図られたのである。

Prosecution inquest panels' recommendations that suspects be indicted are not demands that suspects be convicted. Through such recommendations, the panels rather leave judgment to the courts. Defendants in criminal trials are presumed to be innocent until final rulings are handed down on them, and court-appointed lawyers who indict suspects on behalf of prosecutors are responsible for proving that they are guilty. Members of the general public are required to raise their own awareness of these rules on criminal justice.
 検審の起訴相当議決は「裁判で有罪にしろ」ということではない。裁判で決着すべきだとの意思表示である。被告には無罪推定が働き、有罪立証の責任は、検察官役の弁護士にある。刑事司法のルールについて私たち自身の意識改革が必要だ。

Needless to say, politicians suspected of involvement in incidents are required to fulfill their accountability apart from criminal responsibility. To that end, they are required to provide a clear explanation of such cases at important stages of developments in the incidents.
 むろん、政治家が絡む事件では、刑事責任と別に政治責任が生じる。その説明責任がさまざまな節目で問われるのは言うまでもない。

Problems involving the prosecution inquest system have also surfaced. How such panels make judgments are completely withheld.
 新たな制度の課題も浮き彫りになってきた。どんな議論を経て結論に至ったのか一切、表に出てこない。

Since they have broad authority, they need to disclose certain information on their decisions, including the process of their deliberations.
強大な権限を持つ以上、審議経過も含め一定の情報公開は必要だ。

They should also ensure that the wording of their decisions is objective to avoid giving the public the impression that they make decisions based on emotional judgments.
 また、「市民感覚」を「市民感情」と判断されないために、客観性を保った表現など議決書の書き方にも工夫を重ねてほしい。

Various challenges should be overcome to ensure that prosecution inquest system retains the public's confidence.
 課題を克服し、広く国民の信頼を得る制度にしていきたい。

毎日新聞 2010年5月26日 2時33分

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