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2012年5月 8日 (火)

日弁連会長選 実のある司法改革に取り組め

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 8, 2012)
National bar federation must seek fruitful judicial reform
日弁連会長選 実のある司法改革に取り組め(5月6日付・読売社説)

The new head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (Nichibenren) has finally been elected.
 日本弁護士連合会の新会長が、ようやく決まった。

After an unprecedented second election, Kenji Yamagishi, who belongs to the Tokyo Bar Association, was chosen as the next chairman of the national organization of lawyers.
 前例のない再選挙の結果、東京弁護士会の山岸憲司氏が選ばれた。

Leadership of the organization long alternated between candidates from mainstream factions in Tokyo and Osaka.
 日弁連の会長は、東京や大阪の主流派閥の候補が順繰りに務めてきた。

Two years ago this custom was broken with the election of Kenji Utsunomiya, who does not belong to any such faction. In the latest elections, Utsunomiya was challenged by Yamagishi, who was backed by a mainstream faction.
 2年前、その慣例を破って初当選した無派閥の宇都宮健児氏に、今回、主流派閥が推す山岸氏が挑んだ。

The election campaign became a fierce battle, as regional lawyers' dissatisfaction rose with the long years of the federation being managed by mainstream groups.
長年の派閥主導による会運営に、地方の弁護士の不満が高まり、激しい選挙戦となった。

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Assist disaster victims

However, this is not the time to be spending their energy in internal conflicts. What the federation should concentrate its efforts on is assisting victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 だが、内輪の対立にエネルギーを費やしている時ではあるまい。日弁連が今、最も力を注がねばならないのは、東日本大震災の被災者支援である。

There are mountains of problems that quake victims can hardly deal with themselves, such as multiple loans, inheritance and negotiations with companies that laid them off.
 二重ローンや遺産相続、解雇された会社との折衝など、被災者自身ではなかなか手に負えない問題が山積している。

Negotiations on compensation between Tokyo Electric Power Co. and victims of the crisis at TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have not been going smoothly. There are likely to be many cases in which negotiations break down and develop into lawsuits.
 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所の事故を巡っては、被災者と東電の賠償交渉が思うように進んでいない。今後、話し合いが決裂し、訴訟に持ち込まれるケースが続出するのは間違いない。

Lawyers are greatly needed in the quake-hit areas. We hope they will conduct their assistance efforts while fully considering what victims really need.
 被災地で弁護士は、大いに頼りになる存在だ。被災者の身になった支援を進めてもらいたい。

Needless to say, Nichibenren is an integral part of the so-called three judicial circles, together with prosecutors and judges. What is required for the organization is to work on judicial reform to make the system truly fruitful.
 言うまでもなく、日弁連は法曹三者の一翼を担っている。求められるのは、司法制度改革の実を挙げるための取り組みである。

Achieving a major increase in the number of legal professionals was the main focus of past reform to change society's structure from a primarily prior regulation type to one that emphasizes post factum legal remedies.
 社会の仕組みを事前規制型から事後救済型に変えていくうえで、法曹人口の大幅増は、司法制度改革の主眼だった。

However, during the two elections, both candidates argued the annual number of successful applicants on the national bar examination should be reduced to 1,500. Considering that just over 2,000 people passed last year's exam, this was a demand for major cuts.
 ところが、選挙では両氏とも、司法試験の合格者数を1500人にまで減らすべきだと訴えた。昨年の合格者が2000人余りだったことを考えれば、大幅な削減要求である。

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Focus on protecting colleagues

Yamagishi even argued, "Depending on the situation, more cuts should be studied." His remark is apparently based on concern that a sharp increase in the number of legal professionals may make it difficult for new lawyers to find work.
 山岸氏は、「状況により、さらなる減員も検討されるべき」とも主張した。法曹人口の急増が、新人弁護士の就職難を招くといった懸念からだ。

This attitude of giving top priority to protecting the interests of fellow lawyers will not win the understanding of the public.
 身内の利益保護を最優先にする日弁連のこうした姿勢は、理解を得られまい。

It would be better for the federation to take the lead in expanding the job market for lawyers by taking such steps as asking companies and local governments to employ lawyers.
 企業や自治体に弁護士の雇用を働きかけるなど、日弁連が先頭に立って、弁護士の職域を拡大させていくことが肝要だ。

During the latest elections, the organization was unable to pick its new head in the first vote in February. Two more rounds of voting, including the one in the second election, had to be held.
 今回は、2月の1回目の選挙で会長が決まらず、その後、2回の投票が行われた。

This turmoil was caused by the organization's dual requirements for winning an election: A candidate must win the most votes overall and be the top vote-getter at more than one-third of the 52 bar associations throughout the nation.
最多得票とともに、全国に52ある弁護士会の3分の1以上で首位を占めねばならないという二重の当選要件が混乱の要因となった。

We think the organization should study a better method, so as not to repeat a similar situation in the future.
 将来、同様の事態を繰り返さないために、選出方法を再検討してはどうか。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 6, 2012)
(2012年5月6日01時15分  読売新聞)

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