« 米中戦略対話 人権で摩擦の火種を残した | トップページ | 仏大統領選 オランド氏は欧州危機回避を »

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.

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.

Leadership of the organization long alternated between candidates from mainstream factions in Tokyo and Osaka.

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.

The election campaign became a fierce battle, as regional lawyers' dissatisfaction rose with the long years of the federation being managed by mainstream groups.


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.

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.

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.

Lawyers are greatly needed in the quake-hit areas. We hope they will conduct their assistance efforts while fully considering what victims really need.

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.

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.

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.


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.

This attitude of giving top priority to protecting the interests of fellow lawyers will not win the understanding of the public.

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.

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.

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.

We think the organization should study a better method, so as not to repeat a similar situation in the future.

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


« 米中戦略対話 人権で摩擦の火種を残した | トップページ | 仏大統領選 オランド氏は欧州危機回避を »





« 米中戦略対話 人権で摩擦の火種を残した | トップページ | 仏大統領選 オランド氏は欧州危機回避を »