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2012年9月24日 (月)

人権委設置法案 理解に苦しむ唐突な閣議決定

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Sep. 24, 2012)
Abrupt Cabinet decision on human rights body dubious
人権委設置法案 理解に苦しむ唐突な閣議決定(9月23日付・読売社説)

We find it difficult to fathom why the government so hastily made a Cabinet decision on a bill riddled with problems while the Diet is in recess.
 問題点が多い法案の閣議決定を、国会閉会中になぜ急ぐ必要があったのか、理解に苦しむ。

The Cabinet gave the go-ahead Wednesday to a bill for setting up a human rights commission that will create a body dedicated to human rights protection.
 政府が、新たな人権救済機関を設けるための人権委員会設置法案を閣議決定した。

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the Cabinet decision was to "confirm the bill's content on the premise of submitting it to the next Diet session."
 藤村官房長官は「次期国会への提出を前提に法案内容を確認するものだ」と説明する。

Providing relief to people who have suffered unfair discrimination and abuse is vital. However, the bill has generated deep-rooted fears that ordinary activities conducted under the freedom of speech and expression could become subject to investigations by law-enforcement authorities as "suspected infringements of human rights."
 不当な差別や虐待を受けた被害者の救済は重要だ。だが、この法案については、人権侵害を理由として、通常の言論や表現活動まで調査対象になるのではないか、との懸念から、反対論が根強い。

In its election pledges, the Democratic Party of Japan committed to establishing an entity to oversee human rights relief efforts. The abrupt Cabinet decision was probably made to defuse criticism that the party had broken this commitment--and with an eye on the next House of Representatives election.
 民主党は人権救済機関の創設を政権公約に掲げてきた。唐突な閣議決定は、次期衆院選を意識し、公約違反との批判をかわす思惑があるのだろう。

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Definition of violations vague

A bill for creating a body to prevent human rights violations was presented to the Diet during the administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in 2002 as a human rights protection bill.
 人権救済機関を巡る法案は、小泉内閣時代の2002年にも人権擁護法案として国会提出された。

That bill was scrapped after coming under fire for provisions that would punish those who refused to be investigated under the planned legislation, as well as for measures empowering law-enforcement authorities to warn news organizations to suspend coverage of certain topics.
その際は、調査拒否に罰則を科す点や報道機関への取材停止勧告を可能にする内容などが批判を浴び、最終的に廃案となった。

The latest bill gives no coercive powers to probes by the envisioned commission, and includes no provisions that would restrict media activities.
 今回の人権委設置法案は人権委の調査に強制力を持たせず、メディア規制条項も設けていない。

Yet, we still harbor doubts over the planned legislation.
 それでも、なお、法案への疑問は消えない。

The biggest problem is that the bill's definition of a human rights violation is ambiguous.
 最大の問題は、人権侵害行為の定義があいまいなことだ。

The Justice Ministry has come out with a view that human rights violations are "acts that can be deemed illegal in light of the Civil Code and the Penal Code and infringe on the human rights of certain people."
 法務省は「特定の人の人権を侵害する、民法や刑法に照らして違法となる行為」との見解を示している。

Whether certain deeds and verbal criticism of another person or people should be considered defamation, however, is a highly delicate issue. Court decisions have often been split on this issue.
だが、他人に対する批判的な言動が名誉毀損に当たるかどうかは、司法判断が分かれる微妙なケースも少なくない。

If the planned commission has the scope to make an arbitrary, extended interpretation of the law's provisions, it could open the door to restrictions on the freedom of expression.
 人権委が恣意的に拡大解釈する余地を残せば、表現の自由の制約につながりかねない。

The government intends to designate the envisioned commission as an "Article 3 committee" under the National Government Organization Law. Article 3 committees are entitled to a high degree of independence, so there are concerns that the Diet would find it hard to keep possible excesses by the commission in check.
 人権委は、国家行政組織法上の「3条委員会」と位置づけられている。独立性が強いため、国会によるチェックが及びにくい点を問題視する声もある。

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Boost existing system first

The government is considering making the commission an external organ under the Justice Ministry. This is because the government plans to have the ministry's regional bureaus and district legal affairs bureaus across the country act as local arms of the commission.
 政府は人権委を法務省の外局とする方針だ。人権委の地方組織として、全国の法務局や地方法務局の活用を想定しているからだ。

But can these organizations deal rigorously with human rights abuses of inmates in prisons, or at immigration offices and other facilities under the ministry's jurisdiction?
 しかし、刑務所や入管施設など、同じ法務省傘下の施設で起きる入所者への人権侵害に厳しく対処できるだろうか。

Laws are already in place to prevent the abuse of children and the elderly. In addition, the ministry's departments in charge of human rights protection investigate about 20,000 cases a year in response to claims filed by people who say their rights have been violated. In the bulk of these cases, assistance is provided in one form or another.
 児童や高齢者の虐待対策には、個別の法律が整備されている。また、現在でも法務省の人権擁護部門は、人権侵害を受けた人からの申告に基づき、毎年約2万件の任意調査を実施し、ほとんど救済措置がとられている。

Rather than establishing the planned commission, the existing human rights protection system should be improved and more effective relief provided to people whose rights have been violated.
 まずは、現行制度の改善を重ね、人権侵害救済の実効性を高めることが大切である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 23, 2012)
(2012年9月23日01時13分  読売新聞)

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