« 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:12月が身にしみる /東京 | トップページ | エネルギー戦略 現実的な原発政策を推進せよ »

2013年1月 9日 (水)

定数訴訟―「無効」の備え欠く国会

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 8
EDITORIAL: Diet must establish procedures to deal with ‘invalid’ election results
定数訴訟―「無効」の備え欠く国会

Next week, trials will start across the nation concerning the gap in the value of a vote between the most and the least populous Lower House constituencies. Lawsuits seeking nullification of the results of the Dec. 16 Lower House election have been filed in 34 single-seat electoral districts.
 衆院の一票の格差をめぐる裁判が来週から全国ではじまる。計34の小選挙区で選挙の無効を求める訴えがおきている。

Immediately before the Lower House dissolution in November for the snap election, the Diet passed bills to reduce the number of single-seat constituencies by one in each of five prefectures to reduce the disparity gap. However, there was not enough time to redraw the boundaries of constituencies. As a result, the Dec. 16 election was held under the current allocation of seats, which was declared by the Supreme Court in March 2011 to be “in a state of unconstitutionality” and “against the equality under the law.”
 昨年の総選挙は、いわゆる0増5減をうけた区割り作業が間に合わず、最高裁が「法の下の平等に反する」とした議員定数配分のままおこなわれた。

The Diet failed to correct this inequality for as long as one year and eight months after the top court’s ruling. There is no doubt that the legislature could have taken some remedial measures during the period. It is clear that the Dec. 16 election was unconstitutional.
 国会は、その最高裁判決から1年8カ月もの間、格差をたださなかった。手直しは十分できたはずで、憲法違反の選挙だったのは明らかだ。

If a court hands down a ruling that shows sympathy to the lawmakers’ excuse that more time was needed to tackle the problem, the public’s criticism will be directed beyond the Diet and at the court.
 「なお時間が必要だった」といった言い訳に耳をかす判決が出るようであれば、人々の批判は、国会を通り越して裁判所にむかうことになるだろう。

Attention is now focused on which direction the courts will take. The courts could rule that the election results are valid although the election itself is unconstitutional. Such a decision would take into consideration concerns that nullifying the election would cause serious confusion. Or the courts could rule that the results of the election are invalid.
 焦点は、違憲選挙という判断にたったうえで、「とはいえ無効にすると国政が混乱する」という事情をくみ、選挙自体は有効とする「事情判決」を言いわたすか、それとも無効判決に踏みこむか、にある。

The Supreme Court has never declared the results of an election to be invalid in similar vote-value disparity cases. There is no denying that the top court’s cautious attitude in dealing with the issue has allowed the Diet to drag its feet on tackling this serious problem, disappointing public expectations in the judiciary.
 最高裁はこれまで、定数訴訟で選挙無効を宣告したことはない。この慎重な姿勢が国会を甘やかし、ひいては司法への失望を呼んだ面は否定できない。

To be fair, however, we should also consider one important factor that has been behind the top court’s attitude: The Diet has yet to enact legislation on procedures to be taken when the results of an election are ruled invalid.
 だが、そうした結論にいたった背景にも目をむける必要がある。無効となった場合、その後の段取りを定めた法律を、国会はつくっていないのだ。

If the results of an election for specific districts are finally confirmed invalid in the judicial process, the Diet members elected from the districts will lose their seats, making it necessary to hold a fresh election to fill the vacancies. This process will require revising the law concerning allocation of seats and zoning of electoral districts.
 無効判決が確定すると、提訴された選挙区の議員は身分を失い、補充の選挙が必要になる。そのためには、まず、定数の配分方法や区割りに関する法律を改めなければならない。

In such a case, only lawmakers who have retained their seats will deliberate the bills. But is such a situation tolerable? Besides, what will they set as the time limit for the fresh election? Since the election system as a whole has so many shortcomings, this is not a problem that can be solved by simply holding an election again for certain districts. The most reasonable way to deal with the situation is to call another Lower House election after making necessary revisions. But this approach would raise questions concerning the Cabinet’s right to dissolve the Lower House.
 残った議員だけで法案の審議をすることになるが、それでいいのか。再選挙の期限をいつに設定するか。制度が全体としてゆがんでいたのだから、一部の選挙区だけやり直してすむ問題ではない。総選挙で再出発するのが筋だが、内閣の解散権との関係をどう考えるか――。

Measures should also be worked out to address the same problem with the Upper House, which is not dissolved for a snap election.
 解散の制度がない参院についても、あわせて対策を考えておかなければなるまい。

These issues have been pointed out since more than 30 years ago. But the Diet has left them as they are.
 こうした問題は30年以上前から指摘されていたが、この間、国会は放置し続けてきた。

The judiciary has been reluctant to declare election results invalid in consideration of various concerns, while the legislature has been neglecting to take necessary actions despite being well aware of the problem. As a result, Japanese voters have been denied their right to equal treatment in elections. This outrageous situation must end immediately.
 あれこれ目配りして無効判決にためらいを感じる司法。それを知りつつ手当てを怠る政治。いつまでも権利が全うされない国民。そんなおかしな図とは決別しなければならない。

The Diet has a duty to establish a fair election system that doesn’t raise any questions on constitutionality or validity.
 もちろん違憲・無効とされないよう、公正な選挙制度をつくっておくのが国会の務めだ。

But the Diet would not be acting inappropriately if it decided on procedures that minimize the resulting confusion after elections are declared invalid.
 しかしそのことと、「無効」に備えて必要な手続きを決め、混乱を最小限におさえることとは矛盾するものではない。

Such an effort is a totally reasonable response that should be taken by the legislature of any nation under the rule of law.
 法治国家としてとるべき、至極当たり前の対応である。

|

« 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:12月が身にしみる /東京 | トップページ | エネルギー戦略 現実的な原発政策を推進せよ »

03-英字新聞(朝日)」カテゴリの記事

コメント

コメントを書く



(ウェブ上には掲載しません)




« 香山リカのココロの万華鏡:12月が身にしみる /東京 | トップページ | エネルギー戦略 現実的な原発政策を推進せよ »