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2013年5月31日 (金)

成年被後見人 選挙権の迅速な回復は当然だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 31, 2013
Only natural to restore right to vote for adults under guardianship
成年被後見人 選挙権の迅速な回復は当然だ(5月30日付・読売社説)

The Diet has passed a bill to revise the Public Offices Election Law to give the right to vote to adults who are part of the statutory adult guardianship system due to mental disorders or intellectual disabilities.
 精神疾患や知的障害で成年後見人を付けた人に選挙権を認める改正公職選挙法が成立した。

Passage of the bill will pave the way for 136,000 adult wards with court-designated guardians to vote, starting with the upcoming House of Councillors election in July. We hope as many eligible people as possible will go to polling stations to cast their ballots.
 7月の参院選から、約13万6000人に投票の道が開かれることになった。多くの人が投票所に足を運び、1票を投じてほしい。

The law had not allowed adults under guardianship to vote because they were considered incapable of making the necessary judgments. The Tokyo District Court ruled this provision unconstitutional in March, saying it violated the Constitution’s guarantee of equality before the law.
 公選法は、判断能力に欠けるといった理由から、成年後見人の付いた人の選挙権を認めていなかった。この規定について、東京地裁は3月、「法の下の平等に反する」として違憲判決を出した。

This decision prompted the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, New Komeito, to submit the bill to revise the law by eliminating the provision in question. It is significant that the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors unanimously passed the bill, as the opposition camp went along with the ruling parties. It is also noteworthy that the Diet made a prompt response just a little more than two months after the ruling.
 判決を受け、自民、公明両党は問題の規定を削除する改正案を国会に提出した。野党も同調し、衆参両院とも全会一致で可決した意義は大きい。判決から2か月余という迅速な対応も評価したい。

Uniform ban unfair

People to whom the adult guardianship system applies have different levels of disabilities. The plaintiff in the suit, an intellectually challenged woman, is able to read and write simple characters and communicate with others.
 成年後見人を付けた人の障害の程度には個人差がある。原告の女性は簡単な読み書きができ、意思表示も可能だ。

It was unreasonable that the provision uniformly deprived people of the right to vote once they are placed under the adult guardianship system.
そもそも一律に選挙権を奪う規定自体に無理があったと言えよう。

Under the revised law, it will be important to implement measures to prevent the disabled under guardianship from getting involved in voting irregularities.
 今後の運用にあたっては、不正投票に障害者を巻き込まない対策が重要だ。

The revised law includes a measure against attempts to induce such people to vote for particular candidates.
改正法には、特定候補者に投票を誘導するような不正の防止策が盛り込まれた。

The provision requires two assistants to act on behalf of a voter who cannot fill in a ballot on his or her own--one who writes for the person and the other who checks the ballot. It also stipulates that only municipal government officials should serve as assistants.
 自力で投票用紙に記入できない人を助ける代理投票では、代筆役とチェック役の補助者を付け、この2人については、市町村職員に限定するという規定だ。

This means that family members or others who attend to these voters cannot assist them with casting.
 家族など付き添い人が投票に手を貸すことはできない。

Even though the upper house election is coming up, we hope local election boards will take every possible step to secure enough officials and implement other necessary measures so they can provide voters under guardianship with adequate support at polling stations.
参院選は目前に迫るが、各選挙管理委員会は、投票所で適切なサポートができるよう、人員確保などに万全を期してもらいたい。

The revised law also includes a nonbinding provision that encourages observers chosen by election boards to be present for absentee voting conducted at hospitals, nursing facilities and other locations. It is aimed at preventing facility officials from voting for particular candidates on behalf of residents without their consent.
 病院や介護施設などで行われる不在者投票についても、「選管が選んだ立会人を付ける」との努力規定が設けられた。施設職員が入所者に無断で、特定候補に投票する行為を防ぐのが目的だ。

Many local govts not ready

The revised law does not make this provision mandatory, making it nonbinding instead, because many local governments are believed not to be ready to fully comply with this directive.
 努力規定にとどまり、義務付けが見送られたのは、自治体の体制が整わないとみられるためだ。

However, some local governments have been preparing for the measure. The Tokyo Metropolitan Election Administration Commission, for example, plans to dispatch observers to about 1,200 facilities for absentee balloting. Other election boards are urged to take positive action on this issue.
 だが、東京都のように約1200施設に立会人を派遣する方針の自治体もある。各選管には積極的な対応が求められる。

Nevertheless, we have difficulty understanding why the government has yet to dismiss its appeal against the district court ruling.
 それにしても、違憲判決に対する控訴をいまだ取り下げていない政府の姿勢は不可解である。

At a press conference following the government’s appeal in late March, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo expressed his view that the plaintiff, not the government, would drop the case.
“The case would become meaningless if the Diet passes necessary legislation,” Shindo said.
 新藤総務相は控訴した際、記者会見で「立法措置がされた場合、訴えの意味は失われる」と述べ、原告側が訴えを取り下げるとの見方を示していた。

The plaintiff had no choice but to file a lawsuit and the district court acknowledged her claims. The government’s response cannot be called anything but dishonest. It is reasonable for the government to drop its appeal.
 原告はやむなく司法に訴え、主張が認められた。政府の対応は不誠実と言うほかない。政府が控訴を取り下げるのが道理である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 30, 2013)
(2013年5月30日02時06分  読売新聞)

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