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2004.10.09

ロースクールは生き残れるか?

 10月8日の朝日新聞朝刊1面に、「法科大学院の1期生、司法試験合格34% 政府素案」と題する衝撃的な記事が掲載された。

 その記事によると、現在、司法試験委員会で検討している現行司法試験と新司法試験が併存する移行期間(5年間)の両試験の合格者割合をどうするかなどにつき、10月7日に法務省の素案が示された。
 その素案によると、今年4月から始まったロースクール(法科大学院)の2年制(法学既習者向け)修了者が新司法試験を受ける2006年度は、新司法試験と現行司法試験の合格者を同数とすることとし、その場合の新司法試験の合格率を試算すると、初年度が34%、その後は20%前後で推移すると予想されるという(asahi.comの記事)。

 元々、ロースクールは、現行の司法試験の合格率が低く、予備校に行くなどしないと合格しないことから、大学の法学部とは別に、2年制(法学既習者向け)と3年生制(法学未習者向け)で、実務も射程に入れた余裕のあるカリキュラムを実施して、「その卒業生の7、8割は合格できる」という制度として設計されていた。

 しかしながら、J憲法さんが指摘するように、昨年秋の時点で、約70校以上ものロースクールを認可した時点で、その定員数から、既に、その卒業生の7、8割は合格できることはありえないということは明らかなことであり、どうして、今頃になって、このようなことが1面のトップ記事になるのか、理解に苦しむところではある。ただ、ロースクールの現状を知らない多くの市民に対しては、ロースクールの実態を知らせるという意味では、それなりの意味のある記事ではあったのだろう。

 今年4月から始まったロースクールについては、私の周辺にも関係者が多く(私自身もあるロースクールの非常勤講師をしている)、色々な不満や問題点についての話を聞く機会が多い。

 ただ、ロースクールの最大の問題点は、当初、「卒業生の7,8割は合格する」ことを前提に作られた制度であるにもかかわらず、実際には、「卒業生の2、3割しか合格しない」ことになったことにより、大きなギャップが生じているという点である。

 すなわち、当初想定されていた「ゆとりある教育」はどこにもなく、「新司法試験に合格するための予備校」になっているのである。

 そのために、教育現場においては、学生は、「新司法試験に合格するための授業」だけを求め、その点について、教える側とのギャップが生じていると言われる。元々、ロースクールが、「予備校に依存しないで司法試験に合格できる」ことを目指していたのに、ロースクール生は、やはり予備校に頼らざるを得ないという皮肉な結果になっているのである。

 これは、昨年秋の時点で70校以上のロースクールの開校を認可した時点で十分予想できたはずであるにもかかわらず、これまで法務省は、正面からそのような実態を認めてこなかったが、今回、初めてその実態を認めた上で、それで何が悪いと開き直っているのである。

 もっとも不幸なのは高い入学金と授業料を払ってロースクールに通っている学生であろう。このような重要な情報は、ロースクールの受験をする前に明らかにされるべき情報であったはずであるが、その頃には、「卒業生の7,8割は合格する」という夢のような話が溢れていたのである。

 しかも、現在においても、まだ、新司法試験が具体的にどのような問題になるのかということすらも発表されていない(今年中には発表されると言われている)。このような極めて不安定な状況の中で、ロースクール生は、日々、ハードな勉強に追われているのである。

 やはり、ロースクールについては、最初の制度設計自体が根本的に間違っていたと言わざるを得ない。「卒業生の7,8割が合格する」制度にするのであれば、全国で10校程度のロースクールしか認可すべきではなかったというべきであり、この点については、法務省や文部科学省の見通しの誤りは明白であると言わなければならない。

 ロースクールが開校された当初から、2,3年後には半数以上のロースクールが閉鎖されるだろうとささやかれていた。逆に言うと、法学部がある大学では、ロースクールを設置しないと、法学部自体に学生が集まらなくなることから、あまり積極的にやりたくない大学でも、横並び意識から、やむなくロースクールを開設しているという現状があると言われている。そして、最初から、2,3年後にはロースクールを閉鎖することを暗黙のうちに予定していると言われているのである。

 いずれにして、ロースクールの教育現場においては、「ゆとりある教育」などは行われておらず、教える教授や講師側も、学生の側も、新司法試験の合格だけを目標にして、早足で進み、詰め込むような授業が日々行われているのである。
 このような教育現場で、理想的な法曹を生み出すことなど不可能と言わなければならない。

 最近、ロースクールに関わっている落合洋司弁護士小倉秀夫弁護士から興味深い改革の提言がなされている。いずれも、現実的な提案であり、参考になる(脱サラ法科大学院生さんの「弁護士への道」が要領よくまとめている)。

 ただ、私としては、現在のロースクールは、その出発点から誤ってしまい、ボタンの掛け違いから、どんどん悪い方向に向かっていると思われるので、数年以内に、一旦白紙に戻してやり直す決意で改革しなければ、長期的にじり貧になって自然消滅するだけであると思われる。
 そして、今度の改革の際には、現場の声や学生の意見を良く聞いて、単にアメリカのロースクール制度をそのまま直輸入するように安直なやり方をとるべきではないと考える。

【Today's Back Music】
 GERALD ALBRIGHT/KICK IT UP(B0001631-02)
  サックス奏者であるジェラルド・アルブライトの新譜です。これも黒っぽいサウンドで元気づけられます。

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Comments

TBありがとうございます。
新司法試験が競争試験の「狭き門」であり続ける以上、制度設計者たちの言う「予備校の弊害」は決してなくならないでしょうし、たとえ将来的にLSが淘汰されて10校程度になったとしても、法曹志願者はLS入学の段階で絞り込まれることになり、現行試験よりも「幅広い分野からの法曹」という見込みはかえって薄まるのではないかという気がします。
結局、誰でも受けることができるという意味では現行司法試験が一番オープンな制度だったのであり、現行試験の定員を増やすのが一番合理的だったのではないかと思います。

Posted by: J憲法 | 2004.10.09 at 03:02 PM

J憲法さん
 コメントありがとうございました。
 確かにそうですね。現行司法試験は、誰でも、何回でも、貧富の差は関係なく受けられるという点で、それなりに合理的な制度だったと思います。
 その意味では、どこかで方針転換して、現行司法試験も定員の半分程度はずっと残すという選択肢はありうるように思います。
 但し、それをするためには、ロースクール制度の制度設計が誤っていたということを当局が認めることが前提であり、日本のように、役所が過去の過ちを簡単には認めない国では期待できないかもしれませんね。

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» ロースクール問題に見る無責任ニッポン!? [Where Angels Fear To Send Trackbacks (kasuga sho diary)]
 ロースクールについての朝日の記事。「法科大学院生にも狭き門 新司法試験、一発合格は34%」と報じており、ウェブ上でも大きな反響を呼んでいますね。... [Read More]

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