日本行政立法之司法審查 —以高齡加成給付訴訟為例


林美鳳

中文摘要

90 年代以來新自由主義盛行,國家因財政狀況等之原因, 縮減社會給付成為常態。日本生活保護法(類似台灣社會救助法 規定)廢止高齡加成給付為其代表案例,生活保護法為日本國憲 法第25 條生存權保障之具體化法,以該法作為最低生活基準因 生活窮困而有受國家生活保護之老年人利用此一加成給付,可參 與社會活動,廢止此一加成給付後,則受保護之老年人與社會生 活連帶關係受到影響,而有被「排除」之可能,因此是否該當於 生存權保障之內涵,為重大之論點。 2004 年日本厚生大臣修正生活保護基準,刪減並廢止生活 保護老年加算給付所引起之訴訟,涉及憲法生存權保障內容、行政機關進行生活保護基準修正時,是否有裁量權以及對於該裁量 權行使,司法應如何審查等問題,為目前世界各國所面臨之重要 課題,台灣也不能免於其外。本文,先說明作為判決基礎之事實 關係,並說明判決意旨,最後就判決之主要爭點,分下列三點論 之:1. 保護基準修正是否有本法第56 條不利益變更禁止的適 用;2. 保護基準修正是否符合憲法第25 條生存權保障規定之意 旨,或得否以「制度後退禁止原則」來審查其合憲性與合法性; 3. 保護基準修正時,司法應如何審查行政裁量權。最後,從台 灣現行法制度規定下,本判決帶來如何之啟示為簡單提示。

 

Judicial Review of Administrative legislative Discretion in Japan -A Study on the Old-Age Supplementary Grants

Mei-Feng Lin

abstract

As neo-liberalism has become prevalent since the 1990s, it is common that the state cuts social welfare benefits owing to financial conditions and budget allocations concerns. An example of the aforesaid is the abolition of the old-age supplementary grants for elders under the Public Assistance Act (the “Act”) in Japan (similar to the Public Assistance Act in Taiwan). The Act carries out the fulfillment of the right to life prescribed under Article 25 of the Constitution of Japan (the “Constitution”) and guarantees the minimum standard of living. Impoverished elders receiving public assistance under the Act may use an old-age supplementary grant they received to increase their participation in social activities. Given that the abolition of this assistance grant will affect the social life of elders receiving public assistance and likely results in “expelling” these elders from the society, whether such abolition complies with the right-to-life constitutional mandate has been a critical issue attracting hot debates. The litigations following the revision of the public assistance standard in 2004 by the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan, as well as the subsequent reduction and abolition of the oldage supplementary grants, involve the right-to-life mandate under the Constitution. Whether administrative agencies have any discretion in revising the standard of public assistance, how administrative agencies use such discretion, and how the judiciary reviews such administrative discretion have been critical issues hotly debated in different countries around the world, including Taiwan. This article summarizes the factual backgrounds of a landmark decision in Japan and briefs the court’s holding. Next, this article addresses the three main issues of the said decision: (1) whether the prohibition of adverse changes set forth in Article 56 of the Act applies to the revision of the public assistance standard; (2) whether the revision of the public assistance standard adheres to the right to life mandated under Article 25 of the Constitution and whether the “nonretrogression principle” may be applied in reviewing the constitutionality and legality of the aforementioned revision; and (3) how the judiciary reviews the aforementioned administrative discretion. In the end, this article concludes with an observation of this landmark decision in Japan and lessons that Taiwan may learn from this case.