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「孤陋寡聞」、「鸚鵡學舌」的湯家驊與譚允芝

2020/6/23 — 21:07

作者製圖

作者製圖

【文:腸】

1. 在大律師名冊中按資歷長期排名第 11 的湯家驊星期日(6 月 21 日)在 Facebook 個人帳號中分享新聞連結,當中提到大律師公會副主席葉巧琦認為特首在「港區國安法」下有權指定法官處理危害國安案件,「從字面分析完全是行政干預」司法獨立。

2. 「湯 11」反駁指「司法獨立一般是指法官獨立處理案件,不受外界影響的意思,而非誰來委任」,嘲諷葉「孤陋寡聞」、「戴著政治有色眼鏡」,「動輒詆毀或攻擊我們的司法獨立」。

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3. 於 2016 年力撐「網絡 23 條」的前大律師公會主席、現任通訊事務管理局主席譚允芝更在湯的貼文下留言,指控葉大律師「鸚鵡學舌(parroting)」,只懂重覆陳文敏的觀點,「明顯不熟悉《基本法》」,是在嘗試掩飾其無知(“She obviously wasn’t familiar with the Basic Law, but tried to hide her ignorance by parroting Johannes Chan.”)。

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4. 湯家驊詭辯委任問題無關司法獨立,反而正正暴露其孤陋寡聞。與其一唱一和,但獨立思考欠奉、只餘尖刻的譚女士,恐怕更是連鸚鵡也不如。

5. 《基本法》第 85 條規定「香港特別行政區法院獨立進行審判,不受任何干預」。《香港人權法案》第 10 條及《公民權利和政治權利國際公約》第 14(1) 條則在人權層面上保證「人人在法院或法庭之前,悉屬平等。任何人受刑事控告或因其權利義務涉訟須予判定時,應有權受獨立無私之法定管轄法庭公正公開審問。」「獨立」與「無私」(或不受干預),明顯是兩個不同的法律要求。

6. 其實早於 1985 年,加拿大最高法院已於普通法經典案例 Valente v The Queen 中解釋,審裁機關行使司法職能時心態是否「無私(impartial)」,與其地位或整體制度客觀上是否「獨立」(並憑此取信於民),是相關但本質相異的概念 [1]。現為終審法院非常任法官的時任上訴法院常任高級法官(Lord of Appeal in Ordinary)何熙怡女男爵於 Gillies v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 一案亦曾作出類似觀察 [2]。當制度崩壞,個別法官的努力,亦不足以復活已死的法治。

7. 事實上,除了葉大律師(或陳文敏教授)之外,法律界不乏德高望重之輩對授予行政長官權力指定法官審理涉及危害國家安全的案件,公開表示不贊同。即使立場溫和如前終審法院首席法官李國能,今天(6 月 23 日)亦於《明報》撰文,直指「港區國安法」此等安排「會損害司法獨立 [3]。李官強調:

「司法機構獨立於行政機關。應由獨立的司法機構決定審理這些案件的法官,不受行政機關的干預。」[4]

8. 誠如加拿大最高法院法官 Le Dain 在 Valente 案中所言,決定審理案件的法官人選,屬「直接及即時影響行使司法職能的行政決定」,原則上被視為司法獨立的基本及最低準則,所以必須由司法機關全權自行決定 [5]。

9. 因此,現為終審法院非常任法官的時任加拿大最高法院法官(後晉升為該國首席法官)麥嘉琳在 1989 年的裁決明確指出,如官員有權指示哪位法官可以或不可以處理某案件,將是不可思議的;容許行政機關在選擇審理案件的法官人選一事上有任何角色或施加任何壓力,或給公眾造成如此印象,都屬對司法獨立不能接受的干預 [6]。

 

[1] [1985] 2 SCR 673 at 685 per Le Dain J (‘… Although there is obviously a close relationship between independence and impartiality, they are nevertheless separate and distinct values or requirements. Impartiality refers to a state of mind or attitude of the tribunal in relation to the issues and the parties in a particular case. The word "impartial" as Howland C.J.O. noted, connotes absence of bias, actual or perceived. The word "independent" in s. 11(d) reflects or embodies the traditional constitutional value of judicial independence. As such, it connotes not merely a state of mind or attitude in the actual exercise of judicial functions, but a status or relationship to others, particularly to the executive branch of government, that rests on objective conditions or guarantees’).

[2] [2006] UKHL 02, [2006] 1 WLR 781 [38] (‘Impartiality is not the same as independence, although the two are closely linked. Impartiality is the tribunal approach to deciding the cases before it. Independence is the structural or institutional framework which secures this impartiality, not only in the minds of the tribunal members but also in the perception of the public. ...’).

[3] 「李國能:國安法案件內地審理 會損香港獨立司法權」《明報》 (2020 年 6 月 23 日),第 3 段.

[4] 同上,第 5 段。

[5] Valente (n 1 above) at 709, 712 ('Judicial control over the matters referred to by Howland C.J.O.‑‑assignment of judges, sittings of the court, and court lists‑‑as well as the related matters of allocation of court rooms and direction of the administrative staff engaged in carrying out these functions, has generally been considered the essential or minimum requirement for institutional or "collective" independence. ... The essentials of institutional independence which may be reasonably perceived as sufficient for purposes of s. 11(d) must, I think, be those referred to by Howland C.J.O. They may be summed up as judicial control over the administrative decisions that bear directly and immediately on the exercise of the judicial function. ...').

[6] Mackeigan v Hickman [1989] 2 SCR 796 at 833 ('It thus appears clear beyond doubt that the assignment of judges is a matter exclusively within the purview of the court. It would be unthinkable for the Minister of Justice or Attorney General to instruct the Chief Justice as to who should or should not sit on a particular case; that prerogative belongs exclusively to the Chief Justice as the head of the Court. To allow the executive a role in selecting what judges hear what cases would constitute an unacceptable interference with the independence of the judiciary. Inquiries after the fact must be similarly barred, in my view. A Chief Justice who knows that he or she may be examined and cross-examined by the executive or its emanation on why he or she assigned a particular judge to a particular case may feel, consciously or unconsciously, pressure to select someone pleasing to the executive. Even if the Chief Justice did not permit himself or herself to be influenced by such a prospect, the public perception that he or she might have been influenced could harm the esteem in which our system of justice is held. ...'). See also 808 per Wilson J (otherwise partly dissenting; '... [I]t would seriously undermine the independence of the judiciary from the executive branch of government if the executive could control or interfere with the authority of Chief Justices to assign judges to sit on particular cases.... ').

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