「我離港前到過一間精神科醫院。當時有位病人禮貌地問,一個以作為世上最悠久民主政體而自傲的國家,如何能夠將此地交給一個政治制度非常不同的國家,且既沒諮詢當地公民,又沒給予他們民主的前景,好讓他們捍衞自己的將來。一個隨行同事說,奇怪,香港提出最理智問題的人,竟在精神科醫院。」彭定康 金融時報

“During a visit to a mental hospital before I left Hong Kong, a patient politely asked me how a country that prided itself on being the oldest democracy in the world had come to be handing over his city to another country with a very different system of government, without either consulting the citizens or giving them the prospect of democracy to safeguard their future. Strange, said one of my aides, that the man with the sanest question in Hong Kong is in a mental hospital.”Chris Patten Financial Times

Non Chinese literate friends, please simply switch to English Version provided by LOUSY Google Translation

Please participate in the unregistered demography survey of visitors at the right hand side bar. You are: ?

敬請參與在右下方的不記名訪客分佈調查問卷,你是: ?

Monday, January 12, 2015

重組 遷冊 葫蘆 賣藥 恥笑

重組 遷冊 葫蘆 賣藥 恥笑



自 超人李 上週五 宣布 “和黃長江系” 重組,成為 “長地” 和 “長和” 後,在香港已有很多人討論。人民日報海外版 第三版 是 台港澳(注意:不是港澳台 排列有別)有關的版面,一向有很多的處名文章刊登。


至於今早有:葫芦里卖的什么药? by 王大可

【人民日報海外版】据香港媒体报道,香港首富李嘉诚旗下两大上市企业——长江实业及和记黄埔宣布业务合并、重组,两集团资产将分拆为两个以开曼群岛为注册地的新公司,即长江和记实业有限公司(长和)与长江实业地产有限公司(长地),在港上市。

李嘉诚同时担任长和和长地的主席。消息一放出来,各方就解读不断,有人将之称为集团的“世纪重组”,给香港商界及金融界带来巨大震撼。作为香港商界的领军人物,李嘉诚这次祭出重手,目的何在?

已经多次祭出重组大法  
首先,李嘉诚肯定是赚了。李嘉诚的重组大计初获市场欢迎,集团于美国挂牌的预托证券(ADR)在重组消息刺激下,上周升值逾 10%,李嘉诚宣布有关消息后,其身家一夜暴增 158亿元(港币下同),更加巩固了其首富地位。

据香港媒体统计,截至 2014年 6月,长实的净资产约 3908亿元,如果将和黄地产业务合并,资产净值将达到 4787亿元,新成立的长江实业地产将超过新鸿基地产成为香港最大的发展商。

长实与和黄是香港股民心中一直立于不败之地的蓝筹股。这已经不是李嘉诚第一次祭出分拆大法。近年来,长实与和黄在全球的出售、分拆和投资动作不断。2013年,分拆香港电灯上市套现 390亿元;2014年,和黄向淡马锡出售屈臣氏 24.95%权益,套现 440亿元;2013年,出售上海和广州两地物业套现超过 100亿元;同时近两年在澳大利亚、爱尔兰、荷兰、加拿大等海外大举收购总投资超 300亿元。

有人说,从其这几年的分拆动作中,不难看出“亚洲套现、进军欧美”的思路。

从香港逐步撤资先兆? 
外界关注的另一个焦点是,新成立的公司注册地将由香港改到开曼群岛。有人据此认为,这是他从香港迁册撤资的第一步。香港经济学者关焯照说,需要留意未来长和会否再更改上市地点,也要关注其他华资财团、大家族是否会效仿李嘉诚的做法,将公司注册地改为外国。

李嘉诚对这个话题相当敏感,日前他多次在记者会上澄清,重组集团业务,并把公司注册地由香港转为开曼群岛,只为了方便儿子兼集团副主席李泽钜接棒及做生意。“过去 10年,75%以上在港上市公司,都在开曼群岛或其他海外注册,这并不是对香港没信心,而是做生意方便。” 另外,与他关系相近人士也称,重组也与有人揣测的“占中”事件没太多关系。

有金融界人士认为,到开曼群岛注册很简单,任何时间都可以做。李嘉诚如要迁册,不需要留待集团大重组时才进行。根据安排,长实与和黄合并之前,李嘉诚还会将由李嘉诚家族信托持有的 6.24%在加拿大上市的赫斯基能源的股权出售于和黄。对此,李泽钜指出,“我们将赫斯基股权从海外拿到香港公司控制,这是对香港有信心才这么做。”

众说纷纭中,香港立法会财经事务委员会副主席张华峰看得更为长远。他说,公司注册地并不重要,是否在香港投资才最重要,而李嘉诚此前已经承诺不会减少在港投资。

有利挖潜提升股东价值? 
对于本次的世纪大重组,李嘉诚称之为集团历史上的重要里程碑。他表示,重组完成后有利提升股东价值。“最主要是股东不会吃亏 。。。。做完后,就会显示两间公司的真正价值大了多少。”

有金融业人士表示,在新架构下,长实及和黄现有业务经整合将拥有更高的透明度及业务一致性,价值得以进一步提升。“是件好事,因为估值会较容易。”香港富昌研究部总监连敬涵表示,李嘉诚旗下另外的公司长江基建、电能实业股价走势理想,相反主打地产业务的长实股价却不甚理想,若不重组集团会被地产业务拖累。

香港前商务及经济发展局局长马时亨相信,重组不会影响海外投资者来港投资的信心。从经济角度分析重组是合理的,将地产及非地产业务分开,会让投资者更清楚自己的选择。李泽钜也表示,交易完成后,投资者可以根据不同的喜好决定对两间新公司的投资。“钟意香港地产、钟意中国地产,就拿多些地产;钟意其他收息高些的生意,就去外国。”

然而,对于注册地变化的动作,也有香港舆论担心这将增加同新成立的两家公司在香港法律诉讼的难度。香港《明报》网站 9日分析说,开曼群岛属于英国领土,李嘉诚在开曼成立长和,日后若遇到官司,香港可能对长和没有司法权力,最终审核权由香港终审法院变为英国最高法院。



嗜悲 從來沒有持有 和黃長江股票,因此基於 事不關己 己不勞心 心態,沒有注視 李超人 的消息。不過難免在公司內 蛇竇 聽過不少。。。。。。。


上面文章可讀性頗低,不過淡化衝擊之情昭昭可見,last but not least 但最尾尾作者不忘借用了《香港明報》說:「開曼群島屬於英國領土,李嘉誠在開曼成立長和,日後若遇到官司,香港可能對長和沒有司法權力,最終審核權由香港終審法院變為英國最高法院。
才是點睛啊!



明報的文章剛巧 嗜悲 有讀過,全文是這樣寫的:


倘打官司港對長和或失司法權

【明報專訊】現時有不少上市公司都選擇在海外成立及註冊,開曼群島及英屬維京群島(BVI)都是熱門地,無獨有偶,這兩個地方雖然都位處美洲加勒比海,但都是英國海外領地。這次李嘉誠把新成立的旗艦公司長和選擇在開曼成立,將來若要打官司,香港可能對長和沒有司法權力。

鏞記官司已有案例
開曼群島在古巴以南,屬英國領土,在開曼成立的長和,日後若遇到官司,最終審核權,會由香港終審法院變為英國最高法院。以早前鏞記的清盤案為例,代表甘琨禮的一方曾指出,鏞記母公司 Yung Kee Holdings Ltd.於 BVI 註冊,本港法庭無司法權處理海外註冊公司事宜,不應審理清盤呈請。

公司可不公開股東名冊
律師黃國桐表示,在開曼註冊,可享有高度私隱,因為公司股東名冊可以完全不對外公開,相反,在香港註冊,公眾可以從公司註冊處查看股東資料。

針對法律審核權問題,安永會計師行華南區主管合伙人蔡偉榮表示,一般來說,由於大公司之間的生意來往,設定合約時都會寫明,「如有訴訟,按某一處地方的法律執行」,所以業務的所在地亦是重要因素。

他又說,不少國企以香港為註冊地,原因是香港也是中國一部分,長和系是私人企業,沒有這種包袱,會選擇最方便做生意的地方註冊,而開曼群島在法律上、稅收上都較香港有優勢。

事實上,在開曼以離岸公司形式運作,方便在企業重組時而大股東控股權地位不變之下、卻要觸及重大資產轉移而衍生增值得益時取得彈性,避免因此繳付巨額稅項,這尤其適用於那些未涉及現金得益的交易。

相對上,若繼續以香港公司繼承重組後的業務,則可能觸及巨額稅負問題。



》》》》》》》
2015年 1月 15日
新增《環球時報》社評
李嘉诚 “撤资” 内地人受惊就太怂了

由 環球時報 出面嘲笑 李嘉誠,只是幾百億美元身家,如今相對比起強國是 ”微不足道“,這種財大氣粗可算是一脈鑲成。

唉!有咁樣的上層官員,才會有一樣的地下層平民。 中國旅客去到任何的方都是神憎鬼厭,勉強逢迎為的只是商業價值,其他都是被人嗤之以鼻。


【環球時報】“李嘉诚从香港和内地撤资”的消息近日传得满天飞,“李嘉诚从香港和内地撤资”的消息近日传得满天飞。“ 这有可能预示人民币资产将大幅贬值”的说法也不胫而走。

起因是李嘉诚对其控制的两大上市旗舰公司长江实业以及和记黄埔进行改组,新公司注册地从香港移到了开曼群岛。此外一段时间以来李嘉诚出售了一些内地的土地和物业资产,并且加大了在欧洲的投资。

李嘉诚当过不止一年的亚洲首富,在投资界颇具威望,在华人圈里尤其有“李超人”之称。他的投资动向通常被认为有参考价值,一些人很愿意破解他的“老谋深算”,寻找他对未来预期的蛛丝马迹。

有人认为,李嘉诚在通过他的投资举动“唱衰中国”,也在“唱衰香港”。客观说,无论李怎么解释,他改注册地和卖大陆的房地产,传递出来的肯定不是他对中国市场的“信心满满”。他想对家族资产重新布局,大概是真实的。

李嘉诚毕竟 86岁了,人在这个年龄的考虑和牵挂与市场上主流投资者大概是不同的。人到了这时经验丰富,但也容易注重“稳健”,怕失去有时会多于想得到。86岁的李嘉诚和66岁的李嘉诚自身对比也会有诸多区别,前者比后者更能证明自己的成功,但他的启示已经更多是人生及市场哲学上的,而不是操作层面的市场判断。

李嘉诚创造了他那一代人的投资奇迹,他的经历深刻影响了他对市场以及“中国国情”的认识。但是中国的确在变,对这种变化,马云、雷军这一代人大概更容易跟上,也更愿意与它们做带有冒险意味的互动。

当然不能排除“姜到底是老的辣”,但历史上后人超越前人的例子更多。李嘉诚的资产总体上传统领域的多,如房地产、码头、能源等。中国这方面的空间的确与改革开放初期近乎处女地的样子大为不同。人民币资产的升降取决于中国经济未来的整体走势,但在中国挣钱比过去难了,随着内地市场的成熟,这一点毋庸置疑。

然而马云、雷军们的前途仍被广泛看好。李嘉诚“撤资”带来了某种警惕,但中国经济的总规模太大了,李嘉诚的投资也显得有些 “微不足道”。且不说李嘉诚“撤资”的真实缘由是什么,这些年从政治、经济角度对中国曾经有过的悲观预言多如牛毛,但它们都输给了中国真正的时与势。

中国如果继续往前走,必须出一批、而不是一两个超越李嘉诚的企业家。中国发展总体上已经超越了外部世界的已有经验,中国似乎还没有能力对自己的发展模式进行总结,但从任正非到马云,再到王健林和雷军,他们显然都不是简单的模仿者,他们都形成了“自己的一套”。

李嘉诚对中国改革开放做出了贡献,他参与内地建设的同时亦从内地得到了利益。他的确无愧于他那个时代的“李超人”之称,但他未必就有力量和雄心做未来的风向标。我们应为过去对他致以尊敬,而面向未来时,我们或许应当另寻坐标。

中国在经历大改革、大变迁,整个世界看如此之大社会体量的跨越式发展都会懵懵懂懂。迄今为止对中国最准确的预言都来自国家层面的核心规划和报告。外部预言和有暗示性的行动有一定参考价值,但事实证明它们都没有中国官方的答案更权威。关于这一点还不曾有过什么特例。



中國五千年文化久遠悠長,如今短短開放三十多年,只剩得以金錢來衡量價值這個觀念,那就讓我們看看中國的所謂:“依法辦事”,又如何!
《《《《《《《《


自上台後 習主席 要 “依法治國 依法治黨” 有 2014年 10月 28日的: 

关于《中共中央关于全面推进依法治国若干重大问题的决定》的说明 by 习近平


習主席洋洋萬言 嗜悲 不打算在此轉載,各位朋友有興趣看看可以 點擊閱讀 長文內其中有關 “一國兩制”


加强和改进党对全面推进依法治国的领导,从坚持依法执政、加强党内法规制度建设、提高党员干部法治思维和依法办事能力、推进基层治理法治化、深入推进依法治军从严治军、依法保障 “一国两制” 实践和推进祖国统一、加强涉外法律工作 7个方面展开。最后,号召全党全国为建设法治中国而奋斗。


「依法保障 “一国两制” 实践和推进祖国统一。」沒有甚麽特別和新意呀 。。。。。。。


不過,記得去年中央發表了《「一國兩制」在香港特別行政區的實踐》白皮書,之後在香港有兩位前後大法官撰文:其中現任的 馬道立 文中 引述了 前任的 李國能 的文章 "Price of Liberty" 之一段:


Under rule of law, an independent judiciary answers to no political masters

Andrew Li says:judicial independence goes beyond notions of patriotism, as judges are duty-bound to be fair. Hong Kong must remain vigilant to ensure the rule of law continues to thrive.



李大法官 "Price of Liberty" 文章並指出:「恆久警惕乃自由的代價 Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. 」


同一時段 習近平 在北京接見了 董建華 帶領上京的香港富豪團,而當然 李嘉誠 被專奉為貴賓長的貴賓,坐在 習主席 旁邊。據明報報導:


【明報專訊】國家主席習近平前日在北京會見香港一眾富豪及專業人士,在人民大會堂發生了一件看似平常、但富象徵意義的「小事」。話說 70名香港貴賓到達會堂,列陣跟習近平大合照後,眾人一起步向旁邊的會議廳就座,此際習近平與首富李嘉誠(誠哥),就在會議廳中央,當著一眾富豪面前,竊竊私語了好一陣子,言談甚歡,讓一眾富豪及京官當觀眾。中央對誠哥的重視,不言而喻。


習主席 和 李超人 竊竊私語了好一陣子,真的是令人想像無限 。。。。。。!


Anyway,這都是去年的事情了,但回看剛剛過去 12月的《佔中》期間,律政司並非禁制令申請人,和警察局長不去執行所賦予的權力,反而假借民間的團體入禀法院,向法院申請清走障礙物的《禁制令》,但又借用《禁制令》要求警方協助執行之時機,同時出動強大警力作出全面清場的舉措。


事到如今事已至此,香港的司法制度已經被 ”依法治港“ 攪到甚麽程度。那末對 長地 和 長和 在香港可能沒有司法權力,最終審核權由香港終審法院,變為英國最高法院。


各位兄姊也應該心領神會吧!




後記:

登文後下午 法院的新法律年度開幕,大法官 馬道立,律政司司長 袁國強,大律師公會主席 石永泰 發言。


【明報專訊】2015年法律年度開啟典禮致辭


袁國強發言
律政司長袁國強在 2015年法律年度開啟典禮致辭時,談到處理被捕佔領人士的問題。他說,明白此問題很可能引發重大意見分歧,但律政司立場清晰堅定,檢控必須符合兩項條件,即證據充分及有公眾利益。

他說,被檢控者不時稱被「政治迫害」,而此等指控絕無根據,往往只是「政治抽水」手段,若經過理性分析,不難推翻政治檢控的謬論。再者,若涉嫌犯案者單純因其政治理念受社會上個別群體推崇而避過檢控,則變相意味檢控人員受到政治影響。

他又說,公眾應理解律政司作出檢控決定、警務人員進行拘捕和法院作刑事裁決時採用不同準則。即使被捕人最終不被檢控,並不必然代表警方錯誤拘捕,亦不必然意味是檢控人員失職。


馬道立發言
終審法院首席法官馬道立於法律年度開啟典禮演辭時指出,過去一年,政治圍繞着港人生活,強調法院在司法的工作上不會、亦不能受政治或政治考慮等外來因素影響。

他表示,法院和法官都只會引用法律斷案,即使法律程序或因政治理由而引起,法院的功能亦絕非解決政治問題,而是僅就法律問題作裁決。

他又說,法律和法院司法的目標,就是在南轅北轍的利益取向和意見分歧間,尋找一個公正、恰當的平衡,簡而言之,就是確保基本人權獲法院恰當地執行,而個人的權利和社會上他人的權利都得到尊重。而要實現這一目標,不論任何人、任何群體或任何組織,都不能凌駕於法律之上,亦不會獲法院優待。

他說,平等、忠於法律及其精神和司法獨立,已在《基本法》中訂明及得到保障。


石永泰發言
大律師公會主席石永泰在法律年度開啟典禮上致辭時談及法治,他說,港府近年沾染了一種語言習慣,在解釋它所做的所有事情時都以「依法」作開場白,認為過分強調民眾必須「守法」,往往是極權政府的特徵。

石永泰表示,政府開口「依法」,閉口也「依法」,例如立法會「依法」舉行、政府「依法」施政等。他認為,過分強調民眾必須「守法」,往往是極權政府的特徵:利用法律作為整治民眾的工具,而非用法律約束自己管治的方法。

石永泰又說,依法是任何政府的最低要求,官方只懂不斷重覆「依法辦事」,有貶低法律、混淆視聽、「牛頭不對馬嘴」之嫌。

石永泰又稱,「法治」沒有全球同意的定義,很多國家都聲稱奉行法治,但某些國家充其量只是「以法管治」,或者一種十分粗淺原始的「法治」,他又說:「中國奉行的那種『法治』,並不是我們一直理解和應用的『法治』概念。」




無官一身輕的 石永泰 一段陳述:『政府開口「依法」,閉口也「依法」,例如立法會「依法」舉行、政府「依法」施政等。他認為,過分強調民眾必須「守法」,往往是極權政府的特徵:「利用法律作為整治民眾的工具,而非用法律約束自己管治的方法。」』


馬道立 也就 袁國強 指佔領行動帶來法治衝擊,回應佔領事件顯示大多數人尊重法治 。。。。。。


【明報專訊】終審法院首席法官馬道立於法律年度開啟典禮演辭時,回顧過去一年本港的法治情況,認為不論在佔領前或後,大部分本港市民至今均尊重香港法治。

對於律政司長袁國強形容,佔領行動對本港法治明顯帶來衝擊,馬道立表示不會評論對方的言論,亦不宜談論檢控的程序和政治問題。

他強調法庭處理案件不會受政治、經濟等因素影響,只會按法律理據處事,他指過去一年,政治圍繞着港人生活,強調法院在司法的工作上不會、亦不能受政治或政治考慮等外來因素影響。



佔中發起人之一的 戴耀廷,評論有關律政司司長 袁國強 的發言 說:「法治只是『為赤裸裸的政治暴力披上法律的遮醜布。』」


【明報專訊】佔中發起人、港大法律學者戴耀廷指,法治不是「為赤裸裸的政治暴力披上法律的遮醜布」,而公民抗命雖是違法,但不損法治,反是推進法治。

戴耀廷於臉書引述律政司長袁國強稱:「若干人士以公民抗命或爭取普選作為違法行為的辯解。我們應反思一個根本問題:若然沒有法治,能否還有普選?在我而言,我會毫不猶豫地答:『不可能!』原因很清楚,法治是民主及普選的基石」。

戴耀廷批評袁國強把法治等同公民守法,是理解過於狹窄。他指出,法治更在於掌權者守法及按法律做的決定,須符合法律正義要求,而人大 2004年釋法改三部曲為五部曲,及 2014年的落三閘決定,雖是按法律條文規定而作,但因沒有權力制衡,故不符法律正義,對法治損害更大。

他又說,如按袁國強理解,法治只是「為赤裸裸的政治暴力披上法律的遮醜布」,強調公民抗命雖是違法,但不損法治,反是推進法治,使法律能保障公民基本政治權利及真正的民主權利。




還有 CCTVB 也有報導 袁國強司長 與 馬道立大法官 基本上南弦北轍。馬道立強調:法院司法工作不能受政治影響。


【TVB News】法律年度開啟,終審法院首席法官馬道立表示,法院的司法工作不會亦不能受政治影響,他又談及佔領事件與法治的關係。去年底持續 79日的「佔領行動」期間,法庭頒下多個臨時禁制。



From 0:10 至 2:36 袁國強 和 馬道立 發言均是 in English 有機會找來英文 Full Text 讀一讀


律政司長袁國強出席法律年度開啟典禮時重申,佔領行動對香港法治明顯帶來衝擊:「我相信絕大多數社會人士均不會否認普選的重要性,但我們也應反思一個根本問題,若然沒有法治,能否還有普選?在我而言,我會毫不猶豫地答不可能。法治要求所有政制發展必須符合憲制,而不是與憲制互相衝突。」

終審法院首席法官馬道立對於兩者的關係就有不同看法:「這些事件正正顯示大多數人均尊重法治。沒有人對我們是否需要尊重法治這點提出實質的質疑。原訟法庭所審理的數宗強制令申請,法官小心翼翼、一絲不苟地審視了每項可能成立的法律論據,訴訟各方均有充分機會向法庭陳詞。」

《一國兩制白皮書》列明,本港法官及司法人員必須愛國,受到法律界關注,馬道立在致詞中就談到法官的憲制角色:「《基本法》第八十四條直接訂明法官須依照法律審判案件。其他條文亦訂明法官的資格,法官應只根據其本人的司法和專業才能選用。除此以外,沒有其他適用於所有法官的資格準則。」

馬道立 與 袁國強都指,本港未來一年都會遇到挑戰,各人都有責任堅守及彰顯法治。



袁國強,馬道立,石永泰,還有 戴耀庭 都是本港訓練出來的法律界精英,無可否認不同的位置,但對法治的理解可以分別如此 ”鴻溝“,未來本港的法治將遇到不斷挑戰可想而知!




後後記:

Well 卒之找到了 袁國強 的英文演辭 Full Text

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Justice, Mr Rimsky Yuen, SC, at the Ceremonial Opening of the Legal Year 2015 (January 12).


【Info.Gov.HK】On behalf of the Department of Justice, may I start off by extending our warmest welcome to all of you here, especially to our guests who travelled from other jurisdictions to attend this event.

This occasion, though known as "Ceremonial Opening of the Legal Year", is not just a ceremony. It provides an opportunity for the legal, and indeed the entire, community to reflect on matters concerning our legal system, administration of justice and the rule of law.

The Rule of Law and Universal Suffrage
The importance of the rule of law is universally accepted in modern civilised societies. It is a treasure of our community which each of us, irrespective of our position and role, should make every effort to protect and defend. In highlighting this point, I have no intention whatsoever to diminish the importance of other concepts such as democracy, universal suffrage or social justice. However, the pursuit of democracy, universal suffrage, social justice or any other noble cause cannot and should not be used as a justification to act in any way which would erode the rule of law.

Unfortunately, the rule of law in Hong Kong is facing significant challenges. The recent "Occupy Movement", which involved large-scale as well as sporadic unlawful activities, brings about blatant challenges to the rule of law.

Some people put forward civil disobedience or the pursuit of universal suffrage as justification for their unlawful conduct. Whilst I believe the overwhelming majority of our community would not dispute the importance of universal suffrage, one should reflect on this fundamental question: Can there be universal suffrage without the rule of law? I would, without doubt, say "Not possible!". The reason is obvious. The rule of law is the bedrock of democracy and universal suffrage.

Any constitutional development, including development towards universal suffrage, has to be built on the relevant legal and constitutional basis. The constitution and documents of constitutional nature represent the supreme law of the jurisdiction concerned, and provide the ultimate legal anchor for any constitutional development. The rule of law dictates that all constitutional development must be consistent with, and not contrary to, the relevant constitutional regime. Once the model of universal suffrage and the relevant details are devised, they would have to be translated into clear law (which usually takes the form of electoral legislation). Every step in the electoral process should be conducted in accordance with the law, so that members of the community can have their electoral rights protected. Should there be any electoral disputes, there should be proper channels to facilitate the fair and effective adjudication by an independent judiciary.

All these would not be possible unless the rule of law is well and alive. Constitutional development or universal suffrage without the rule of law is no different to a house without foundation. It is accordingly difficult to see how there can be any valid reason for resorting to unlawful means for the purpose of pursuing universal suffrage, especially when such unlawful means would prejudice other people's rights and disrupt social order. Any contrary contention would in effect allow people to disregard the law as and when they see fit, which is the antithesis of the rule of law.

Some people in the community suggest that the concept of the rule of law has different levels, and that obeying the law is only the lowest level. As a matter of legal philosophy, such a view may provide an interesting topic for discussion. But the law remains the law, and is there to be obeyed. One also wonders how can one escalate oneself to the higher levels of the rule of law without even respecting the fundamentals.

Although the "Occupy Movement" has in a sense come to an end (at least for the time being), my worries concerning challenges to the rule of law have not altogether disappeared. I note, with regret, that there remain people in the community advocating, or are considering to advocate, further unlawful activities in the near future. May I make use of this opportunity to appeal to those people to come back to the realm of the rule of law and rationality, and abandon any thought for instigating any unlawful conduct. Any further unlawful activities, especially massive ones, would only do further harm to our community both domestically and at the international level.

Criminal Prosecution
Another challenge concerns the question of how to appropriately deal with the people who were involved in the unlawful activities that took place during the "Occupy Movement".

This question, I fully appreciate, is likely to attract huge differences of opinions. As far as the Department of Justice is concerned, our stance is clear and firm. We would, as always, adhere to the two-stage approach set out in the Prosecution Code. This means that no prosecution will be made unless: firstly, there is sufficient admissible evidence to demonstrate a reasonable prospect of conviction, and secondly, commencing prosecution will be in the public interest.

By applying this approach, we can ensure that any prosecutorial decision is only made on the basis of the applicable law, the admissible evidence and the public interest. The corollary is that other considerations such as the suspects' social status, their political affiliations or political views would not be taken into account. The exclusion of these irrelevant considerations is of utmost importance, especially for the purpose of discharging our duty under Article 63 of the Basic Law, as well as maintaining public confidence in the criminal justice system and the rule of law generally.

From time to time, persons charged with criminal offences (especially offences relating to public order events) asserted that they are victims of political retribution. By reason of the prosecution policy we adopt, such allegations are completely groundless, and are often made with a view to gaining political mileage. The Department of Justice would never allow prosecution to be used as a political instrument, still less as a means to achieve political revenge.

In future, when persons charged with a criminal offence repeat this kind of allegations, I would invite you to consider two questions: Have these people been convicted by the court after due process? Can it be sensibly suggested that our independent Judiciary is not discharging their duty properly by confining to law and evidence when making judicial decisions? A rational analysis of these two questions will dispel any contention of political persecution. Further, if a person can escape prosecution simply because his or her political stance is upheld by certain sectors in the community as a noble cause, that would in effect mean that our prosecutors are being subject to the influence of political thoughts, and that such a situation would be wholly contrary to the rule of law.

A proper understanding of how the criminal justice system operates is essential to maintaining public confidence in our rule of law. To guard against unnecessary misunderstandings, it is important that the community appreciates the difference between the approach adopted by the Department of Justice to decide whether prosecution should be made, the test adopted by the Police when effecting arrest, and also the test adopted by the court when deciding whether to convict a defendant after trial.

Police officers are entitled to effect an arrest provided they have a genuine and reasonable suspicion that the person in question has committed a relevant offence. They are not required to consider matters, such as public interest, which would have to be considered by the Department of Justice. Due to such differences, the mere fact that an arrested person is not subsequently charged with any criminal offence does not necessarily mean that the Police have made a wrongful arrest; nor does it necessarily follow that the prosecutors have failed in their duty to commence prosecution.

Judges, on the other hand, will only deliver a guilty verdict if the offence is proved beyond reasonable doubt, which is a threshold higher than that adopted by prosecutors. Accordingly, the mere acquittal of a defendant does not necessarily mean that the defendant should not have been arrested or charged in the first place.

Arbitration and Mediation
Moving on, if I may, to the Government's policy to promote Hong Kong as a centre for international legal and dispute resolution services in the Asia-Pacific region. This policy brings benefits not just to the legal profession, but to Hong Kong as a whole as it enhances Hong Kong's competitiveness and international image as an international financial and commercial centre. I am happy to report that considerable progress has been made during the past legal year.

In the context of arbitration, we have set up the Advisory Committee on Promotion of Arbitration. This Advisory Committee, comprising representatives of the key stakeholders and eminent members of the arbitration community, will be responsible for overall co-ordination and strategic planning for the future development and promotion of Hong Kong's arbitration services. We are confident that this Advisory Committee will take the promotion of Hong Kong's arbitration services to a new height.

In November last year, the China Maritime Arbitration Commission (CMAC), a leading maritime arbitration institution in the Mainland, set up an arbitration centre in Hong Kong, which is its first arbitration centre outside the Mainland. The presence of CMAC in Hong Kong will further strengthen our status as an arbitration centre, and consolidate Hong Kong's status as a shipping and logistics hub.

Last week, the Central People's Government and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), an internationally renowned arbitration institution based in the Hague with a history of over a century, signed a Host Country Agreement on the conduct of dispute settlement proceedings in Hong Kong, whilst Hong Kong signed the related Memorandum of Administrative Arrangements with PCA. The arrangement set out in these two documents will facilitate PCA-administered dispute settlement proceedings to be conducted in Hong Kong. Not only will this arrangement enable us to attract more international investment arbitrations to be conducted in Hong Kong, it represents a vote of confidence on the legal system, legal infrastructure and the rule of law in Hong Kong.

In the context of mediation, the Steering Committee on Mediation is making good progress in its work. Amongst others, the study on the need to introduce an apology legislation to facilitate settlement of disputes is entering its final stage. We anticipate we shall be in a position to issue a consultation document within this year.

Looking ahead, we will continue with our efforts to promote the use of mediation as a means of dispute resolution, as well as to promote Hong Kong's mediation services to local and overseas end users. General mediation aside, we will be moving towards the promotion of sector-specific mediation. In addition to medical and building management disputes, one of the key focuses in the coming years will be the use of mediation as a means to resolve intellectual property disputes, and we will explore the use of evaluative mediation on top of facilitative mediation. With our expertise and experience in intellectual property, we believe this new direction will further enhance Hong Kong's status both as a regional dispute resolution centre and as an intellectual property trading hub in the region.

Concluding Remarks
Ladies and gentlemen, Hong Kong is admittedly facing formidable challenges. However, we owe it to Hong Kong and to our future generations to resolutely maintain the rule of law, so as to provide a solid foundation for the pursuit of constitutional development, democracy, social justice and other worthy causes. With our strong fundamentals, our top quality judicial and legal personnel, and the joint efforts by all the relevant stakeholders, I have every confidence that our rule of law will remain robust and sustainable.

On this note, may I wish all of you a happy and rewarding 2015.



也找到了 馬道立 的英文演辭 Full Text

【News.Gov.HK】Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal Geoffrey Ma gave this address at the ceremonial opening of the legal year 2015.


Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma:

In the review of any year in Hong Kong, it would be right to make the comment that the community has faced challenges. The year 2014 was no different and I have no doubt that this year will produce challenges of some sort in Hong Kong. As the community faces these challenges, we must not lose sight of those fundamentals that have benefitted Hong Kong in the past and which continue to do so.

One of the most discussed topics this past year has been the perennially important subject of the rule of law in Hong Kong. An aspect of the discussion has been the extent to which the administration of justice by the courts in Hong Kong is affected by extraneous factors, such as political factors.

Politics has featured much in Hong Kong people's lives this past year. The question remains: To what extent is the work of the courts influenced or affected by factors other than the strict application of the law itself, such as politics or political considerations?

The clear answer of course is that the administration of justice by the courts is not, nor can it be, influenced in the slightest by extraneous factors such as politics or political considerations. The courts and our judges apply only the law.

The constitutional role of judges is to adjudicate on legal disputes between parties. It is no part of the courts' function to solve political questions, but only to determine legal questions even though the reason for bringing legal proceedings may be a political one.

Fundamental rights enforced
The rule of law is the foundation of any society and is essential to the cohesion of a community. Hong Kong has over 7 million people who all want, for themselves and their families, to lead a dignified and productive life. They are entitled to. But different people will obviously have different interests and different priorities. Their points of view will differ, sometimes substantially so.

The cohesiveness of the law ensures that not only rights, particularly what are commonly referred to as fundamental rights, are enforced but that there is an equal respect for other people's rights as well. The law and the administration of justice by the courts seek to achieve a just and proper balance of these widely divergent interests and points of view.

Put simply, the objective is to ensure that fundamental human rights are properly enforced by the courts, and that individual rights and the rights of others in our community are all respected.

How is this achieved in reality? The starting point is an acceptance that everyone is equal before the law. This includes everyone: the Government, the authorities, members of the public. No person, group of persons or organisation can claim to be above the law nor to enjoy any preferential treatment by the courts. This is key to the notion of respect for the rights of other persons.

Judicial independence
Next, it is fundamental to the operation of the law that courts apply only the law and its spirit, and that they do so independently of any outside influences - whether the Government, the authorities, the public or any section of the public.

These features of the rule of law and the administration of justice I have just referred to - equality, fidelity to the law and its spirit, and judicial independence - are fundamental to the operation of the law. They are set out and protected under Hong Kong's constitution, the Basic Law.

The constitutional role of judges to apply only the law is reflected in those provisions of the Basic Law dealing with the exercise of judicial power. Article 84 of the Basic Law states simply that judges shall adjudicate cases in accordance with the law. The Judicial Oath taken by all judges requires adherence to the law and the safeguarding of the law without fear or favour.

Elsewhere in the Basic Law, the qualifications of judges are set out: judges are to be chosen on the basis of their judicial and professional qualities alone. The Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission, which makes recommendations to the Chief Executive regarding the appointment of judges, applies these two criteria. There are no other qualifying criteria which are applicable to judges as a whole.

For the Chief Justice and the Chief Judge of the High Court there is a nationality requirement in that they have to be Chinese citizens who are permanent residents of Hong Kong with no right of abode in any foreign country. There is no such requirement for other judges; the Basic Law provides that judges may be recruited from other common law jurisdictions.

The independence of the Judiciary is of course a key feature of our legal system. The Basic Law makes reference to an independent Judiciary in at least three separate articles. The Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission, to which I have earlier referred, is required to be an independent commission.

Matters affecting judiciary
In last year's address at the opening of the legal year, I identified those features of our legal system which demonstrated that the existence of the rule of law, including the independence of the Judiciary, was not just theoretical but real. Before I refer to recent events to reinforce this, I would like to provide an update on a few matters affecting the Judiciary and access to justice:

* Access to justice is a crucial part of any legal system. There is little point in having a sound legal infrastructure, manned by the best judges, when there are difficulties of access to justice. The Basic Law expressly provides for access to the courts as a right. Legal Aid is an important feature which enhances in a meaningful way access to justice. Legal Aid is available in a number of different types of cases such as applications for judicial review which often involves persons making legal claims against the Government.

* This past year, the Judiciary has been actively reviewing the jurisdictional limits of the District Court as well as the limits of claims in the Small Claims Tribunal, with a view to increasing these limits to facilitate access to the courts.

* Recently, the Legislative Council voted to abolish the "as of right" route of appeal to the Court of Final Appeal. This means of access to the Court of Final Appeal is outdated and has no place in a modern system of law. It allows access based purely on monetary value, thereby promoting an inequality based on monetary value among litigants. I welcome the removal of this provision in our law.

* On the recruitment of judges, this has largely been successful. There are some difficulties in recruitment at the level of the Court of First Instance of the High Court. With this in mind and in order also to address the long-term needs of the whole of the Judiciary, we are conducting various reviews, such as one on the conditions of service of judges and another on retirement age. The important aspect to bear in mind is that it is of crucial importance that the high standards expected of judges are maintained. I have said on many occasions that it is better to leave positions vacant than to have appointments of persons not of the requisite standard.

*This year will hopefully see the relocation of the Court of Final Appeal to the former Supreme Court at Jackson Road, formerly also the Legislative Council. We have been advised by the Architectural Services Department that this is feasible. I take this opportunity to express the Judiciary's gratitude to that department for the sterling work they have undertaken for the community's benefit. The new Court of Final Appeal will be a lasting and tangible symbol of Hong Kong's rule of law. I look forward very much to its opening and welcoming members of the public to visit this historic building.

No politicisation
Throughout the year, the operational requirements and initiatives of the Judiciary have been supported by the Administration and the Legislature. I express my gratitude for this support. It is important to the administration of justice by our courts that we have this support and, importantly, that matters relating to the Judiciary are not politicised in any way.

I now turn to recent events. I will naturally not comment on the political aspects of the "occupy" protests, but wish to say something about their relevance to the rule of law in Hong Kong.

In my view, these recent events have demonstrated the respect that most people have for the rule of law and emphasised once again the pivotal position it occupies in our community. No one has seriously questioned the need for respect for the rule of law and it is easy to see why this is so: it simply cannot be seriously suggested that the rule of law and all that it stands for should somehow not be respected.

The work of the courts, its core activity in the protection of fundamental rights, administering justice equally without fear or favour, is dependent on the knowledge that the community on the whole respects and trusts the rule of law.

The legal proceedings in the courts which took place during the course of the protests demonstrated an adherence to the rule of law. The various injunction proceedings before the Court of First Instance, heard over a number of days by the Judge in charge of the Constitutional & Administrative Law List, meticulously and fastidiously went over every possible legal argument.

Access to justice unimpeded
All parties were given full opportunity to make their submissions before the court. Access to justice was unimpeded; the defendants in the proceedings, represented by Senior Counsel and other experienced counsel, were assisted by Legal Aid. Every step in the proceedings was done according to law and legal procedure, and the proceedings were open to the public to observe.

When the court made its decisions in the various injunction proceedings, it did so according to law and this was plain to see in the detailed, reasoned judgments that were given. When the Court of Appeal rejected applications for leave to appeal from the decisions of the Court of First Instance, the Court again did so explaining in detail the legal reasons for its conclusions.

All this illustrates the practice of our courts: deciding cases strictly according to law thereby fulfilling the constitutional mandate of the Judiciary and being seen to do so by their reasoned judgments being made publicly available. This is the rule of law and the administration of justice operating in practice, and this is precisely how the Hong Kong Judiciary operates on a daily basis. It will always continue to do so in this way.

I would add this: Given all I have said as to the painstaking way in which at times difficult legal outcomes are reached, it is to be expected that the judgments and orders of the courts are respected and complied with.

The recent injunctions granted by the Court were expected by the community to be complied with. After all, every party, and of course this included the unsuccessful parties, had been given a full opportunity to make their submissions to the Court.

No compromise in rule of law
Whatever one's beliefs or motives, the rule of law and all that it represents must be respected by all, whether the Government or the public or sections of it. The rule of law is there to protect our rights and to help achieve the objective of any community: a respect for rights and a respect for the rights of others.

There can be no compromise as far as the rule of law is concerned. It is not something from which there can be any deviation nor can there be any room for bargaining in relation to it. It operates all the time, not just part of the time.

The rule of law is an end in itself and stands alone as one of the important institutions contributing not just to the success of Hong Kong, but to the overall and future well-being of her residents.

It is right to remind ourselves yet again of this fundamental feature of Hong Kong society. We assemble here at the annual opening of the legal year, this year and every year, to acknowledge the importance of the rule of law. All our judges know this and, as you will presently hear from the speeches following mine, it is incumbent on all members of the legal profession to know this as well. I believe the community knows this and is certainly entitled to expect this.

It has been an eventful year for all of us. It only remains for me to wish everyone a fulfilling New Year, with good health and much happiness.




至於大律師公會主席 石永泰 的英文演辭 Full Text Chairman HK Barrister Association Paul Shieh 的演辭也找到了,但是 PDF File 沒法 Copy and Paste 過來,please Click to READ 閱讀


嗜悲 利用很長時間,讀過 三篇 英文演辭一遍,尤其是對無官一身輕的 Paul Shieh 石永泰 12 pages 演辭,如真的沒有時間,推薦給各位值得細讀 first 4 pages 首四頁吧。


後後後記:

雖然沒有 石永泰 的英文全文,有朋友 電郵 了中文譯本,據說是《信報》的

石永泰2015年法律年度開啟典禮致辭全文

大律師公會主席石永泰在法律年度開啟典禮批評政府「開口閉口」提「依法」,有誤導公眾之嫌,並評論公民抗命與法律觀念,認為部分名人扭曲及否定公民抗命原則,呼籲社會不要以眼還眼,分清手法與目的。

以下為石永泰致辭全文:

終審法院首席法官、律政司司長、律師會會長、各位司法人員、法律界同業、來自海外的嘉賓和法律專業團體的領袖、女士們、先生們︰

1.英國其中一位最偉大的公務員,漢弗萊•阿普爾比爵士(Sir Humphrey Appleby) 曾經對他的晚輩伯納•伍利 (Bernard Woolley) 說過︰「演辭不是為現場觀眾寫的。發表演說只不過是把一篇新聞稿發放給各大傳媒必經的例行公事。」

2.除了是一篇很長的新聞稿外,這演說亦是我作為大律師公會主席兩屆任期期滿時的驪歌。

3.香港考試及評核局於2014年11月發表的報告指出,很多中學生對法治概念理解錯誤,以為「法治」的意思只是執行和遵守法律,報告建議學生必須加強認識「法治」。很多一向對法治問題鮮有發聲的人士,也突然興致勃勃地對「法治」這課題侃侃而談。此時此刻,獨立的大律師公會實有必要對這課題作出持平的論述,以正視聽。

4.去年九月五日,我在新西蘭舉行的「世界大律師大會」以「訟辯者在捍衛人權和法治所擔當的角色」為題發表演以下演說︰

「『法治』沒有全球同意的定義。很多國家都聲稱奉行法治,但事實上他們沿用的並不是我們所理解的「法治」概念。充其量只是「以法管治」或者一種十分粗淺原始的「法治」,以法律規範個人的行為,令人們遵守當權者訂立的法規。

這種對法治的看法,好像很動聽。中國——香港的主權國——奉行的那一種『法治』並不是我們一直理解和應用的「法治」概念。她這樣做有自己的原因,我在此不會加諸評價或說三道四。但是不知是否這個原因,香港的官員在他們的公開發言裡出現一種趨勢,就是特別強調法治概念裏面「守法」這一個元素。大家聽來可能會覺得十分滑稽,香港政府近年沾染了一種語言習慣,在解釋它所做的所有事情時,都以『依法』作為開場白,例如:立法會選舉『依法』舉行、警方『依法』拘捕疑犯、政府『依法』施政、政策『依法』制定和落實。開口也『依法』,閉口也『依法』,這也『依法』,那也『依法』,甚麼也『依法』。

對外行人或思想單純的人來說,這些說法聽來好像對『法治』這個概念必恭必敬,尊重「法治」便要遵守法律和依法做事。但諷刺地,我個人和大律師公會卻覺得這種說法或會適得其反,誤導了公眾有關『法治』的意義。

首先,在坐各位都理解『法治』不僅是只懂盲目地『守法』——『法治』概念更包括︰尊重獨立的司法機構、法律條文必對人權作出保障、執法者行使法律賦予的酌情權時必須尊重個人的權利和自由。這些例子都說明「法治」概念遠遠超出單純『守法』。事實上,過份強調民眾必須『守法』(而對其他元素避重就輕或隻字不提),往往是極權政府的特徵——熱衷於利用法律作為整治民眾的工具,而不是用法律約束自己管治的方式。

其次,很多時候公眾或傳媒評論或批評一些政府政策或行政舉措,焦點明明是政策舉措在政治上的優劣利弊,所要求的是政府在政治政策層面的回應,根本不是批評政府違法或超越法律賦予的權力,依照法律訂下的權限行事,是對任何政府的最低要求。官方只懂不斷重覆『依法辦事』這答案,有低貶法律、混淆視聽、『牛頭不對馬嘴』之嫌。不停以『我們依法辦事』回應,尤其會令人誤以為社會上的一些現象,都是法律規定的必然產物(但其實並非如此),「法律」成了代罪羔羊或借口。」

5.「法治」這名詞往往令人想起一些公認自由和文明的政權,帶有正面的含義。隨意亂用「法治」一詞,往往會不慎為一些「以法管治」(Rule of Law) 或「人治」(Rule by Man) 的政權錯誤鍍金,給它們加上名不符實的道德冠冕。

6.尤其是在一些沒有真正獨立的司法機構,法律被任意執行的體制,法院跟政府「合作」,以確保法律按政府喜歡的方法詮釋,用來打壓一些令當權者不悅的人或組織。這往往被包裝為「法治」(Rule of Law),但說穿了其實就是「我以『法』來『治』你」 (Rule by Law)。所謂「依法辦事」,說穿了就是「依我們的意旨辦事」 (Rule by Man)。

7.可幸的是,香港奉行的不是這種體制,但永恆的警惕是自由的代價。


8.我接著要說的是國務院於2014年6月發表的白皮書。很多爭議都圍繞著「法官」是否應該被視作「治港者」。有人將問題歸咎於翻譯。但是,白皮書有關部份的真正問題,其實與翻譯無關。在我們的制度下,法院獨立的行使司法職能。當權者根本不應把任何定義不清的政治要求加諸於他們身上,例如要「愛國」,「維護國家發展利益」云云。

9.當然,我們的法官不會感到任何壓力。但白皮書就香港制度下法官的角色對香港市民及全世界發出了錯誤訊息,也顯示了思維上的鴻溝。在所有奉行我們理解的「法治」概念的體制裡,政府根本不會家長式地對法官下旨和指指點點,要求他們負擔政治任務。這種心態,也許在內地被視作等閒,但在香港卻並不恰當。

10.另一個因白皮書引起的不良後果便是它可能讓香港境外的有心人趁機大造文章,詆毀香港的司法制度。我們獨立的終審法院在剛果共和國一案(FG Hemisphere case)有關國家豁免的一個正常判決竟然被人錯誤定性,用來打擊香港作為國際爭議解決中心的地位。白皮書內有關法院部份的不恰當內容更可能被人作為話柄,污衊和中傷香港的司法機構。

11.但事實勝於雄辯,根據2014-2015年世界經濟論壇全球競爭力報告,香港在司法獨立方面於全球144個地區之中排名第5,於亞洲名列榜首。我們的終審法院不僅在仲裁和商業法方面,也在其他範疇——例如公法和刑事法——得到主要普通法法域的支持。我們有一個真正獨立的司法機構,對案件作出裁決,就算判決結果在政治上不受歡迎,也無畏無懼。我有信心香港法院處理案件的態度,不會因白皮書改變一絲一毫。

12.談到司法獨立,近來有一個趨勢:法官判政府敗訴時,即會被奉為「英雄」,但一旦判支持民主理念的人敗訴,便會有人質疑「法治是否已淪亡」。大家當然也可對法官的判詞從法理角度批評。但不應單純因為法官判支持民主的人士敗訴,便污衊法院助紂為虐或者是向壓力屈服,開始「三權合作」,這種絶對是雙重標準,輸打贏要的心態。此等言論缺乏理據的程度,和某些建制人士認為香港法院判政府敗訴就是「反對政府」或者和政府「對着幹」的評論相比,簡直不相伯仲,難分軒輊。司法獨立的意思是指法院判案時不受雙方的政治取態影響,司法獨立的意思不是指某些人士永遠都是對的。

13. 2014年8月31日,全國人民代表大會常務委員會頒布了關於香港特別行政區2017行政長官產生辦法和2016立法會選舉辦法之決定。

大律師公會對於決定的諸多不合理限制,立場早在決定頒布之前已清楚表達。現在讓我針對性地撮述大律師公會於2014年4月28日提交之意見書中第55至69段的內容︰

(1).提名委員會的大部份成員,應按照一套能確保全體選民均能有最高參與度的規則選舉產生。如果社會上某些界別基於其「功能」而在提委會內得到不符比例的比重,在提委會是否「有廣泛代表性」這方面會備受質疑和爭議。

(2).假若一候選人必須得到超過半數提名委員會成員支持方可獲得提名,這不可能確保選民享有對於候選人有自由和真正選擇。這「少數服從多數」的要求相比2012年特別行政區第四任行政長官之選舉辦法,更屬倒退。

(3).提名委員會必須確保供選民選擇的候選人,無論在數目還是在政見上,都具多元性。為候選人數目設置「二至四名」數字上限,難令人信服。

14.全國人大常委會之決定引發了「雨傘運動」。公民抗命這概念極具爭議性。它涉及違法行為,但歷史上有很多公民抗命導致社會或政治改變的例子。公民抗命是「對」或「錯」不可能籠統地用三言兩語一概而論。但就算運動的發起人也接受,公民抗命這概念的合理性取決於數個約制有關行為的條件,尤其是:公民抗命不應輕言使用,必須用非暴力手法,和願意接受懲罰。法官賀輔明勳爵也指出抗爭者的行為不應造成過份的傷害或不便。大律師公會必須補充,尊重他人的權利及尊重獨立司法機構所發出的命令,也是對公民抗命的限制。

15.雖然總體來說,運動大致和平有序,但隨着時間過去,一些人的實際言行確實在多方面超出了可接受的限制。但遺憾地,很多具影響力的名人卻試圖扭曲甚至否定這些限制,甚至對一些哲學著作進行創意演譯以支持這等言論。例如有些人聲稱不服從民事法庭所頒的命令不算損害法治;有些人辯稱「法治」這概念只是用以約束當權者,又說公民做的任何事都不可能對法治有負面影響,又有橫額寫上「禁制令,怕你有味」的字眼。一些終審法院非常任法官在訪問或研討會作出的一些一般性的概括論述,被斷章取義,奉若神明地錯誤演譯為他們支持和稱許運動中實際出現的言行。有人對運動過火的部份手法作出公允的批評,便被人不分好歹不分敵友地妖魔化,定性為「背棄民主」,又或者被貶義地比喻作村上春樹筆下的「高牆」。任何人如果不去毫無保留和義無反顧地支持運動參加者的所有言行,隨時會人指控為提倡「以法治人」這個打壓人民的概念。此等熱血激情的言論,還在社交媒體賺了好些「讚」或「十卜」(網上語言,即「support」,支持)。

16.古語有云「過猶不及」。這些言論過於極端。法治精神其中一個要素是法律面前人人平等。誠然,政府對人民擁有公權力,而權力容易令人腐化和被濫用,所以在有關法治的討論很自然會強調對政府公權力的約束。但絶不可因此就把事情顛倒,辯稱法治概念只約束政府,但「公民」就算做甚麼事也永不會對法治精神造成負面影響。例如,公然鼓吹違反法院禁令肯定對法治有負面影響,因此等行為直接與獨立的法院對抗,而我們正正是靠獨立的法院幫助我們維持和捍衛法治。

17.吾道不孤-包致金法官在2014年11月23日一個電視台訪問中說過以下一番話:

「很難想像『不服從法庭的命令』為何不會影響法治。雖然這樣做未必會令法治蕩然無存,但確實會影響……有時在某些地方,法律十分嚴苛邪惡,令到反對政權的人要違反及反抗這些惡法......但在香港這個地方,我不認為有這種情況。」

18.前終審法院首席法官李國能先生在2014年11月17日接受媒體訪問時則更加直接和具針對性:「[佔領者]採取的行動不能凌駕法治。這個佔領行動的規模,加上已持續了一段時間,並且法院頒布的禁制令未有受到尊重,這些行動對我們的法治有負面的影響,削弱我們的法治。」

李先生德高望重,桃李滿門,他的門生很多都成了知名大律師,法官和政治人物。他的真知灼見,並非只從一般抽象角度論述,而是針對本地事態每天的發展作出,對公衆了解事情尤其有幫助。他強調了「公民」也不能凌駕法治,也言簡意賅地指出就算是公民抗命也必須尊重別人的權利,不能造成過度的不便,並且必須尊重法庭的命令。崇高的目的和過火的手法其實是可以分開考慮的兩件事。

19.很多人都問,「大律師公會幫誰?」大律師公會並不對任何一方效忠。我們不但獨立於建制,也獨立於政黨,無論政黨的領導多麼顯赫,輩份多高,我們也無須聽命。我們的獨立性,令我們為法治發言時,意見更加持平寶貴。有些人一直以來有一個美麗的誤會,以為我們是某些政黨的「後備球員」,在他們有需要時隨意呼召出來以「法治角度」為他們的政治行為護航。這種想法大錯特錯。建制一方有錯我們固然會勇於指出,對頭頂有政治光環的人士我們也會「是其是,非其非」。其實批評後者比起批評前者需要更大的道德勇氣。我可以肯定,就算我剛才斬釘截鐵地對法治人治,司法獨立,白皮書和人大決定的立場說得多麼清楚,總會有人因為我們沒有說一些他們想我們說的話(或者是沒有用他們喜愛的方式說出)或者因為我們斗膽批評他們而高調地感到不滿。到底我們是盲目支持這一方,還是那一方,抑或只是站在是法治的一方,大家自有公論。

20.很多人指出問題的源頭是8月31日的全國人大常委會決定,也有人指責警方濫用暴力(例如大律師公會譴責的928催淚彈事件),振振有詞說“他們有錯在先,他們更加破壞法治”。然而,兩件錯事加起來不會變成一件好事或對的事,也不應「以牙還牙,以眼還眼」,「你做初一,我做十五」。別人就算做了苛刻、不對、或未能令人信服的舉措,但也不代表過份的反抗行為就能因此被合理化。話雖如此,若認為不斷重覆地把運動官方定性為「違法運動」就可以把全國人大常委會決定的缺憾和人們的不滿置諸腦後,則未免自欺欺人。歸根究底,必須各方都具備開明的態度和政治智慧,才有希望解決我們面對的困局。

21.雨傘運動創造了很多「男神」,但法律的世界「男神」的。女神卻有一個,她就是蒙上雙眼,手持代表公義的天秤的泰美斯(Themis)。一年多前的某個下午,在高等法院附近,一名來自內地的遊客問我泰美斯雕像在那裡,我為她引路步行往舊最高法院(後成為前立法會)大樓,女神就佇立在大樓頂端。沿途經過紅磚建成的終審法院大樓,我順便企圖向她介紹,但她興趣不大,並對我說:「我只想看那蒙眼的女神。」她告訴我她是一名內地律師。

22.這位遊客可能只是一心拍照,然後把照片上載於「微博」和朋友分享。但是在我理想化的心靈裏,我傾向於認為這標誌著內地同業——尤其是年青的一羣——對我們法治概念的嚮往。我們不應低估他們對平等及公義這些普世價值的熱切追求,更不應低估我們固有的法治優勢,不要只和內地法律學生,律師和法官談論一些白紙黑字的技術性法律法規條文或者業務合作,更應把我們眼中的「法治」這一塊金錢買不到的瑰寶對他們介紹和啟蒙。也許有一天,這名女律師不用再跑來香港尋找泰美斯女神——原因不是因為像一些「末日論者」所說的法治在港衰亡,所以再找不到,而是因為平等公義等的法治精神有朝一日終於可以在神州大地植根,遍地開花,觸手可及。

23.現在向各位說「恭喜發財」未免太早,臨別秋波,我在此祝願各位身體健康、好運連連。最後,天祐大家、天祐香港。

香港大律師公會主席

石永泰資深大律師

二零一五年一月十二日



要向這位朋友道謝! 嗜悲顿首 Orz




伸延閱覽:
葫芦里卖的什么药? 人民網
倘打官司 港對長和或失司法權 長青網
习近平:关于《中共中央关于全面推进依法治国若干重大问题的决定》的说明 人民網
馬道立:法院司法工作不能受政治影響 TVBnews.com
Speech by the Secretary for Justice, Mr Rimsky Yuen at the Ceremonial Opening of the Legal Year 2015 January 12 Info.gov.hk
Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma:Rule of law protects our rights January 12, 2015 news.gov.hk
Speech of the Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association at the Opening of the Legal Year 2015 - 12th January 2015 HKBA.org
環球時報 社评:李嘉诚“撤资”内地人受惊就太怂了 環時網




我的舊文:
大法官談白皮書



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