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法官判刑理據:自2019年6月起的公眾秩序活動案件需作特別...

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發表於 2021-4-17 23:36:14 | 顯示全部樓層 |閱讀模式

民陣前年發起8月18日維園「流水式集會」。李柱銘與吳靄儀等多名泛民元老以及壹傳媒創辦人黎智英9人被控組織及參與前年未經批准集結,今分別被判監8個月至18個月,其中4人獲緩刑。區域法院法官胡雅文指出,雖然過往案例均是判處守行為或罰款,但自2019年6月起社會動盪,充滿暴力和破壞,故此後的公眾秩序活動案件需作特別考慮。不過,法官指吳靄儀、何俊仁及李柱銘過往在有不同界別有顯著的貢獻,而認罪的梁耀忠過去亦協助不同社群,故判緩刑。


法官胡雅文指,早前已裁定當日並非疏散計劃,而是有預謀舉辦遊行。雖然辯方力陳當日行動和平,沒有暴力事件發生,亦沒有引起衝突,依案例一般判處罰款;但法官指過往案例均非源於2019年6月起充滿暴力和破壞的社會動盪。法庭要考慮本案事發時的社會環境,納入阻嚇公眾及公開譴責罪行等因素。


官:一般不會對沒案底被告判阻嚇性刑罰 公安罪行屬例外

法官續指,自2019年6月起的公眾秩序活動案件需作特別考慮。眾所周知,當集會人數增多,意味現場情況有機會演變成暴力事件。警方當日為免衝突,減低現場警力。惟各被告們無視警方禁止遊行,組織未經批准集結,刻意犯罪,挑戰法治和秩序,情節嚴重。


除梁國雄以外的被告都沒有刑事記錄。法官指一般而言不會對沒有案底的被告判以阻嚇性刑罰,但案例指公安罪行屬例外。法官也重提基本法保障集會自由,但不是絕對,可依法受限。

法官引用上訴庭法官彭偉昌在公民廣場案中所言,被告人對某個議題感受越深,越希望把主張表達得透切,完全可以理解;但過程中把行之有效的法律視為無理妨礙表達自由,任意抵觸之餘還自我感覺良好,就不容過於寬鬆地判處。這些人不但行為犯法,精神上也藐視及凌駕法律,這種態度一旦蔓延,惡劣後果顯而易見。


庭上表明以18個月監禁為量刑起點 旁聽席上眾人嘩然

法官胡雅文表示會根據個人情況而考慮判刑,包括個人對社會的貢獻等。由於梁國雄及區諾軒犯案前曾舉行公開記招,兩人就組織罪的量刑起點為18個月,其餘被告就組織罪則以15個月監禁為起點,至於參與罪則全部被告均以12個月監禁為量刑起點。兩罪刑罰同期執行。當法官宣佈以18個月監禁為量刑起點,旁聽席上眾人嘩然。

梁國雄因過去曾有多宗案底,沒有減刑理由。而區諾軒在最早階段認罪,他的年紀亦是眾被告中最年輕,當時本應是在他事業的起點,但他求情時指自己將會退出政壇,再因他過往的貢獻,酌情減刑。

法官另指,基於黎智英過往沒有案底、背景良好,以及黎的健康因素與李對社會的貢獻,兩人獲減刑3個月。何秀蘭則因有良好品格,對社會有貢獻,獲減刑7個月。


基於對社會有貢獻 李柱銘吳靄儀何俊仁梁耀忠獲緩刑

此外,李柱銘、吳靄儀及何俊仁背景良好,減刑3個月、李再因其年紀獲額外減刑一個月。法官再指,三人過往在不同界別均有顯著貢獻,獲緩刑24個月。而認罪的梁耀忠因認罪減刑至8個月,再因他過去協助不同社群,對社會有貢獻,獲判緩刑。

法官胡雅文直指判監是唯一選擇。最終黎智英及李卓人判囚12個月、梁國雄18個月、區諾軒10個月、何秀蘭8個月,另外梁耀忠判囚8個月但緩刑一年。至於案中三名法律界人士,吳靄儀及何俊仁同被判監12個月,李柱銘則判囚11個月,但三人同獲緩刑兩年。

【案件編號:DCCC536/20】

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 樓主| 發表於 2021-4-17 23:38:23 | 顯示全部樓層

8.18集結案︱吳靄儀親自陳情:吾為法律忠僕 更以人民為先

8.18未經批准集結案進入求情階段,被告之一吳靄儀今早決定解僱原本代表她的資深大狀何沛謙及其律師團隊,親自陳情。結語引用英國守護法律的天主教聖人Thomas More的遺言稍作修改,自言:「 I stand the law’s good servant but the people’s first. For the law must serve the people, not the people the law.」吳靄儀完成陳詞後,旁聽席上掌聲雷動,良久不息。

吳靄儀在犯人欄內站立,親自陳情,回顧自己的生平。她自言最初不是受司法訓練,而是父母的寬容下,在香港和波士頓修讀哲學,追求真理及減輕人類苦痛之法。其後她於1981年赴英國劍橋大學修讀法律,當時正值中英談判移交香港主權。吳揚言她的一代人一直嘗試保存香港既有的自由和生活方式,又因認為香港亟需擁有自由穩健的媒體,她在獲得律師資格後沒有即時執業,而是先為明報擔任編輯工作。

法治需要聆聽批評 盡量糾正不足
吳在1995年成功當選立法會議員,多年來投身於推動司法教育、改革司法制度和服務。吳強調,公眾對法律專業的信心非常重要,雖然其工作強調耐性,「但當司法的核心價值受挑戰,就需要強而有力的表態」。吳憶述1999年人大首次就「吳嘉玲案」釋法,她與600多名法律界人士發起靜默遊行,堅定表達對終審法院裁決的支持,穩守法律界的士氣。

吳自言在任議員期間,曾參與過百個條例草案委員會。吳指作為大律師,她最清楚條例能否在法庭中實行,需要確保市民的權利不會在立法過程被犧牲。吳亦引述前任美國最高法院大法官Anthony Kennedy在1999年來港的發言,強調司法獨立的重要性,若司法管轄權不足,公眾和法律界就應爭取持續拓展,其目的是為保護人類的自由和尊嚴。

吳指法律關乎良好管治,藉保護公眾的權利,令人信任政府,民選代表則須持續挺身而出。吳指大眾為何要尊重法律,可以有很多答案;她認為如果法治是最接近公義的制度,便可爭取人民尊重,這意味需要聆聽批評,盡量糾正不足。她強調,法律不是完美。

稱立法會內說出漂亮言詞並不足夠 還要投身社會
本案爭議點之一是《公安條例》的合法性,吳重提2000年她在立法會時已指出過條例中長期困擾法律界的內容,促請政府檢討,以免市民拒絕守法。當時會上有人談及公民抗命,保安局局長質疑是「威脅」;吳當時已忠告政府不應排除異見,否則會創造出令公民抗命不可避免的條件。

吳指表達和集會自由是最寶貴的自由,尊重此權利是法治重要元素。吳自言不只在立法會和法庭捍衞自由,並認為單在立法會內說出漂亮言詞並不足夠,還要投身社會當中。當人民集體表達憤怒,她選擇與人民同行,否則她的承諾便屬只說不做。

她提到前年6月9日和12日,有一百萬、二百萬人上街,仍然維持完全和平,贏得世界讚嘆。本案8.18集會遊行,據指有170萬人,但不論有多少人,市民在大雨中堅忍地參與,克制地展示強烈心聲,完全和平進行。

吳表示不能離棄群眾,必須站在一起。她引述美國法官Anthony Kennedy所言,律師要向訴訟人談理據、向社會談公義、向權力談真理。她強調法律應該服務人民,她亦為身為大律師而自豪。

吳最後總結,英國哲學家、守護法律的天主教聖人Thomas More不肯按國王意旨扭曲法律,因而被判叛國罪成處死,其遺言被廣為流傳:「I die the king’s faithful servant, but God’s first.」吳借用來稍作修改:「 I stand the law’s good servant but the people’s first. For the law must serve the people, not the people the law.(我是法律的忠僕,但更首要是人民的忠僕;因為法律必須服務人民,而非人民服務法律。)」

吳靄儀陳情原文:
Your honour,

I am grateful to your honor for allowing me to make this statement about my background and the personal conviction I have held in what I did.

I was called to the Bar in 1988, but my early training was not in law. I had indulgent parents who allowed me to spend 10 years in the university in Hong Kong and then in Boston to study Philosophy. There I learned about rigorous intellectual honesty in the pursuit of truth and alleviation of the suffering of mankind.

It was a sharp change for me to switch to Law in 1981 when I went to Cambridge to read for a Law degree. Those were the crucial years of SinoBritish negotiations over the future of Hong Kong. My generation were embroiled in finding a way to preserve Hong Kong’s freedoms and original way of life after the change of sovereignty. This was so important to all of us that, after I was called to the Bar, I did not immediately start to practice, but took up an editorial post in the Ming Pao Daily News, because I accepted that it was critical to Hong Kong’s future to have a strong free press, and at that stage I had some standing as a political commentator.

I resumed my legal career in 1990, but in 1995 I was persuaded to stand for election in the legal functional constituency. Your honour, the legal profession, steeped in the common law tradition of civil liberty, did not believe in unequal elections, but they considered that so long as there was such a seat, they would not allow anyone to compromise the rule of law in their name. So I was elected as their representative to hold that office in trust for the people of Hong Kong, to use it to uphold the system under which their rights and freedoms are protected by law. I was charged with a dual mission: to do my utmost to prevent legislation that would harm the rule of law, and to safeguard the institutions that underpin the rule of law. At the top of the list was judicial independence, and the administration of justice.

Those were the tasks to which I had voluntarily pledged to carry out.

It meant, first of all, working conscientiously in LegCo’s committees.

I served in LegCo for 18 years (including the year from July 1997 to August 1998 when I was without a seat), and for 17 of those years I sat as Chairman of the Panel of Administration of Justice and Legal Services which had oversight of policies concerning the Judiciary, judicial provisions and establishment, including the allocation of land and costs for court buildings, legal policies, legal aid, the organisation of the legal profession, legal services, and legal education. Numerous issues were brought up, discussed and resolved.

Some of the work required search for novel dispute resolution. At the height of the heated dispute within the profession over higher rights of audience for solicitors, I put the matter before the Chief Justice and respectfully asked him to intervene so that the matter may be resolved, and seen by all to be resolved, on the public interest and not by unseemly turf fight. It was vital for the rule of law that the public continued to have confidence in the legal profession.

The expansion of legal aid’s supplementary scheme, assistance for unrepresented litigants, more user-friendly and helpful free community legal advice were among other examples for which extra effort had to be made to find solutions. Often there were setbacks. In 2002, when Audrey Eu SC was also in LegCo, we worked in partnership with NGOs on a proposal for a community legal services centre, to give people timely and useful legal advice. Although it was rejected by the government at the time, in due course the idea bore fruit elsewhere.

I had found that, frequently, tact, diligence and patience were what was needed. But at other times, when a fundamental value was violated, strong statements and response were required. In June 1999, in the wake of the Court of Final Appeal’s landmark decision on the right of abode in Ng Ka Ling, the NPCSC issued its first interpretation of the Basic Law to overturn the court’s decision. This shook the world’s faith in the power of final adjudication of the court. In protest, on 30 June, I and over 600 members of the legal profession went on a silent march, and stood in quiet respect and in solidarity in front of the CFA building then on Battery Path, to mark our unswerving support for the court in that critical hour, so that the community may not be demoralized.

Your honour, the task in the defence of the rule of law also meant commitment to the process of law-making. I devoted a great deal of my time to vetting bills. It is recorded that I had worked in 155 bills committees. It is vital to the rule of law that the laws passed by the legislature are sound, rights-based, and measure up to the highest standards. For, judges are bound to apply the law as it is not as what they would wish it to be. Lawyers are in a better position than most to know how a piece of legislation would work - or would not work - when it comes to be tested in the courts. In this I worked closely with the profession to whom I will always be grateful. We did our best to see to it that rights were not inadvertently or unnecessarily compromised. The law should give protection to rights, not take them away, especially in Hong Kong, where structural democracy is still absent. The people relied on the law to protect them, and the courts are the ultimate arbiter of the law. We are mindful that when the court applies a law which takes away fundamental rights, the confidence in the courts and judicial independence is shaken, even though the fault lies in the law, not with the judge who applies it, and that would strike at the foundation of our rule of law.

Your honour, the importance of that duty was driven home to me by the words of a distinguished judge - Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court as he then was - when he came to Hong Kong at the invitation of the then Chief Justice Andrew Li to give a speech to the Judiciary and the legal profession on 8 February, 1999. He was deeply moved by the challenges lying ahead of us, and the important role of an independent Judiciary. He submitted: “One requisite for judicial independence is that judges have the jurisdiction, the right, and the official capacity to decide all matters, susceptible to judicial resolution, that are necessary to ensure liberty and human freedom. If a judiciary does not have jurisdiction to this extent, then the members of the bar and the members of the larger society must continue to press to expand the jurisdiction. This is vital, because if the bar and the society seem indifferent to a too-narrow judicial charter, there is a risk that the judiciary will in fact or perception aid and abet a larger scheme to deprive persons of their liberty.”

Those were strong words, your honour, but I recognized their authority, and I had ever taken them as marking the ultimate loyalty a barrister owes to judicial independence. Your honour knows that there is no disrespect, to say that the defence of judicial independence is not for the benefit of judges themselves, but so that they can be in a position fearlessly to uphold the rule of law.

The defence of the rule of law is a two-way street. I believed that the representative of the legal profession in LegCo has a duty also to listen, to consult and explain the law to the community: to alert people to their rights and obligations, to clarify what is obscure, to reduce bewilderment, to invite them to voice their concerns and point out errors, to address those concerns with sincerity, and represent them forcefully to the government, and where their needs cannot be addressed through the law, to work with them towards other solutions.

One of the ways for me to keep in touch with the public was by writing articles to the local press, in plain language accessible to the general reader. For everyone ought to understand the law under which he lives. Throughout those years, and even up to now, I have never abandoned that exercise. Less frequently, I publish academic articles and contributions to academic forums, particularly on matters in need of law reform.

Your honour, working with the government in LegCo had impressed upon me, that the rule of law is not just about the law, but equally about governance. For laws are made for the “peace, order and good governance of Hong Kong”. Laws that protect rights tend to win the people’s trust in their government, and trust facilitates good governance. So elected representatives have the duty to speak up to the government of the day: to advise and counsel, to admonish and to warn, constantly: do our laws take rights seriously? The law is not perfect and lawyers know more than anyone else how imperfect the law is. So why should people respect and obey the law? There are, of course, many answers, but the answer I gave myself is this: we can ask people to obey the law if it is the best approximation to justice. Which implies that we are duty bound to listen to criticisms of the law, and make sincere efforts to make the law better, and correct mistakes as much as possible. Justice is the soul of the law without which the rule of law descends to the level of rule by force, even if it is force by majority.

In the course of this trial, your honour’s attention was drawn to a debate on the POO in LegCo on 21 December 2000. In that debate, I pointed out the defects existing in its provisions. They were defects which had long troubled the legal profession. I warned the government that we must seriously consider reform if we were to avoid the law being disobeyed in desperation. Someone in a panel discussion had raised the issue of civil disobedience and the Secretary for Security had called it a threat. But it need not be taken as a threat, but should act as warning or reminder. I urged the government not to shut out rational discussion for reform, because by its recalcitrance, the government was in danger of creating the very conditions which made civil disobedience inevitable and justifiable: something which none of us wished to see.

Those years in LegCo had repercussions for me for life because, your honour, defending the rule of law means we ourselves must take rights seriously, and that is a lifelong endeavour.

There is no right so precious to the people of Hong Kong as the freedom of expression and the freedom of peaceful assembly. Not only is the freedom to speak the truth the core of human dignity, it is also the last safety valve in a democratic society, as remarked by our illustrious judges repeatedly. Respecting those rights is also part and parcel of defending the rule of law.

I had learned that the rule of law not only has to be defended in court, or in LegCo, but also in the streets and in the community. Your honour, I had spoken countless times in LegCo. But I also realize that it is not good enough for me to make speeches in beautiful words and measured dignity in the precincts of the Legislative Council, shielded by the privilege of absolute freedom of speech and debate, and immunity from legal action. When the people, in the last resort, had to give collective expression to their anguish and urge the government to respond, protected only by their expectation that the government will respect their rights, I must be prepared to stand with them, stand by them and stand up for them. Otherwise, all my pledges and promises would be just empty words.

Your honour, the Hong Kong people is a peace-loving and well-disciplined people. Their resolute self-restraint even in highly emotional situations has been proved time and again. In the critical hours of the handover between 30 June and 1 July 1997, the great event passed without a hitch. In the march of half a million on 1 July 2003, not a single pane of glass was broken. Even in 2019, when over 1 million marched on 9 June, and over 2 million marched on 16 June. The peace and good order of the massive crowds astonished and won the admiration of the world.

And in the incident of the present trial, this was demonstrated again. By the estimation of the organizers, over 1.7 million participated in the day’s event. But whatever the exact figure, the huge and dense crowds in and around the venue, the resolute patience with which the crowds waited in the pouring rain, were captured in undisputed footages preserved for all posterity. The number and the perseverance spoke volumes for the intensity of the feelings in the community, and yet the self-restraint was for all to see. It is not disputed even by the prosecution that the event was entirely peaceful and orderly, without any untoward event. The crowd had kept faith with the organizers who enjoined them to be “peaceful, rational and non-violent”. At such times we cannot be seen to abandon the people but must stand side by side with them, in the hope that peace may prevail.

The positive effect of the peacefulness of that demonstration was acknowledged by the CE, Mrs Carrie Lam 2 days later, remarking that it would facilitate dialogue between government and the public. In the event, the dialogue on that occasion did not continue for long, but it was a step in the right direction. I believe we should nurture hope, and continue, as Justice Kennedy urged upon the legal profession gathered together in that distinguished company: You must speak reason to your litigants. You must speak justice to society. You must speak truth to power.

Your honour, I came late to the law. I have grown old in the service of the rule of law. I understand Sir Thomas More is the patron saint of the legal profession. He was tried for treason because he would not bend the law to the King’s will. His famous last words were well authenticated. I beg to slightly adapt and adopt them: I stand the law’s good servant but the people’s first. For the law must serve the people, not the people the law.

Your honour, please permit me to thank my counsel. Their tireless dedication and excellence have made me proud to be a member of the Bar.

This is my statement. Thank you, your honour.

Dated the 16th Day of April, 2021

(以下為本報記者所翻譯之陳詞中文版本)

法官閣下,感謝您讓我就個人背景與信念作出陳詞。

我在1988年取得大律師資格,但我早期接受的培訓無關法律。我寬容的父母,容讓我在香港及波士頓的大學花了十年,修讀哲學,了解追求真理和減輕人類苦難的知識。

1981年,我毅然轉往法律範疇,前往劍橋讀攻讀法律學位。那是正值中英就香港前途談判的關鍵時期。我們這一代人亟欲尋找一種方法,能在主權移交後維持香港的自由和原本生活方式。這對我們所有人都非常重要,以至於當我取得大律師資格後,我並沒有立即開始執業,而是到《明報》擔任編輯崗位。因為我認為新聞自由對香港的未來至關重要,而且那時我在政治評論方面已有一定地位。

我在1990年恢復了我的法律事業。但是,1995年,我被說服參加法律界別選舉。法官閣下,法律專業人員深深浸淫於普通法的公民自由傳統,不相信不平等的選舉;但是他們認為,只要一日有這樣的席位,他們一日都不會允許任何人以他們之名損害法治。因此,我被選為他們的代表,為港人擔此重任,以維護港人權利與自由受到法律保護的體制。我承擔著雙重使命:竭盡所能阻止損害法治的法例,並且守護支撐法治的制度。排在首位的,是司法獨立和司法公正。

這些是我自願承諾履行的職務。

首先,這意味著要在立法會的委員會中勤懇工作。

我在立法會任職18年,包括1997年7月至1998年8月我沒有席位的那一年。其中17年我擔任司法及法律事務委員會主席,監督司法機構、司法規定和編制的相關政策,包括為法院大樓分配土地和費用、法律政策、法律援助,法律專業組織、法律服務和法律教育。會上提出、討論和解決了許多問題。

有些工作需要尋求新穎的解決方法。例如在事務律師爭取較高級法院出庭發言權的激烈爭端中,我將此事呈交給首席法官,並恭請他介入,以便解決問題,並讓所有人看見問題解決,是為了公眾利益而非不恰當的勢力鬥爭。如此可讓公眾繼續對法律界充滿信心,而這對法治至關重要。

其他例子還包括擴展法律援助計劃、為無律師代表的訴訟人提供援助、更加人性化和有用的免費社區法律諮詢等,這些方面都需要付出額外的努力以尋找解決方案。惟不時也會遇上挫折。 2002年,當資深大律師余若薇也在立法會內,我們與非政府組織合作,提出建立社區法律服務中心,以便為人們提供及時且有用的法律諮詢服務。儘管當時政府拒絕了,但這個想法在其他地方結出碩果。

我發現我們時常都需要機智、勤奮和耐心。 但有些時候,當一個核心價值被侵犯,就需要強而有力的聲明與回應。 1999年6月,針對終審法院就吳嘉玲居留權案作出里程碑裁決後,全國人大常委會首次對《基本法》進行釋法,推翻法院的裁決。這動搖了世界對法院終審判決權的信念。為了抗議,我和600多位法律專業人士於6月30日默默遊行,並在當時位於炮台里的終審法院大樓前團結肅立,以表示我們在關鍵時刻對法院的堅定支持 ,令社會不致灰心喪氣。

法官閣下,捍衛法治,也意味著對立法過程的委身。我花了很多時間審查草案。據記錄,我曾在155個法案委員會工作過。立法機關通過的法律健全、權利為本,並且達到最高標準,對法治至關重要。因為,法官必須根據法律判案,而非隨意而為。與大多數人相比,律師處於較有利位置,能了解一項法例在法庭上受到考驗時,將會如何起作用、或者,不起作用。在這方面,我與專業人士緊密合作。我們竭盡所能,確保權利不會被無意或不必要地損害。法律應該保護權利,而不是剝奪權利,尤其是仍然缺乏民主體制的香港。人民依靠法律保護他們,而法院是法律的最終仲裁者。我們謹記,當法院執行剝奪基本權利的法律時,即使問題來自於法律本身而非實施該法律的法官,對法院和司法獨立的信心也會動搖,從而打擊法治的基礎。

法官閣下,我對於上述職責重要性的覺悟,來自一位傑出的法官、時任美國最高法院大法官安東尼·甘迺迪(Anthony Kennedy)的話。他應時任首席法官李國能的邀請來港,於1999年2月8日向司法機構和法律界發表演講。他對我們面臨的挑戰以及獨立司法機構的重要作用深為感動。他提出:「司法獨立的一個必要條件是,法官必須具有司法管轄權、權利和官方職能,決定所有容易受到司法影響、確保自由和人身自由所必需的事項。假如司法機關欠缺如此程度的管轄權,大律師與社會大眾必須持續敦促當局擴大相關管轄範圍。這是至關重要的。若果大律師和社會大眾對過於狹窄的司法特權漠不關心,便會出現危機,司法機關會令人覺得或者事實上成為剝奪人身自由的幫兇。」

法官閣下,這是重話,但我承認其權威,我甚至把它們視之為大律師應該給予司法獨立的最高忠誠。 當我表明捍衛司法獨立不是為了法官本身利益、而是使他們能夠無所畏懼地維護法治,法官閣下應知我無意冒犯。

捍衛法治是一條雙程路。我相信立法會的法律專業代表也有責任聽取意見、向社會諮詢和解釋法律:提醒人們其權利和義務、澄清晦澀之處、減少困惑、邀請大眾表達他們的關注並指出錯誤、以真誠的方式解決問題、強而有力地代表他們面對政府,並在法律無法解決他們的需求下,與他們一起尋求其他解決方案。

我與公眾保持聯繫的其中一種方式,是以通俗易懂的尋常語言,在本地媒體為普羅大眾撰寫文章。每個人都應該了解他賴以生存的法律。 過去數年直到現在,我從未放棄過這種做法。我有時也會發表學術文章和貢獻學術論壇,特別是在需要法律改革的問題上。

法官閣下,在立法會與政府的合作,給我留下深刻的印象,明白法治不僅與法律有關,同樣與管治有關。製定法律是為了「香港的和平、秩序和善治」。保護權利的法律,往往會贏得人民對其政府的信任,而信任有助於良好的管治。因此,代議士有責任向當今政府表達意見,不斷提供諮詢、建議、告誡和警告:我們的法律是否認真對待權利?法律並不完美,律師比其他任何人都知道法律有多不完善。那為何人們要尊重並遵守法律?當然,這問題可以有很多答案,但是我給自己的答案是:如果這是最接近公義的法律,我們可以要求人們服從。這意味著我們有責任聽取對法律的批評,作出真誠的努力,使法律變得更好,並竭盡所能糾正錯誤。公義是法律的靈魂,沒有公義,法治只會淪落到暴力管治的水平。

在這次審判過程中,2000年12月21日在立法會舉行關於《公安條例》的辯論,引起法官閣下的注意。在那次辯論中,我指出條文中存在的缺陷。這些缺陷長期困擾法律界。我曾警告政府,如果我們要避免法律在絕望中遭到違反,就必須認真考慮改革。小組討論中,有人提出了公民抗命的議題,保安局局長稱之為威脅。不過,這不必視作威脅,而應作為警告或提醒。我敦促政府不要拒絕對改革進行理性討論,因為若政府不肯進行改革,有可能創造出特殊條件,令公民抗命變得合理和不可避免,如此並非我們所樂見。

立法會的那些年對我的人生影響深遠,因為,法官閣下,捍衛法治意味我們自己必須認真對待權利,而這將是畢生的課業。

言論自由與和平集會自由對香港人來說是最寶貴的權利。正如我們傑出的法官們一再指出,說出真相的自由不僅是人類尊嚴的核心,也是民主社會的最後一個安全閥。尊重這些權利也是捍衛法治的重要一環。

我了解到,法治不僅要在法院或立法會中得到捍衛,也必須在街頭和社區中得到捍衛。法官閣下,儘管我在立法會上發言無數次,但是我也意識到,在絕對的言論和辯論自由、以及免於面對法律訴訟的特權庇護下,在立法會莊嚴環境內以優美的言語發表演講,並不足夠。當人民在不得已的情況下,不得不集體表達他們的痛苦,並且敦促政府作出回應,惟他們的保障卻只得對政府會尊重他們權利的期望,我必須隨時與他們站在一起、與他們站在一起,並為他們站起來。否則,我所有的承諾將只是空話。

法官閣下,香港人愛好和平、紀律嚴明。 即使情緒高漲,他們堅毅的自我約束也一次又一次得到證明。在1997年6月30日至7月1日主權交接的關鍵時刻,這一重大事件順利進行。在2003年7月1日的50萬遊行中,沒有一塊玻璃被打破。即使在2019年,6月9日有超過100萬人遊行,6月16日遊行人數更超過200萬。 群眾的和平與井然秩序, 震驚了世界,亦贏得了世界的欽佩。

同樣,透過今次審判所涉的事件,再次得到印證。根據組織者估計,當天有超過170萬人參加了該次活動。但是,無論確實數字如何,場地內外巨大而密集的人群、在傾盆大雨中堅決耐心等待的人群,都被保留在後世也無可爭議的鏡頭之中。 無論情感多強烈,眾人的自我約束仍是有目共睹。 即使控方也沒有爭議,該事件是完全和平有序的,沒有任何不幸事件發生。群眾與組織者堅持信念,要求「和平,理性和非暴力」。在這樣的時刻,我們不能拋棄人民,而是必須與人民並肩站在一起,希望和平能夠佔上風。

行政長官林鄭月娥於活動後兩天也承認和平示威的積極作用,表示這將促進政府與公眾之間的對話。雖然對話最終沒有持續很長時間,但這仍是朝著正確方向邁出的一步。我相信,我們應該培養希望並繼續下去,正如大法官甘迺迪呼籲法律專業那樣:「您必須對訴訟人談理由、對社會說正義、對權力講真話。」

法官閣下,我是法律界的後進,惟隨著我為法治服務,我變老了。我知道托馬斯·莫爾爵士(Sir Thomas More)是法律界的守護聖人。他不願違反法律以遵守國王的意願,因叛國罪而受審。他著名的遺言得到了充分的驗證。 我懇求稍加修改並採用:「我是法律的忠僕,但更首要是人民的忠僕;因為法律必須服務人民,而非人民服務法律。」

法官閣下,請容我向代表我的律師團隊致謝。他們努力不懈和表現卓越,使我因身為大律師一員而感到自豪。

這是我的陳詞。謝謝法官閣下。
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