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區院陪審團?

2017/8/21 — 11:45

資料圖片:旺角騷亂,圖片來源:朝雲 攝

資料圖片:旺角騷亂,圖片來源:朝雲 攝

Jury for District Court? (Please scroll down for English summary)

今年,香港區域法院審訊大量非法集結、暴動、縱火等罪名被告,涉及一六年旺角魚蛋警民衝突及一四年雨傘革命等政治示威事件,動輒判入獄三年或以上,不少市民認為係政治迫害。雨革後,無陪審團的區院定罪率遠高於有陪審團的高院。區院無陪審團多年來備受評擊,一五年立法會曾討論此事,多數議員支持區院增陪審團,然律政司推搪耗費資源龐大,聲稱香港司法獨立,無陪審團,法官判案都好公正。陪審團可避免職業法官受政治或上級影響的問題;高表決門檻的設定,可降低判決錯誤率。大部份文明國家都有陪審團或參審員制度,美國憲法規定可判監六個月以上的案件須有陪審團。英美加等國陪審團人數通常高達十二人(最少六人),香港僅得七人。美國陪審團表決須全體通過方可定罪,香港則只須大比數通過。本文主張區域法院的被告可有權揀由陪審團定法官裁決,以保障異見人士人權,免受政治迫害。

雨革後區院定罪率遠高於高院

廣告

二零一零年區域法院經審訊後定罪率為七十五點三巴仙,高院原訟法庭七十一點七巴仙;二零一四年,區域法院審後定罪率大增至八十九點一巴仙,而高院僅得六十四點二巴仙;二零一六年區院審後定罪率七十二點巴仙,高院僅得五十六點五巴仙。即是二零一四年雨傘革命後,無陪審團的區域法院定罪率遠遠拋離有陪審團的高院。

區院無陪審團備受評擊

廣告

區院刑事案最高可判監七年,區院所有法庭其實均設陪審員座位,但並無陪審團,多年內備受評擊。高院原訟庭刑事案則定有陪審團。

二九年區院包括認罪案的定罪率為九十二點三巴仙,高院原訟庭九十一點七 (零九年香港區院審後定罪率六十九點二巴仙; 高院六十五點三巴仙),在澳洲較高法庭,被告定罪率只有五十七巴仙。另一方面,中國最高人民法院本年遞與人大的報告謂二零一六年全國審案一百一十二萬宗,其中僅有一千零七十六人無罪釋放,即定罪率達百份之九十九點幾。(連結

香港資深大律師CLIVE GROSSMAN 在刑事案參考書ARCHBOLD HONG KONG 2010序中,表明香港定罪率直追北韓,根據統計數字,被捕人士幾乎一定要坐監。GROSSMAN 認為香港定罪率高源於香港法官假定控方警察證人一定為誠實可靠的證人。(連結

陪審團優點

陪審團勝在可彌補職業法官缺乏社會經驗、不知民間疾苦的問題; 可避免職業法官受政治力或上級影響的問題; 可減輕職業法官收受賄賂的問題; 一致表決或高表決門檻的設定,可降低判決錯誤率,以及避免隱藏於一般大眾思維中的偏見主導判決(七人或十二人中總會有一兩人的想法與眾不同)。法官都係人,法官都會攪錯事實,但陪審團有七人(香港)或十二人(美國),七個人或十二個人都錯的機會細好多。(連結 )陪審團最重要的資產,是具有審理「新鮮感」,更為謹慎,更容易堅持無罪推定原則,同時將對於人情世故的認知與考慮帶入審判當中。(連結)英國司法部二零一零年報告研究五十萬單案,結論:陪審團公正效率高。(連結

立法會辯論陪審團制度

陪審團制度應擴展到區域法院,保障刑事案政治犯人權。此事二零一五年已在立法會辯論過,郭榮鏗等人推動,黃毓民力撐,連謝偉俊都支持,但港共藉詞須動用太多資源、滋事體大,要深入研究等,側側膊,置之不理。

二零一五年六月二十二日,立法會司法及法律事務委員會,討論是否將陪審團制度引入區域法院的審訊。大律師公會代表蔡維邦歡迎建議,指可讓法官處理法律問題,陪審團處理事實裁定,這種分工可提高審訊的公正程度。法律界議員郭榮鏗亦認同擴展陪審團制度,可令公眾減輕對政治審判的憂慮。民主黨何俊仁指,被告應有權選擇由陪審團定法官審判(連結)。

刑檢專員楊家雄說,《基本法》及《香港人權法案條例》並無賦予刑事法律程序中的被告選擇審訊方式的權利,如要改變,需要詳細深入研究,而且必須有強而有力的理據支持方可展開研究。楊稱擴展陪審團的概念看似簡單,但對有關單位的資源影響不容忽視。 政府提交的文件顯示,如擴展陪審團制度至區院,需要額外三千五百平方米地方,增加職位的年薪需要合共一千六百七十萬元,陪審團津貼每年需要六百八十五萬至一千一百八十萬元,另雜費一百七十多萬元。會上,大部分議員均贊成擴展陪審團制度。法律界議員郭榮鏗話,與佔領行動有關的案件,不少在檢控上均出現問題,倘被告可選擇陪審團審理,會多一重保障。(連結)(其實,香港政府大把錢,大白象工程,如高鐵,耗資下下成千億,擴展陪審團的經費根本不成問題。)

陪審團緣起

陪審團為法律制度,一班未受過法律訓練的素人參與審訊法庭案件。陪審團制度源於英國,陪審員本是街坊證人,公審熟人;中世紀社會崩潰,城市發展,陪審員角色變成根據法庭上呈現的證供,決定案件事實。到了十五世紀,陪審團制度取代非理性審訊模式,例如刑求,成為普通法刑事及民事案既定審訊模式。

各國陪審團制度

一般提到陪審團,大家即刻會想到英美法系(亦稱普通法系、海洋法系)國家,例如英國、美國、加拿大、澳洲、新西蘭、印度、香港等。但其實目前採用陪審團制度的已遠不只上述國家,例如英國的鄰國愛爾蘭,歐陸的比利時、西班牙、北歐的挪威、瑞典、南美的巴西。 當代史上,德國一八四八年至一九二四年曾行陪審團制,一九二四年起改成持續至今的平民參審。日本於一九二八年 至一九四三年亦採此制,廢止後恢復僅由職業法官審判的制度,直到二零零九年引入同德國平民參審類似的裁判員制度。芬蘭無陪審團制度,但其地方法院的審判團包括一名法官、一名受過法律訓練的人,加上三位平民法官,任期四年,由市政局選出。平民充當法官係履行公民責任,而非打工,所以功能近乎陪審員。法國的用語 Cour d'assises 和意大利的用語 Corte d'Assise 雖亦稱陪審,但其實類似德日芬蘭的參審。

美國獨立宣言指責英王佐治三世剝奪美國人在許多案件中的陪審團審訊權。美國憲法第三章訂明所有審訊都必須有陪審團。

陪審團人數及票數門檻

陪審團表決的票數門檻各國不同,例如: 香港陪審團的表決以多數票決定(至少五比二)。 加拿大和美國的陪審團在刑事案件中,不論有罪或無罪的決定都需要一致決;民事案件則只需要多數決。 英國各王國的規定不同。英格蘭和威爾斯的陪審團原則上需要一致決,但在僵持不下時,法官可以裁定只需要十比二或十比一的票數。

香港特區沿用英殖時代普通法。基本法第八十六條訂明香港之前行的陪審團原則繼續維持。高院刑事案設陪審團,通常有七人,須至少五比二大多數,方可達成裁決。另一方面,英美加拿大陪審團通常有十二人,更為客觀。

Since the beginning of this year, the Hong Kong District Court has been trying a lot of cases of unauthorized assembly, rioting, arson, etc. in connection with political demonstrations like the 2016 Fish Ball police-civilian conflict and the 2014 Umbrella Revolution. The sentences are frequently over three years' imprisonment, and quite a few Hong Kong citizens think that it is political persecution. After the Umbrella Revolution, the conviction rate in the District Court (which does not have a jury system) has been much higher than that at the Court of First Instance (High Court) with jury trial. (The 2010 conviction rate after trial in the District Court is 75.3 percent; that in the Court of First Instance is 71.1 percent. The 2014 conviction rate after trial in the District Court is 89.1 percent; that in the Court of First Instance is 64.2 percent. The 2016 conviction rate after trial in the District Court is 72.8 percent; that in the Court of First Instance is 56.5 percent.)

The lack of juries in the District Court has been severely criticized. Clive Grossman SC, one of Hong Kong's most senior barristers, has put down in the preface to the annually published criminal law reference book, Archbold's Hong Kong 2010, which has enjoyed a lofty prestige in the profession: "Any person who is arrested on a serious or relatively serious charge is almost certain to be convicted, and since the convictions are in the district and high courts, imprisonment is almost always the norm...The high rate of convictions is founded on the comforting assumption that prosecution witnesses, including the police... always tell the truth!"

On 22 June 2015, Legislative Council Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services discussed whether the jury system should be extended to the District Court. Most law-makers supported it but the Attorney General maintained that it would require an exceedingly huge lot of resources, and claimed that the Hong Kong Judiciary being wholly independent, judges were able to handle cases justly even without a jury.

The jury system can deal with to a good extent the possibility of professional judges being subject to political or superior influence. The high voting threshold lowers the probability of wrong verdict. "Juries bring with them the freshness and insights of those who are new to the system and have not become case-hardened or cynical" (Paul Mendelle, 2010).

The judiciary of most civilized countries has either a jury system or a lay judge system. Article III of the United States constitution provides that the trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury. The number of jurors in a jury in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada is usually 12 (though in some cases it could be 6), while that in Hong Kong is only 7. In the United States,  the jury must be unanimous in its verdict, whilst in Hong Kong only a majority verdict of one to six or two to five is required. This article advocates that defendants in the District Court be entitled to choose whether the offence he or she faces is to be tried by judge and jury or by judge alone, so that political dissidents can be protected to a certain extent from political persecution.

 

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