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(中英文对照)The Judiciary and Us 司法与我们的关系

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编者按语:

您觉得司法不公吗?为什么?问题的症结在哪儿?

请您阅读这篇文章,谈谈您 看法。

作者: Teo Soh Lung  张素兰。

 

她是一名退休律师,是《跨越蓝色的大门:一个政治犯的回忆》(BEYOND THE BLUE GATE : RECOLLECTION OF A POLITICAL PRISONE)本书的作者身为退休人士,在闲暇时与友人聚谈、阅读,偶尔也在博客上点评时事,此外,也负责“功能8”(FUNCTION 8)的事务;“功能8”(FUNCTION 8)是个非营利组织,其宗旨事实促进社会经验、政治经验和经济经验的传播和共享。

                      张素兰 1        张素兰 2

On 8 Dec 1988, four ISA prisoners namely Kevin de Souza, Chng Suan Tze, Wong Souk Yee and I were jubilant for we had finally won our appeal. The Court of Appeal comprising Wee Chong Jin CJ, Chan Sek Keong and L P Thean JJ had ruled that we should be freed from detention. We thought we were going home, freed by our courts!

 

 

 

That freedom however turned out to be short lived. Like the 1960s, when Dr Lim Hock Siew and his friends were released on a similar technical error by Wee Chong Jin CJ and promptly rearrested and thrown into deplorable filthy prison cells in Queenstown, we too were rearrested outside the gate of Whitley Prison. The government’s justification for our rearrests was that the Court of Appeal did not rule on the merits of our case but merely on a technical irregularity found in the detention orders. That of course was true even though I felt much aggrieved because my lawyers did not raise any technical issues and I was prepared to fail in the appeal and proceed to the Privy Council, the highest court of appeal at that time. Since 1988, I have not cease wondering why the Court of Appeal had, to put it bluntly, “done me in” with that Dec 8 judgement. It prevented me from proceeding to the Privy Council and compelled me to start my litigation all over again. It gave the opportunity to parliament to pass new laws and amend the Constitution, which abolished judicial review for ISA cases and appeals to the Privy Council.

 

 

 

Recently, I attended a seminar on “The Role of the Judiciary in the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.” It was organised by the European Union. The opening address of H.E. Dr Michael Pulch, EU Ambassador to Singapore who spoke about the judiciary’s role set me thinking about the Dec 8 judgement. Dr Pulch touched briefly on the independence of the judiciary and the institutions that support its independence.

 

 

 

In the speeches and discussions that followed, judgements of our Supreme Court were touched upon. Our judges tend to take a legalistic approach. Strictly, they administer the laws, something I learnt from law school.

Professor Dr Thio Li-ann of the National University spoke of how our judges interpreted the law leaving the necessity to make any amendments or repeal laws to the legislature. No activism for judges! Dr Jack Tsen-Ta of the Singapore Management University commented that our judges tend to give deference to the executive in their judgements.

Before 8 Dec 1988, I was aware that in autocratic countries, the judiciary often tend to take the side of the government. Judges are practical and fully aware of the consequences should they rule against the government.

 

Cases where governments in such countries pass laws hurriedly in order remedy a loophole in the law were well known. But in December 1988, I didn’t expect the Singapore government to join this group of autocratic governments. It did. Indeed, the Singapore government went one step further.

 

It amended the laws to ensure that no ISA prisoner would ever be freed by our courts! It took away the power of our judges by removing judicial review in ISA cases. The laws were to have retrospective effect.

 

 

 

 A constitution may not ensure the independence of the judiciary. A strong legal profession and parliament which respect and treasure the independence of judges are equally important. And lastly, the citizens too have an important role to play if we want to ensure an independent judiciary. Was there any protest by the Law Society against the new laws in 1988? Did the public object to the new laws? Was there any sensible debate in parliament over the new laws?

 

 

 

While the PAP government went about its business of amending the laws and criticising the judgement of the Court of Appeal in unkind terms, no one uttered a word in protest. The Law Society kept a stony silence. In the absence of support from the Law Society, parliament and the people, is it reasonable for us to expect judges to promote and protect human rights? Are we demanding too much from the judiciary? I don’t know.

 

 

Today, many people still live in fear. Parliament remains overwhelmingly one party. The Law Society has since 1986 never commented on legislation which are not referred to it. It has remained ineffective though I am told, has been working hard in many areas of pro bono work and working closely with the government. It may be another symbiotic venture in progress like our trade union.

 

 

I am not optimistic and I doubt we will see any change in the administration of justice. Judgements may be very well written containing brilliant arguments and research. But that is about all, I think. Until the attitude of people and the composition of parliament change, I doubt there will be any change. Prove me wrong.

 

 justice now   人民力量

 

司法与我们的关系

 

作者:张素兰。 她是一名退休律师,是《跨越蓝色的大门:一个政治犯的回忆》本书的作者身为退休人士,在闲暇时与友人聚谈、阅读,偶尔也在博客上点评时事,此外,也负责“功能8”(FUNCTION 8)的事务;“功能8”(FUNCTION 8)是个非营利组织,其宗旨事实促进社会经验、政治经验和经济经验的传播和共享。

 张素兰 1    张素兰 2

 1988年12月8日,四位在内部安全法令下被拘留的政治犯, 凯尔文·德苏沙, 庄瑄芝, 黄淑绍和我,为自己赢得了上诉而欢呼。上诉庭是由黄宗仁, 陈锡强和邓立平的三位高等法院法官组成。他们裁决,我们应该获得释放。我们以为在法院的判决下,我们可以回家了!

 

 

吊诡的是, 这样的自由之身是曇花一现 的。就像1960年林福寿医生(已故)和他的朋友一样,由于大法官 黄宗仁 在技术上犯了类似的错误而获得释放,紧接着迅速的被再次逮捕,他们再次回到那凄惨和肮脏的女皇镇监牢里。我们也是一样。我们在卫特里路拘留所的铁门外被捕。再次被逮捕的理由是上诉庭并没有根据我们的案件特点做出裁决,只是在技术上发现一些不符合拘留令的规定吧了。我感到非常的委屈,因为我的律师并没有提出任何属于技术性的问题,但是那是事实。心理上我已经准备失败,然后准备到枢密院进行上诉。在当时,枢密院是新加坡最高的上诉法院。自1988年起,我没有停止过疑惑,上诉庭会在12月8日的判决采取这么直接了当的陷进(“done me in”)。它阻止我向枢密院上诉,同时,迫使我从头开始进行诉讼。这是要让国会有机会通过新的法令和修改宪法。那就是,废除内部安全法令的司法审核后到枢密院进行上诉。

 

 

最近,我出席了 “司法制度在保障及主张人权方面所扮演的角色”的研讨会。这个研讨会是由欧盟主办的。由 欧洲共同体驻新加坡大使, Dr Michael Pulch, 致开幕词。 当他谈到有关司法扮演的角色时让我想起了1988年12月8日的判决。 Dr Pulch 简明 的谈及有关司法独立性和支持司法独立的机构、组织。

 

 

在接下来的演讲会讨论中,提到我们的高等法院的判决。我们的法官向来奉公守法的采取法律途径。他们严格执行法律条规,这我在修法律课时已知悉。

 

 

国立大学的张黎衍教授在研讨会上提到我们的法官如何詮釋法律,他们有意撇开需要修改或废除的法律,让国会去处理。我们的法官不属于知识的活跃分子。新加坡管理大学的李振达 (Dr Jack Tsen-Ta Lee) 教授在评论时说,我们的法官往往持着恭敬不如从命的心态去执行他们的判决。

 

 

1988年12月8日之前,我注意到在专制的国家里,司法都是倾向于为政府立场辩护的。法官是务实的。他们充分认识到反对政府所涉及的严重后果。

 

 类似这样匆忙的通过修改法律来弥补法律漏洞的例子是司空见惯的。但是在1988年12月8日,我并没有预见到新加坡政府也加入了这些专制的政府的行列。新加坡政府确实是这么做了。实质上,新加坡政府做得比那些专制的政府更上一层楼,显现青出于蓝的表现。

  

修改法律是确保在内部安全法令下不让任何政治犯有机会在法院的判决下获得自由!它废除在内安部个案中法官的复审权力。 有关修订并有追溯效力。

 

 宪法并不等于保证独立的司法。强有力的法律专业组织和国会是尊重和珍惜司法的独立性方面,是扮演同等重要的角色。最后,如果我们要求一个独立性的司法,那么,公民是扮演着一个极其重要的角色。在1988年,律师公会有对任何新法律(或法令)提出抗议吗?公众有对任何新法律(或法令)提出反对吗?国会又有提出任何理性的辩论吗?

 

 

当行动党政府为了自身的利益进行修改法律条款,他们恶言批评上诉法院的判决,却没有人提出任何的抗议。律师公会像石块般的沉默。在没有得到律师公会、国会和人民的支持下,我们是否能够期盼合理的判决得到发扬和人权得到保护?我们是否对司法提出过分苛求? 我没有答案。

 

 

今天还有很多人是生活在恐惧中。国会还是在一党掌控下。律师公会自1986年以来并没有对国会的法律问题提出任何评论。我获知,它为公益计与政府多方面紧密协作;但是据说,它在法律领域里是持续处于没有公正效力的状况。它可能与全国职总一样与政府的操作是属于一体关系。

 

 

我无法乐观。我质疑我们将会看到公正法律行政上的司法改变。判决可能写得非常通畅,包括了精湛的争论和研究。但是,充其量就那么多。除非人们的态度和国会的组成发生变化,我怀疑这一切将会改变。您可以指证我的看法是错误的吗?

 

 

justice now       人民力量

 

One thought on “(中英文对照)The Judiciary and Us 司法与我们的关系

  1. Singapore is a gangster country, under Lee family’s rule, there is no justice in Singapore. Strictly speaking, the judge are also gangsters , Their job that declare more and more Singaporeans become guilty, more people become criminal, they are busy for making their nationals convicted . They are the country practice terrorism

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