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高等法院上訴庭法官
高奕輝致報章公開信

Legal issue is what is at stake

It has recently been suggested in some quarters here that a "re-interpretation" of the Basic Law by the mainland National People's Congress may serve to relieve the Government of the Hong Kong SAR from the inconvenience of implementing the "right of abode" decisions of the Court of Final Appeal, without doing any damage to the most difference, within our "one country", between the "two systems," it embraces, that is, the mainland's "system", and the SAR's "system".
1 refer to the rule of law, a concept perhaps less well understood on the mainland than in the SAR
In this connection, it is worth recalling the words of Wilson J in In re Bachand
v. Dupuis [1946] 2 DLR 641, at pp. 645, 655 "The whole value of the legal system - the integrity of the rule of law - is at once destroyed if it becomes possible for
official by arbitrary decisions made, not in the public court rooms but in the private office of offcialdom, without hearing the parties, without taking evidence, free of all obedience to settled legal principles, and subject to no appeal, effectively to overrule the Courts ..."
It might make for more informed debate if those involved in it could be brought to understand that what is at stake here is a legal issue, not a political one.
 
source: South China Morning Post, 13 May 1999

司法問題正處於危險境地

最近有譽論認為由人大常委會「重新解釋」基本法有關居港權的條文既能紓緩特區政府執行終審法院裁決的壓力,又不會惡化一國中的「兩制」,即大陸的制度跟特區所行的法制的根本的矛盾。
我指的是兩種制度對法治不同的理解。大陸對法治這個概念的理解,可能較特區政府模糊。
關於這點,我想引用Wilson J 在Bachard V. Dupuis〔1946〕2 DLR 641,(645及655頁)一案中的話:「如果官僚可以隨便在法庭以外,既沒有嚴肅的法律指引,沒有提証,沒有答辯,更沒有公聽的情況下,例如隨便在某某的辦公室內,便可推翻法庭的裁判,則整個司法制度,法治的精神,將被徹底摧毀。」
如果所有牽涉居港權及其討論的人士,能夠明白,由此至終此案都只是司法爭論,並非政治,則社會譽論之福矣。

轉載自南華早報1999年5月3日
(中文翻譯由香港正義和平委員會提供)

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There has been speculation that the invitation from the Government to the central authorities to "interpret" the Basic Law in a manner inconsistent with the Court of Final Appeal's interpretation of the Basic Law on the "right 
of abode" issue might prompt judges to resign.
It should not do so.
Of course, any judge who respects his oath of office must apply an interpretation of the Basic law made by the Court of Final Appeal and must disregard interpretations made by other (even by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress) obtained otherwise than in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Basic Law.
But there is no need for a judge to resign, even if this happens. If he finds that an interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People's of Congress has been properly obtained, he will do his duty and disregard it. The political fall-out, either way, will not be a matter for him.

由於政府呈請中央政府就居港權問題,對基本法作出與終審法院不一致的解釋,外間猜測此事可能會引致法官辭職。
這種情況不應發生。
當然,任何尊重自己任職誓言的法官,都一定會採納終審法院對《基本法》所作的解釋,並且一定不會正視其他人(甚至人大常委會)不按照基本法有關條文所訂途徑而取得的解釋。

不過,即使如此,法官也毋須辭職。他若發覺人大常委對《基本法》的解釋是循正當途徑獲取,他會盡其責任予以採納;他若發覺有關解釋並非循正當途徑取得,他則會盡其責任不予正視。兩者引起的政治爭拗都與他無關。

(轉載自蘋果日報1999年5月20日)