學者的迂腐

看到何俊仁提倡集體焚燒區旗的新聞,裡面提到戴耀廷的「癱瘓中環」提到「逼使北京讓香港舉行真普選,而且在堵路行動結束後,參加者應向執法部門自首」。不自禁的嘆了一聲:「爲何如此迂腐?」說罷趕緊去找戴耀廷的原文看看。

戴耀廷在文章裡提到「公民抗命的行動屬違法行為,所以參與者必須在誓言書表明會承擔罪責。」我想戴耀廷不太清楚公民抗命的原理。公民抗命之所以能產生,能被接受,理由是因爲暴政或法律本身不公正。公民有公民權利,不管法律賦不賦予,假使法律,或更廣泛一點說,社會制度侵犯或不容許公民行使他們應有的公民權利,這種法律或制度就是暴政,反抗它並不是犯罪。

我們又實際一點想,世界上有無數人在進行或進行過公民抗命。Rosa Parks違反了種族分離的規定,她是否應該自首?假如奴隸要對抗奴隸制度,組織一次大逃亡的公民抗命,他們又是否要在逃亡後來回來向執法部門自首?華盛頓革命成功後,他是否要隻身(或者帶領整支大陸軍)遠渡大西洋向英國政府自首?說近一點,埃及、突尼斯、利比亞的公民抗命者又是否要去自首?這些對抗行爲的理據就是反抗暴政者符合公民權利,反抗暴政者無罪。因此拉法耶特侯爵才會說:「當政府侵犯人民的權利時,對人民與人民中的各組成來説,起義就是最神聖的權利也是最不可或缺的義務。」

讀者可能以爲香港還沒有去到暴政的程度。這只是語言的問題。英語把暴政叫為tyranny,它的語源是希臘語的τύραννοςtyrannos),意思是「並不根據法律而進行統治的統治者,他看重自己的利益而不是人民的利益,並且運用用殘忍的手法對付他的人民與其他人 」。戴耀廷呼籲公民抗命的目的就是要香港實行真正的,以人民利益爲重的民主政治,要推翻的是不公的政制。如是者公民抗命又何罪之有?就算他要革命也沒有法治意義上的罪(更何況革命無罪,造反有理?),又有何自首的必要?

所以才說戴耀廷的法治概念是自相矛盾。在他的意念中「法」就是「法」,就算「法」的基礎不成立,又或者不合時宜,社會也一樣必須遵守,因爲「有法必依」。不管有理無理,法就是法,永遠也走不出這個泥沼。

又有社會學學者陳健民出來說,「跟中央就民主政制溝通了十年已經等夠了」(轉述)。我想不通爲什麽他到這個時候才會覺得「等夠了」。我想不到有任何歷史案例是人民可以純粹透過談判跟當權者取得民主制度。歷史上,當權者不是敗於革命就是沒有力量持續進行他的暴政。你要與虎謀皮足足十個年頭,也夠迂腐的。

關於集體焚燒區旗一事,這樣會釋放大量二氧化碳,可不可以改爲集體撕裂區旗?

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5 則回應給 學者的迂腐

  1. Bill 說:

    montwithin,

    A602 Title: REGIONAL FLAG AND REGIONAL EMBLEM ORDINANCE Gazette Number: 117 of 1997
    Section: 7 Heading: Protection of the regional flag and regional emblem Version Date: 01/07/1997

    A person who desecrates the regional flag or regional emblem by publicly and wilfully burning, mutilating, scrawling on, defiling or trampling on it commits an offence and is liable-

    (a) on conviction on indictment to a fine at level 5 and to imprisonment for 3 years; and
    (b) on summary conviction to a fine at level 3 and to imprisonment for 1 year.

    It is an offence to wilfully burn or mutilate the regional flag. Your suggestion is also unlawful. Albert Ho is further guilty of incitement contrary to S.101C (1)(b)(iv) Cap 221.

    • 山中 說:

      Yes, I do understand that it is an offence. My point was that if they had to mutilate the flags, it would be better to do that without the burning. Albert Ho could and should make a case about how freedom of expression is infringed upon by the Flag and Emblem Ordinance. Interesting enough, there is only “freedom of speech" in HK Basic Law and I’m not sure if that covers freedom of expression. So, either he could make a case suggesting that the Basic Law is deficient or Art. 27 allows mutilation of flags as a form of political expression. I could be wrong, but I have yet to see anyone making either case. It would be interesting to see whether the defence raise the latter in the recent flag burning case.

    • 山中 說:

      Reading up on Koo Si Yao’s case. He chose to represent himself and didn’t make a case around freedom of expression. Big mistake.

      • Bill 說:

        montwihin,

        Sorry for the late reply. It is settled law. So Koo cannot argue by using freedom of expression. Please read HKSAR and Ng Kung Siu and another FACC4/1999, exactly on this point. I quote,

        “The question in this appeal is whether the statutory provisions which criminalise desecration of the national flag and the regional flag are inconsistent with the guarantee of the freedom of expression."

        In the end, the Court of Final Appeal said this,

        62. Further, whilst the Court is concerned with the circumstances in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China, the Court notes that a number of democratic nations which have ratified the ICCPR have enacted legislation which protects the national flag by criminalising desecration or similar acts punishable by imprisonment. These instances of flag protection indicate that criminalisation of flag desecration is capable of being regarded as necessary for the protection of public order (ordre public) in other democratic societies.

        63. Accordingly, section 7 of the National Flag Ordinance and section 7 of the Regional Flag Ordinance are necessary for the protection of public order (ordre public). They are justified restrictions on the right to the freedom of expression and are constitutional.

        I think Koo can only appeal the severity of the sentence. On summary conviction, the maximum is only 1 year imprisonment. There is no justification to give him 9 months.

  2. 山中 說:

    Bill,

    I do believe it is a legal mess of the highest order. PRC has not ratified ICCPR, so in that system, ICCPR means absolutely nothing. On the other hand, HK Basic Law states that ICCPR and others still remain in force. By this logic, the court can either follow PRC’s system or made an announcement that HK’s has its own jurisprudence. If it choose the latter (choosing the former means chucking the Basic Law away), it cannot merely state that some countries have some laws, since HK is not those countries. Furthermore, if HK is merely a follower of others’ jurisprudence, and knowing that some countries also allow the mutilation of national flags, which jurisprudence should it pick or cherry-pick? Shouldn’t it automatically follow PRC since it is the sovereign?

    In terms of jurisprudence, HK belongs to the common law family, and, as far as I know, literally all major common law countries have no law forbidding the mutilation of the national flag (well, they tried to make laws but mostly failed), and the US has a supreme court ruling saying such law is a violation against the freedom of expression. Therefore, what the court of HK was doing was jumping from its common law traditions to the continental system mid-course. Most flag-burning prohibiting countries are in fact under the continental legal system.

    Besides, there is no victim in such activities (other than the atmosphere, of course). It cannot be argued that the nation or the Admin region is hurt or made less well-off by such act. I don’t see how a prison sentence can be justified.

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