Lena Zhong. Journal of Contemporary China. "The Politics of Wrongful Convictions in China"

Recently a series of high-profile wrongful convictions in China have undermined public confidence with the criminal justice system and the official stress on ‘ruling the country by law’. This article aims to further the scholarship on wrongful convictions in China by investigating the characteristics of 141 erroneous convictions (206 defendants) in which the defendants are declared factually innocent by a court. These cases allow an examination of the direct contributing factors (such as mistaken eyewitness identification and forensic errors) and underlying political factors (such as the form of political–legal work as led by the Party/State and the political importance in maintaining social stability) for wrongful conviction in China. The analysis enables us to develop more effective countermeasures against wrongful conviction in the Chinese context.

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Aaron Halegua. Marianas Variety. "The Need for Meaningful Oversight"

Aaron Halegua. Marianas Variety. "The Need for Meaningful Oversight"

We are individuals and groups concerned by the labor abuses that transpired at the Imperial Pacific construction site.

The confiscation of worker passports, failure to pay workers the minimum wage, high rates of injury and even deaths, and retaliation against complaining workers have all been well-documented. In order to prevent future exploitation, we support the proposal to establish an independent and transparent monitoring mechanism in which the voice of workers and their representatives plays a crucial role.

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Alvin Y.H. Cheung. ChinaFile. Who's to Blame for Hong Kong's Weakening Rule of Law?

January 23, 2018

Rimsky Yuen, Hong Kong’s third Secretary for Justice, stepped down in early January. He leaves his department, and the city’s reputation for rule of law, markedly worse than they were when he took office in July 2012.

According to the Department of Justice’s website, the Secretary for Justice’s role is to act as “guardian of the public interest in a wider sense.” Yet Yuen’s tenure has been marked by attempts to wield the law against political opponents, a refusal to defend the courts from unfair and racially-charged criticism or Beijing’s attempts to strip them of their power, and a steady attack on the foundations of Hong Kong’s constitutional order. Far from fulfilling his constitutional duty to speak up for the rule of law in Hong Kong, he has been a willing collaborator in Beijing’s sustained campaign to undermine it.

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Ira Belkin. Justice in the PRC: How the Chinese Communist Party Has Struggled with Managing Public Opinion and the Administration of Criminal Justice in the Internet Age

Ira Belkin. Justice in the PRC: How the Chinese Communist Party Has Struggled with Managing Public Opinion and the Administration of Criminal Justice in the Internet Age

The influence of Chinese public opinion on individual criminal case decisions is a phenomenon that has received a great deal of attention in China and around the world. Some commentators have lauded the phenomenon as empowering the public to seek justice in Chinese courts. Others have expressed concern that following public opinion may achieve justice in an individual case but does little to improve the justice system.

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USALI Affiliated Professor Eva Pils Quoted in Reuters Article

June 5, 2017

China activists fear increased surveillance with new security law

By Christian Shepherd

(Refiles this May 25 story to add "Chinese" to advocacy group's name in paragraph 13.)

By Christian Shepherd

Chinese activists say they fear intensified state surveillance after a draft law seeking to legitimize monitoring of suspects and raid premises was announced last week, the latest step to strengthen Beijing's security apparatus.

Half a dozen activists contacted by Reuters say they already face extensive surveillance by security agents and cameras outside their homes. Messages they post on social media, including instant messaging applications like WeChat are monitored and censored, they said.

The draft of a new law to formally underpin and possibly expand China's intelligence gathering operations at home and abroad was released on May 16.

However, the law was vaguely worded and contained no details on the specific powers being granted to various state agencies.

"State intelligence work should...provide support to guard against and dispel state security threats (and) protect major national interests," the document said.

The law will give authorities new legal grounds to monitor and investigate foreign and domestic individuals and bodies in order to protect national security, it said.

Public consultation for the draft ends on June 4. It is unclear when the final version may be passed.

Hu Jia, a well-known dissident, said the release was met with fear and despair in his circle of reform-minded activists, where it was seen as a sign of strengthening resolve in the ruling Communist Party to crush dissent.

"Before, the party acted in secret, but now they have confidence to openly say: 'We are watching you'," Hu told Reuters.

"The law is also partly to frighten people ahead of the 19th Party Congress; to tell them to be careful, to be quiet," he added. Hu was referring to the once in five years congress of the Communist Party likely to be held in October or November in which President Xi Jinping is likely to further cement his hold on power by appointing allies into the party's inner core.

Read the entire article here.

Peter Dutton. Isaac B. Kardon. LawFare. "Forget the FONOPs — Just Fly, Sail and Operate Wherever International Law Allows"

Written by Affiliated Professors Peter A. Dutton and Isaac B. Kardon

On May 24, the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) operated within 12 nautical miles (nm) of Mischief Reef, a disputed feature in the South China Sea (SCS) controlled by the People’s Republic of China, but also claimed by the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The Dewey’s action evidently challenged China’s right to control maritime zones adjacent to the reef —which was declared by the South China Sea arbitration to be nothing more than a low tide elevation on the Philippine continental shelf.  The operation was hailed as a long-awaited “freedom of navigation operation” (FONOP) and “a challenge to Beijing’s moves in the South China Sea,” a sign that the United States will not accept “China’s contested claims” and militarization of the Spratlys, and a statement that Washington “will not remain passive as Beijing seeks to expand its maritime reach.” Others went further and welcomed this more muscular U.S. response to China’s assertiveness around the Spratly Islands to challenge China’s “apparent claim of a territorial sea around Mischief Reef…[as well as] China’s sovereignty over the land feature” itself.

But did the Dewey actually conduct a FONOP? Probably—but maybe not. Nothing in the official description of the operation or in open source reporting explicitly states that a FONOP was in fact conducted. Despite the fanfare, the messaging continues to be muddled. And that is both unnecessary and unhelpful.

In this post, we identify the source of ambiguity and provide an overview of FONOPs and what distinguishes them from the routine practice of freedom of navigation. We then explain why confusing the two is problematic—and particularly problematic in the Spratlys, where the practice of free navigation is vastly preferable to the reactive FONOP. FONOPs should continue in routine, low-key fashion wherever there are specific legal claims to be challenged (as in the Paracel Islands, the other disputed territories in the SCS); they should not be conducted—much less hyped up beyond proportion—in the Spratlys. Instead, the routine exercise of freedom of navigation is the most appropriate way to use the fleet in support of U.S. and allied interests.

Read the entire article here.

Margaret K. Lewis. CFR. "What Would Trump Do if There Were Another Tiananmen Incident?"

May 31, 2017

Margaret K. Lewis is a professor of law at Seton Hall University School of Law and a Fulbright research fellow at National Taiwan University School of Law.

As the world reflects on this week’s anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests and subsequent violent crackdown by the PRC government, it is worth contemplating what President Donald J. Trump would do if faced with a similar situation. When asked about Tiananmen during the campaign, Trump said he was not “endorsing” China’s response, but he called the demonstrations a “riot.” Would President Trump see a riot or a massacre if the events of June 4, 1989, were replayed today?

The U.S. bombing raid in April that President Trump linked to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against civilians suggested that human rights would be prominent in shaping foreign policy. Yet President Trump’s remarks during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia and praise for leaders with deeply problematic human rights records, such as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, caution otherwise.

Specifically regarding China, in March 2016 the Obama administration joined eleven other countries in issuing a rare statement expressing “concern[ ] about China’s deteriorating human rights record” and calling on China “to uphold its laws and its international commitments.” The United States was noticeably absent a year later when eleven countries—including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom—sent a letter to the Chinese government expressing “growing concern over recent claims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in cases concerning detained human rights lawyers and other human rights defenders.”

The Trump administration is admittedly not breaking the mold: U.S. government policy towards China has always been, at least to some degree, pragmatic. President Jimmy Carter entered office with human rights as a cornerstone of his foreign policy. Nonetheless, even he recognized the United States’ many interests when dealing with China and normalized relations. President George H. W. Bush suspended military contracts and technology exchanges with China following the Tiananmen Square massacre. President Bill Clinton, however, restored China’s most favored nation trading status four years later and quickly relaxed rhetoric that China must make significant progress towards conforming with international human rights standards.

While the tension between principles and pragmatism is not new in U.S. policy towards China, the current dismissive attitude towards human rights is jarring. The past four months indicate that policy decisions based on immediate economic and security calculations will prevail over long-held human rights values. As I have argued elsewhere, this is a mistake. Addressing human rights in both a principled and pragmatic way requires not just stating that human rights matter in the abstract but also articulating an integrated, executive-branch-wide plan for how human rights will be raised in various contexts.

Read the entire article here.

Justin Shen. 司法周刊. A Study on Citizen Participation in Criminal Trials in European Commission Countries.

Visiting Scholar (2016-2017) Judge Justin Shen from Taiwan published an article in the Judicial Journal (司法周刊), where he examines the institution of citizen participating in criminal procedures in multiple European Commission countries and how that impacts criminal procedure regarding evidence rules, discovery, adjudication and appeals. Read the article here (Chinese language only). 

Eva Pils. Jane Henderson. King's Law Journal. "BREXIT and International Relations: The Impact of Brexit on Relations with Russia and China."

In autumn 2016 Affiliated Professor Eva Pils co-published the artile considering the likely impact of Brexit on relations between the United Kingdom, China, and Russia.

INTRODUCTION

This paper considers the likely impact of Brexit on the relations between the United Kingdom and two significant states on the world stage: Russia, which is physically the largest, and heir to one of the Cold War superpowers, and China, which is the most populous, and which some think may be the next superpower. In discussing this impact, we also address how Brexit affects the EU’s relationship with Russia and China.

This question can be conveniently considered from three different (though interacting) perspectives. First, what impact will the change in Britain’s EU status have on individual Russian/Chinese or UK citizens wishing to travel to, invest in or trade with the other state? Secondly, what change is likely between Russia/China and Britain on a state-to-state level? Finally, both the UK and Russia/China belong to some important international organisations; will Britain leaving the EU impact on its place in these other organisations in relation to Russia or China?
 

A. Russia

England (and later, the UK) and Russia have a long history of interaction, sometimes as friend, sometimes as foe. Tsar Ivan Grozny (Ivan the Terrible) would have liked to have married Queen Elizabeth I (or failing that, one of her maids in waiting) but was refused. The first Russian Emperor, Peter the Great, stayed in London from January to April 1698. As during his preceding visit to the Netherlands, he worked in the dockyards to learn about shipbuilding. (He also had some notoriously drunken parties.) This led to a sadly brief period of unprecedentedly warm relations between Britain and Russia. During the following century, Jeremy Bentham’s works were of interest to Prince Potemkin, one of the lovers of Empress Catherine II (Catherine the Great). In early nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries respectively the desires of Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler to expand their empires put Russia on the same side as Britain; in the 1850s during the Crimean War they opposed one another as part of the then ‘Great Game’ waged between the British, French, Ottoman and Russian empires. Lenin also spent time in London

B. China

Historically the most important thing about Sino-British relations is these relations’ principal origin in colonialism. British historians usually note (not always without gloating about China’s subsequent surrender to British power and influence) that when George III’s emissary arrived in China in 1793 to request that the British be allowed to establish more extensive trade relations on their own terms, his gifts were graciously accepted, but the request rejected with the message,

As your Ambassador can see for himself, we possess all things. I set no value on objects strange or ingenious, and have no use for your country’s manufactures. This then is my answer to your request to appoint a representative at my Court, a request contrary to our dynastic usage, which would only result in inconvenience to yourself … 22 Emperor Qianlong, letter to George III, 1793, available in translation at <http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/qianlong.html>.View all notes

Chinese historians will of course comment on the ‘unequal treaties’ that, inter alia, ceded Hong Kong and, later, its New Territories to Britain, and the memory of the humiliation33 The term conventionally used is ‘national humiliation’ (guochi).View all notes and wreckage colonialism brought to China is symbolised, to many people's minds, by the ruins of wanton ‘punitive’ destruction that can still be seen in Yuanming Park in north-west Beijing.44 Sheila Melvin, ‘The Ruins of Yuanmingyuan’ (ChinaFile, 4 May 2012) <www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/caixin-media/ruins-yuanmingyuan>.View all notes

When the UK, in October 2015, received the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and President of the People's Republic of China (PRC) Xi Jinping with extraordinary pomp—taking him to Buckingham Palace in a golden carriage and repeatedly using the phrase ‘golden relationship’ to predict a glorious shared future of exchange and partnership55 Shi Zhiqin and Lai Suetyi, ‘Xi's Visit to Kick Off a Golden Age of China-UK Relations’ The Diplomat (15 October 2015) <http://thediplomat.com/2015/10/xis-visit-to-kick-off-a-golden-age-of-china-uk-relations/>.View all notes—some saw in this a poignant reversal of fortunes. But there were many concerns about China's numerous rule of law challenges, at a time when the UK, like other European countries, seemed to have its own, different, struggles with adhering to and endorsing human rights standards.

A few months later, Brexit seemed likely to add to anxieties and concerns about what is already a complex and challenging relationship,66 Tom Phillips, ‘China, Britain and Brexit: Vote to Leave EU Robs “Golden Relationship” of Its Lustre’ The Guardian (London, 30 June 2016) <www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/30/china-britain-and-brexit-vote-to-leave-eu-robs-golden-relationship-of-its-lustre>.View all notes even though in terms of immediate consequences for individuals (see section II.B) there is little that can be predicted with any confidence at this point. China's influence on and in a Britain that is no longer part of the EU is set to generate legal and political challenges.

For the complete article please click here.

Jerome A. Cohen. The Silencing of Gao Zhisheng. CFR (Council on Foreign Relations)

China is increasing spending on the World Expo in an attempt to confirm the country's arrival on the world stage, but there is also a far darker side to China's rapid development and to the Expo itself: the silencing of a growing number of protesters. Police brazenly warned Shanghai's most famous dissident, Feng Zhenghu, to keep quiet or be "disappeared" like Gao Zhisheng. 

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只谈法治·不分统独

本文出处:2010年8月19日 中国时报
孔杰荣(柯恩)

自我开始在香港南华早报和台湾中国时报发表两周一次的专栏文章,已整整两年。这些评论文章大部分是关于中国大陆、台湾或两地当前的法律和司法议题,以及自2008年马英九出任台湾总统以来,两岸和解进程中的政治法律议题。

我所探讨的均为敏感性话题,无论是有关刑事司法、法律职业,还是如何建立一个好的政府。我试图起到建设性批评的作用,指出问题,引起关注,并提供可能的改进方案。

对于中国,我既非支持共产党,也非反对,而是寻求当前政府下的改良。对于台湾,我既非蓝也非绿,我所支持的是台湾过去二十年在民主和制度化进程中所进行的改革,这些改革成就非凡,是中华历史一座重要的里程碑。

当我开始撰写这些专栏时,一些台湾观察家认为,马总统是我的朋友,也是我以前的学生,我会给予他不遗余力的支持。其他人则期待我会站在民进党一边,因为我不但与我的另一名前任学生、前副总统吕秀莲是朋友,且我一向反对国民党过去在台湾长期专制时期施行的镇压。但我肯定,所有这些期望到我这里都落空了,因为我尽力不让友谊或政治过往模糊我的焦点,开放民主执政、人权保护和法治建设对我来说,才是最为重要的议题。

我的期望同样也落空了,因为台湾有些人在分析法律和政府议题时,不就事论事,而是基于台湾过热之党派斗争,以对哪一方产生影响为依据。出人意料的是,在中国,由于不容许反对党的存在,则关于改革的批评与建议都集中在问题的是非曲直上,而非对党派的影响──至少从表面来看是这样的。然而,近来一股上升的“爱国主义”浪潮,使得更多的作者将原本负责任的分析,代之以显示“爱国”情操的辞藻。

在此背景下,当我得知上海国际问题研究院台湾事务研究员赵念渝近期以一冗长篇幅对我之学术立场进行抨击,我并不感到诧异。如同包括美国在内许多国家的“爱国主义者”,他问道,意见不同的外国人为什么不能“少管闲事”。

为什么一个外国评论家会建议,如此重要的ECFA(两岸经济合作架构协议)在被台湾立院通过之前要接受逐条审查?为什么他坚持,认定台湾前总统陈水扁的贪污罪行必须基于一个检方和法院行为均无可质疑之审判?为什么这个评论家要督促法务部停止试图惩戒积极为陈水扁辩护之律师?为什么他要呼吁成立独立委员会,以调查检方对贪污罪是否“选择性”起诉?并且,为什么他会要求台湾政府允许被流放居住在华盛顿特区、维吾尔独立运动的领袖热比娅入境?

在赵看来,问题的答案只有一个。在研究了我的许多文章之后,他得出一个结论,即我必然是“绿色”。他指责我打着客观评论员的旗号,表面上以台湾之最优利益为己任,实则私下拥护台独,恨不得马总统的国民党政府下台。

赵完全无视我提出建议时根据的理由。对他来说,无论是加强议会民主制和透明度,给予前总统一个无可非议的公正审判,保护积极辩护的刑事律师,通过对选择性起诉的独立调查重建公众信任,还是接受争议性的来访者从而使信息自由最大化──所有这些政策都只是企图阻挠两岸和平和解进程的假面具。

无疑,赵极不情愿直接面对这于其不利的真相。他无法找到任何有关于我支持民进党台独的言论。此外,他不得不承认,在那篇遭其责难的关于ECFA的文章中,我和我的同事指出,在两岸未就“一个中国”原则达成共识的情形下,马总统仍成功地与北京之间签订了超过十二个重要的协定,最终签署了ECFA,我们表示这些成就值得称许。

任何客观的读者必然可以看出,我们赞成ECFA以及马英九所带来的和解进程。可惜,赵声称,若理解不错,则即便是在这些段落中,我也在运用律师的语言,巧妙而隐晦地表达我对马所取得的两岸间成就合法性的质疑!

我对台湾各方法律改革提出的建议,在赵看来都是暗中拥护台独,他还将此归结于我不理解中华文化。很显然,他认为如果我理解中华文化,就不会提议加强议会民主制和政府透明度、建议给陈水扁公正的审判、保护刑事辩护律师、倡议建立独立委员会以消除对检方是否公正的怀疑、或加强公众对相关信息的知情渠道。虽然赵质疑的是我个人是否有能力深入理解中国文化,但他却提出,希望“所有爱好管事的美国精英”都到中国和台湾落户二十年,接受开明教化以求理解“一个中国”政策的正确性。

我也同意孔子对人之可教性的信仰。但我希望,赵不至于需要另外二十年,才能懂得领会这些事情的价值:包括行政部门对选举产生之立法机关负责、法律正当程序、积极的刑事辩护、独立调查委员会以及不受限制的信息流通。此外,正如台湾杰出律师、国民党重要顾问陈长文近期所强调:“法治是两岸之间创造可长可久的稳定与和平,不可或缺的基石”。而他可不是“绿色”。

(作者孔杰荣 Jerome A. Cohen,纽约大学法学院亚美法研究所共同主任,外交关系协会兼任资深研究员。原文请参www.usasialaw.org。亚美法研究所研究员韩羽译。)

人道第一 抢救刘晓波

出处:2010年10月14日 中国时报

作者:孔杰荣(柯恩)

衡量刘晓波在上周五获得诺贝尔和平奖所产生的影响,除获奖者本人外,至少有六个群体应纳入考量。一是通过扼杀异见维护统治的中国共产党领导人;二是夹在党的政策与法治要求中间,左右为难的法律精英;三是目前以刘为重要象征的一群异议人士及“维权人士”;四是人数甚众,也更加多元化的一批努力想要调和中国传统、“西方化”、民族主义和普世价值的知识分子;五则是在此之前对刘一无所知的普罗大众,他们对刘与他人共同起草的民主宣言《零八宪章》也闻所未闻,尽管该宪章迄今已有约一万人签署;最后则是国际社会,因刘晓波获奖再度燃起对中国政治体制性质的关注。

中共领导人,即便自三年前召开的共产党第十七次代表大会起,就以日愈严苛的镇压式手法统治这个国家,但对于阿尔弗雷德·诺贝尔这个军火制造者最近一次抛出的重磅炸弹,也无法置之若罔。他们旋即作出了极为糟糕的回应。领导人依旧“失声”,外交部却宣称,诺贝尔委员会的决定,是对该奖项宗旨的“亵渎”。与此同时,警方也将一切国内的庆祝活动扼杀在襁褓之中。刘晓波的妻子刘霞,仅仅见了狱中的丈夫短暂一面,就被软禁起来。公开的支持者们,不是被拘禁,就是遭到殴打或威胁。即便是国务院总理温家宝,虽近几周频频示意赞成普世价值与政治改革,以致引发人们各种猜测,但被问及对获奖事宜的看法时,却选择保持沉默。

然而,政治局委员何其聪明,他们知道以保持沉默和镇压的手段,无法化解眼下的挑战。不可否认,当一九八九年达赖喇嘛获得诺贝尔和平奖,以及另外一些虽不那么有名,却同样重要的奖项颁布之际──如异议人士胡佳获得欧洲议会颁发的萨哈罗夫奖,以及盲人“赤脚律师”陈光诚获得菲律宾的麦格赛赛奖──这一招曾非常奏效,帮助中共平安渡过由此引发的风波。但眼下的情况,却颇有愈演愈烈之势。

当然,刘获奖带来的影响在许多方面还不甚明朗。刘晓波不太可能立即获释。毕竟,胡佳也还身陷囹圄,而陈光诚,即便在服刑期满后,也仍然被软禁在家。但是,鉴于二零一二年将产生新一届政治局常委,刘的获奖,或许会引发对此间席位角逐的关注,甚至于产生影响。许多坐卧不宁的中共干部,在未来领导人的选择上,会倾向于那些能够积极应对来自国内外人权压力的人选。

诚然,中国迅速成长起来的法律精英群体中,有许多人都会乐于见到这样的改变。自党的十七次代表大会以来,中共发布的法律政策频频倒退,其任命的高层法律官员,虽政治性强,专业方面却不合格。这一系列问题,都对中国数十万的法官、检察官、律师、行政官员以及法学教授的日常工作产生了影响;尽管他们中多数都是中共党员,却也在不断与这种现象搏斗。刘的获奖,唤起他们对普世价值的记忆──这个中国自七九年起的法律改革所一贯秉承的价值观;同时也让他们想起了,中共一意孤行,对其自身引入的准则阳奉阴违,其不断加剧的态势,已经遭受到外界的抵制。原本,在比较保守倒退的中共组织,和比较自由化的法律精英之间,“红”与“专”的紧张关系就酝酿已久,蓄势待发,刘此番获奖,无疑更热化了这一冲突。

一个更明显的群体,则是在这个国家中,受到四面楚歌的异议人士及“维权人士”,以及勇于为这些人辩护的律师,刘获奖的消息对他们来说如同注入一剂强心针。这些言论自由和法治的支持者,一直以来孤军奋战,非常渴望得到国际社会对于他们所作出的牺牲的认同,哪怕这种认同令他们遭受到更惨重的镇压。

与异议人士和“维权人士”不同,大部分中国知识分子选择避免正面冲突。他们对于这个国家的国情、目标和政策,有着各自不同的理解。不过,不论他们给改革开出怎样的“处方”,他们都相信,为了避免引起中共的镇压,这只能是一个耐心的、长期不懈努力的过程。他们中的一些人,不愿因此丧失中国社会经济进步带给其的可观利益。其他人,则当然是害怕需要他们以身殉道。不过,刘的获奖,对他们正在进行的关于中国传统、当前面临的窘境,和未来方向的争论,无疑是火上浇油。

由于党政府对媒体和网路的控制,中国好几亿人此前对刘晓波和《零八宪章》闻所未闻,因此要衡量该奖项带给他们的影响,就比较困难。拜这一周来大规模的封锁消息运动所赐,他们中大多数人恐怕仍然对刘晓波获奖一无所知。此外,中国政府似乎摆出想要“借力打力”的架势,在尽可能地强加其单方面解释之后,逐步开放了消息。然而,此番获奖已被称作是一种“侮辱”,是帝国主义的最新阴谋,通过否定中国的价值体系和丰功伟绩,来羞辱中国人民。

该奖项对于外界的影响,无疑是最显而易见的。所有民主国家的政治领袖,以及民意,绝大多数都为这一选择欢欣鼓舞。甚至是致力于台湾和中华人民共和国之间达成历史性和解的台湾总统马英九,也建议立即释放刘。国际社会达成鲜明共识,一致支持诺贝尔委员会主席所表述的原则:“当其他人无法站出来维护自己的时候,我们有责任为他们发声”。

继一九八九年六月四日之天安门惨案后,这是中国领导人作出的最有违人道之举。

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(作者孔杰荣 Jerome A. Cohen, 纽约大学法学院亚美法研究所共同主任,纽约外交关系协会兼任资深研究员。作者义务担任刘晓波之妻刘霞的法律顾问小组“现在自由”(Freedom Now)之成员。英文原文请参www.usasialaw.org。亚美法研究所研究员韩羽译。)

“中国特色的社会主义法律体系”

出处:2011年3月31日 中国时报

作者:孔杰荣 (柯恩)

约瑟夫• 斯大林在苏联臭名昭著的“大清洗运动”的巅峰时期,曾说过这样一句话:“现在的我们,比任何时候都更需要法律的稳定性”。那时的他风头正劲,为肃清数百万政治敌人,操控苏维埃法律体系于股掌之间。

中国全国人大常委会委员长、同时也是在中共中央担任重要职务的政治局常务委员吴邦国,在其新近所作常委会年度工作报告中宣布:中国已形成了“中国特色社会主义法律体系”。他的报告表明,比起孟德斯鸠的理论,中国共产党更愿意继续遵从毛泽东思想,且拒绝三权鼎力,和其他西方模式的、将政府置于法律框架之下之制度。吴在报告中详述了中国目前已经公布的法律、法规、解释以及其他法律规范的范围和数量,意在为他关于中国“涵盖社会关系各个方面的法律部门已经齐全”的说法提供事实依据。但是,这个中国共产党建立起的法律制度,其性质又是什么?

最近发生的一些事件,在外国政府专家、记者、商界人士、社会科学家以及律师之中,引发了就这一重要问题的新一轮讨论。同时,无论是中国本土上述人士,还是立法者、警察、检察官、法官,甚至包括普通民众,但凡置身于这场实时的、重大而复杂的变革之中,都在做着类似分析,只是不得不以一种更加无声的方式进行。

吴邦国强调,鉴于“有法可依”的问题已总体解决,“有法必依、执法必严”的问题就更为突出。吴在报告中说,“法律的生命力在于实施”,这想必连批评者也会赞同。但是,无论是上访人员、政治活动人士、独立的非政府组织、网路部落客,宗教践行者,还是那些设法通过法院渠道解决政治敏感性冤情的人群,以及想帮助他们的律师,却在承受日益严苛的镇压。这种镇压,不仅无视那些有限仅存的法律确认的权利,且变本加厉,超出法律体系界限之外。创立这种法律环境的初衷,在于推动国内经济、对外贸易、技术转让及投资,也确在这些方面发挥了积极作用,且还将继续在当前发展中扮演正面角色。然而,一旦论及政治和民主权利,法律和实践的“脱节”便突显出来,且在以堪忧的速度加剧。

相对于“中国特色社会主义法律体系”这一概念,“中国共产党政治法律体系”的说法更能准确描述当前情况。这体系毫无疑问是“中国”的,可同样生根于“中国”的台湾法律体系,在台湾解严后的民主化进程中,却逐渐演变成为一个迥异的制度。 中国大陆的体制很显然是“社会主义的”,因为中国在许多领域仍遵循苏联法律体系路径,该体系由毛泽东在斯大林当权后期引入,并在中国的土壤上生根发芽。

人们往往忽视了,即便前苏联社会主义联邦已解体若干年,其法律模式仍继续影响中国。中国大陆的“党国”法律制度,依旧沿着列宁主义的组织和意识形态前行。自一九七八年,邓小平将中国从“文化大革命”中拯救出来,搞活经济,实行改革开放;可惜,他并未就法律体系进行同样程度的变革,而在立法和执法机关设置方面,重树了苏联法律模式。

为了进一步促进并体现中国取得的巨大经济发展成就以及随之而来的社会变革,中国法律及其实践部门逐渐超越苏联模式,变得更加完善、历练。法律教育和研究领域以惊人的速度发展壮大,越来越有权利意识的民众希求正义的实现。成千上万的、因积累经验而更加自信的法律专家受此鼓舞,竭力敦促在实践中给予司法部门更多自主性,而这一切,都在对中共的垄断统治造成威胁。

自零七年中共第十七届全国代表大会召开以来,我们目睹,领导层为保住党对法律体系的绝对统治,不惜倒行逆施。相对少数的一些有胆有识的律师,一直试图挑战这场新的“社会管理”运动。所谓的“社会管理”,是中共“用新瓶装旧酒”,试图以一九四九年之前用来统治农村“解放区”的意识形态诉求,以及儒家思想强调的“和谐观”,来为目前以警察统治主导的法律体系寻找正当性支持。

在邓小平的领导下,中共早在一九七八年就明确定位了法律的功能:向本国人民和国际社会显示政府正当性;建立一套高效的国家机器及规范,约束个人行为、指导经济发展;促进国际商业合作;解决人民和经济组织之间的纠纷;为人民生活提供基本保障,防止再度发生中国在二十世纪共产党上台前后反复出现的专制和动荡。在今天,法律依然继续发挥着上述功用,尽管无法面面俱到。

目前的问题在于,中国的这个体制反而受中国经济成功所累,因为经济进步所带来的,不仅是一个蓬勃发展、教育良好、需求旺盛的社会,还有随之产生的大量经济与政治矛盾,包括巨大的贫富差距。法律机构没有跟上社会前进的不法;面对与日俱增的社会和政治动荡的预兆,以及国外的“颜色革命”和“茉莉花革命”引发的可见的威胁,党领导下的政府并未选择进行改革,反而求诸于镇压。

对镇压手段的依赖,给予了前公安部长周永康领导的中共中央政法委,以及由周安排的、负责法律体系的职业警官(亦是党内官员)前所未有的巨大影响力。这导致在司法执法过程中,职业化的法律考量被进一步弱化,那些仍试图透过正式法律渠道为四面楚歌、饱含不满的个人和团体申冤的律师,则面临更加严酷的镇压。也正是这种理念,导致了“社会管理”、“维稳办”这种超法律的“制度创新”的出现。这些部门和正规警察一样,负责清查“偏激的思想”,无论这种思想是出自中国最破落的乡镇,还是在最负盛名的高校。这一切,都是不断发展变化、且遍布全国的公安部门“人民战争”的一部分。至少,就政治和民主权利的保护而言,这才是“中国特色社会主义法律体系”的现实写照。

Jerome A. Cohen. Will China's Next Leaders Take the Rule of Law Seriously? SCMP (South China Morning Post)

As China's Communist Party elite prepare to select the country's leadership for the coming decade, to what extent does concern for the rule of law affect their deliberations?  Will the successor to Zhou Yongkang, the Politburo Standing Committee member who controls the legal system, favor continuing lawless repression or seek to subject both Party and government to the law on the books that is often ignored in practice?

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薄熙來對法治的貢獻

英文原文请见孔傑榮教授2013年8月27日周二发表于南华早报(英文版)的特约专栏.

作者:孔傑榮(柯恩)

要實現彰顯大國風範的法治,中國需要具備遠見、智慧和膽識的領導人。數十年的經濟、社會和法制發展使得中國民眾倍加期待一個公平、公正且在相當程度上擺脫政治和貪污影響的法制體系。萬事俱備,只欠領導人物。

我一度曾認為,薄熙來憑藉其才智、對世界的開放姿態,以及在主政重慶之前所展示出的領袖魅力,或許會成為這樣的一個領導人。他在重慶充分利用了毛澤東時代的宣傳和手段,其在這個過程中所展現出來的政治投機主義,如果已經助他一臂之力躋身高層的話,我想,同樣的投機主義或許會促使他轉向另一個方向——為自己爭取把法律的正當程序、司法獨立和公平審判帶給人類五分之一人口的歷史角色。薄熙來利用毛澤東思想佈局,一場豪賭,一敗塗地。然而,歷史卻以奇特的方式演進。

凡熟知薄熙來在擔任重慶市委書記時種種作為的人,大都不會預言薄熙來對中國政治最終的貢獻是幫助改革派奮力將中國帶上依法治國的道路。主政重慶的五年間,薄熙來對於刑事司法制度而言是一個徹頭徹尾的災難。時任重慶市公安局長王立軍惡名昭彰,助紂為虐,薄熙來主政期間充斥著非法的電子監控——他們甚至對中國共產黨中央領導人實施監聽,對私有財產進行任意搜查和扣押,肆意拘禁和逮捕他人,數以千計的受害人遭到不幸。他們實施駭人聽聞的酷刑,不僅頻繁對嫌疑人刑求,強取虛假口供,而且還索性將其作為案件進入正式司法程序之前的懲罰手段,有些時候甚至對涉案人員實施致命性懲罰。通過恐嚇辯護律師和操控法官和檢察官,薄熙來和他的部下把刑事案件變成悲劇和鬧劇,在令其名聲大噪的「打黑」期間,一些打擊對象在毫無公平可言的一審和上訴程序之後被處決。司法機關本應該對薄熙來踐踏人權的行為一併進行追訴,不過卻沒有這麼做。

然而,在薄熙來的庭審過程中,儘管他過去的同志們對其處處設限,但是比起毛主席遺孀江青在1980年至1981年間公審「四人幫」的電視轉播中的所作所為,薄熙來倒是在更大程度上,使公眾意識到「中國特色社會主義法治」的不公平性。而且,儘管媒體尚未關注該案前景,不同於包括其妻谷開來和王立軍在內的其他更加俯首貼耳的政治犯,薄熙來或許會堅持上訴。根據中國的刑事訴訟法律,上訴可能導致法院對該案件的絕大部分進行重新審理,從而給中國共產黨的領導人提出進一步挑戰,要求他們表現出對被告人辯護權的尊重。

刑事司法制度是中國法律體系中最薄弱的環節,儘管辯護權有憲法和立法保障,但是在實踐中,被告人很少被給予充分的機會來質問控方證人並且反駁證人的主張。儘管英美司法制度長期以來認為,交互詰問乃人類為發現真相而發明的最偉大的制度設計,但是在中國,在一個真正意義上的公開審判中,公然否認代表政府的公訴方提出的指控,卻常常被視為是不能接受的做法。

中國全國人民代表大會在1996年大修舊刑訴法時,新增交互詰問制度,承認交互詰問的價值。當時這是一個令人振奮的進步。不幸的是,這只是一個原則意義上的進步,而非實踐中的進步。鑒於該新法條並未被解讀為刑事案件證人必須親自出庭作證,實務上,證人出庭現場作證的案件的比例不到百分之五。因此,在中國,甚至在被告聘請辯護律師這種少數案件中,被告也極少可能利用到交互詰問的新制度。檢察官只需要在法庭中宣讀審前庭外獲取的證人證言即可,證人無需冒險出庭承受另一方的攻擊性提問。哪怕是最好的律師也無法對一張薄紙進行交互詰問!

刑事訴訟法去年再一次大修時,為增加證人出庭的可能性作出了一些修改,但是到目前為止,新增內容似乎並未起到有效作用。然而,新法賦予配偶一方拒絕出庭作證或者拒絕在庭外提供針對配偶另一方的證言的權利。這就是谷開來的缺席得以攪亂薄熙來第一天庭審的原因。沒有比他妻子更為關鍵的控方證人了。薄熙來兩次要求法庭傳喚谷開來出庭作證以便與其進行對質。審判長說他已經批准了薄熙來的要求,公訴方同樣也申請谷開來到庭作證,但是審判長說谷開來女士拒絕出庭作證。

不過,谷開來確實選擇,或者被迫,在法庭外作出了對薄熙來不利的證言。她和中國共產黨領導人都不希望看到她的證言受到交互詰問的檢驗。為了降低她拒絕出庭作證的不良影響,法院播放了相關部分錄影證言,她的這些證言在前一天已經當庭宣讀過,這樣人們可以至少粗略一睹她未經受對質時的舉止神情。

薄熙來而後激烈且長時間地詢問證人徐明、王立軍和王正剛,他否認並且嘲弄證人的證言,可見,谷開來有幸避免了類似的遭遇,這也顯示了,假使她的證言經過交互詰問,可能在何種程度上被修改或反駁。薄熙來對徐明的連續發問鞏固了薄熙來的抗辯,中國共產黨宣傳部官員也立即體認到這一點,他們指示國內媒體,關於薄熙來庭審的報道,標題中不能出現所謂的「二十問」。

薄熙來的一些論點並不具有說服力,而且,他的交互詰問技巧有些時候顯得較為有限,這也情有可原。雖然濟南市中級人民法院官方微博的內容日益被篩選過濾,只能管中窺豹,但薄熙來庭審的公開展示無疑給尚不習慣「對抗制」的公眾帶來了巨大的影響,而中國已逐步引進了「對抗制」訴訟模式,只是在現實中卻甚少實施。單憑這一點,新華社自誇薄案是「中國法制史上的一個里程碑」,的確能自圓其說。

 

(作者孔傑榮Jerome A. Cohen,紐約大學法學院教授,紐約大學亞美法研究所共同主任,外交關係協會亞洲研究兼任資深研究員。英文原文請參 www.usasialaw.org。亞美法研究所研究員劉超譯。)

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