撤回逃犯條例草案 Withdraw the Fugitive Offenders Bill

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Joint Statement of All Members of the Election Committee Subsector Election (Legal) on the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019

( 中文版本在英文版本之後)

1. We make this Joint Statement to express our deep concern over the proposals contained in the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 (“the Bill”) to amend the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, Cap. 503 (“FOO”) and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance, Cap. 525 (“MLAO”).

2. We sincerely call upon the Government as well as the community to seriously consider the following points:

(1) The exclusion of the Mainland from any surrender arrangements with Hong Kong was a deliberate choice made by the legislature when enacting the FOO more than two decades ago rather than “loopholes”;

(2) Such exclusion of the Mainland from the application of the FOO was a result of the grave concerns over the protection of human rights and the rule of law as well as certain unsatisfactory aspects of the criminal justice system in the Mainland. In proposing to now include the Mainland in the application of the FOO by way of “special surrender arrangements” in the Bill, the Government has failed to explain what circumstances have changed since 1997 to justify the departure from the deliberate choice of exclusion;

(3) The proposed “special surrender arrangements” will be initiated by the Chief Executive alone by way of issuing a certificate. The substantive provisions of each special arrangement will be formulated by the Chief Executive alone and will not be subject to any legislative scrutiny which is an important safeguard under the current mechanism of case-based surrender arrangements;

(4) The statutory procedures for the proposed “special surrender arrangements” under the Bill do not offer adequate safeguards given the very low threshold for making an order of committal (namely, a prima facie case) and the limited role of the Court in reviewing and rejecting a request for surrender;

(5) It is misleading to suggest that the rights of individuals concerned are protected as they still have access to procedural safeguards including applications for habeas corpus, bail, discharge in case of delay or judicial review, in that these are all irrelevant to the crucial question of whether those individuals’ fundamental rights could be protected in the requesting jurisdiction after surrender;

(6) Compared to the “special surrender arrangements” proposed in the Bill, the Government clearly has better alternatives in tackling the Taiwan homicide case, such as (i) amending the FOO and the MLAO to provide for case-based rendition arrangements to Taiwan only and entering into a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan for a one-off rendition of the suspect in question, or (ii) amending the Criminal Jurisdiction Ordinance, Cap. 461 and/or the Offences against the Person Ordinance, Cap. 212 so as to extend the jurisdiction of Hong Kong courts over homicide cases committed at places outside Hong Kong in which both the suspect and victim are Hong Kong permanent residents; and

(7) The proposed exemption of nine offences from the “special surrender arrangements” under the Bill not only fails to address the concerns that the public has expressed about surrendering individuals to the Mainland, but also demonstrates that those concerns are indeed justified.

3. On top of the points highlighted above, it is noteworthy that on 12 March 2019, the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan unanimously passed a motion requesting the Executive Yuan of Taiwan to negotiate only a bilateral arrangement for surrender of fugitives between Hong Kong and Taiwan. In particular, the motion expressed concerns over the risk imposed on Taiwan people in Hong Kong to being surrendered to the Mainland if the Bill were passed. This means that it is feasible to tackle the Taiwan homicide case by concluding long-term or case-based arrangements with Taiwan without extending the same to the Mainland.

4. We urge the Security Bureau to withdraw the Bill which, if passed, would severely undermine the international community’s confidence in Hong Kong’s criminal justice system and its commitment to protecting human rights.

April 8, 2019 

全體法律界選委就《2019年逃犯及刑事事宜相互法律協助法例(修訂)條例草案》之聯合聲明

1. 我們作出此聯署聲明,為《2019年逃犯及刑事事宜相互法律協助法例(修訂)條例草案》(“該草案”)對《逃犯條例》(第503章)及《刑事事宜相互法律協助條例》(第525章)作出的修訂建議表示深切關注。

2. 我們懇請政府以及社會各界慎重考慮以下各點:

(1) 在香港的引渡安排中排除中國內地,是二十多年前立法機關通過
《逃犯條例》時的刻意決定而非「漏洞」;

(2) 立法機關之所以刻意將中國內地排除於《逃犯條例》的適用範圍,全因 對中國內地的人權保障、法治水平及刑事司法制度的不足之處極為憂慮。 政府如今在該草案中建議以「特別移交安排」的方式將中國內地納入《逃 犯條例》的適用範圍中,卻未能指出自1997年起,情況有何改變以支持 背離當年立法機關刻意排除中國內地的決定;

(3) 該草案所提出的修訂賦權予行政長官一人發出證明書展開「特別移交安 排」,更容許行政長官繞過立法機關的審議,自行決定每宗「特別移交 安排」的實質細節。此舉變相除去現時立法機關對個案方式移交安排的 重要監察功能;

(4) 該草案建議的「特別移交安排」之法定程序並不能提供足夠保障,因為 法庭頒下拘押令的法定門檻其實非常低(只須表面證據成立),而法庭 在覆核和拒絕移交申請上的角色亦相當有限;

(5) 政府宣稱被移交人士的基本權利在條例修訂後依舊受到保護,因為他們 仍可獲程序保障,包括申請人身保護令、保釋、因延遲移交而予以釋放 或司法覆核。但此說法有誤導之嫌,因為這些程序保障與被移交人士在 移交至請求方後是否能獲得足夠基本人權保障這個關鍵議題根本不相 干;

(6) 相比該草案所建議的「特別移交安排」,政府顯然有更合適的辦法處理 有關的台灣殺人案,例如(i)修改《逃犯條例》及《刑事事宜相互法律 協助條例》以容許香港與台灣商討個案方式移交安排,並與台灣共同簽 署諒解備忘錄來制定移交台灣殺人案有關疑犯的一次性安排,或(ii)修 改《刑事司法管轄權條例》(第461章)及/或《侵害人身罪條例》(第 212章)以賦予香港法庭司法管轄權審理疑犯和受害者均為香港永久居 民的境外殺人案;及

(7) 該草案提出將「特別移交安排」適用的罪行中剔除其中九項的建議不但 無法釋除公眾對移交疑犯到中國內地的疑慮,更證明這些疑慮實屬合 理。

3. 除以上所強調的各點,值得關注的是台灣立法院於2019年3月12日一致通 過議案,要求台灣行政院與香港政府協商僅適用於台港的雙邊引渡協議。此 議案特別提及該草案通過後,身處香港的台灣人將遭受被移交至內地審訊的 風險。由此可見,要處理有關的台灣殺人案,只需與台灣訂立長期移交安排 或個案方式移交安排,絕對無須將中國內地納入有關引渡法律的適用範圍之 內。

4. 我們促請保安局撤回該草案。該草案一旦通過,將嚴重損害國際社會對香港 刑事司法制度和人權保障的信心。

2019年4月8日

陳景生 Chan King Sang Edward SC
戴啟思 Dykes Philip John SC
梁家傑 Leong Kah Kit Alan SC
夏偉志 Harris Graham Anthony SC
彭耀鴻 Pang Yiu Hung Robert SC
潘熙 Pun Hei Hectar SC
查錫我 Char Shik Ngor Stephen
鄭瑞泰 Cheng Shui Tai
張達明 Cheung Tat Ming Eric
張惠儀 Cheung Wai Yee Betty
張耀良 Cheung Yiu Leung
關尚義 Clancey John Joseph
何俊麒 Ho Chun Ki Frederick
何俊仁 Ho Chun Yan Albert
郭憬憲 Kwok King Hin Douglas
林洋鋐 Lam Kenneth
廖成利 Liu Sing Lee Bruce
文浩正 Man Ho Ching Jonathan
吳思諾 Ng Sze Nok Senia
潘淑瑛 Poon Suk Ying Debora
石書銘 Shek Randy Shu Ming
譚俊傑 Tam Chun Kit Jeffrey
韋智達 Vidler Michael John
黃鶴鳴 Wong Hok Ming Alan
王學今 Wong Huk Kam
黃國桐 Wong Kwok Tung Daniel
黃瑞紅 Wong Shui Hung Linda
黃宇逸 Wong Yu Yat Anson
葉海琅 Yip Hoi Long Richard
阮陳淑怡 Yuen Chan Suk Yee Helena