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香港大律師公會就《基本法》第 22 條的進一步聲明


在香港特別行政區的憲法制度下,《香港特別行政區基本法》(《基本法》) 是根據《中華人民共和國憲法》第 31 條制訂,亦是中國法律的一部分。

《基本法》第 11 條規定:「根據中華人民共和國憲法第三十一條,香港特別行政區的制度和政策,包括社會、經濟制度,有關保障居民的基本權利和自由的制度,行政管理、立法和司法方面的制度,以及有關政策,均以本法的規定為依據。」

於《基本法》內提及並受《基本法》保障的「有關政策」包括香港特別行政區享有高度自治權(第 12 條),享有行政管理權、立法權、獨立的司法權和終審權(第 2 條),而中央人民政府則負責管理與香港特別行政區有關的外交事務(第 13 條)及防務(第14 條)。

就有關香港內部事務,《基本法》第 22(1)條規定:「中央人民政府所屬各部門、各省、自治區、直轄市均不得干預香港特別行政區根據本法自行管理的事務。」

在第 22 條下,中央人民政府所屬各部門均不得干預香港自行管理的事務,而中央人民政府本身亦受《基本法》條例約束,其中包括第 22(1)條的規定。

國務院港澳事務辦公室(港澳辦)和中央人民政府駐香港特別行政區聯絡辦公室(中聯辦)上週就上訴庭最近有關《緊急法》的判決和立法會內會事務作出公開評論, 之後公眾亦對兩辦評論有反響( 包括香港大律師公會於 2020 年 4 月 14 日發表的聲明)。就此,中聯辦於 4 月 17 日就《基本法》第 22(1) 條的理解作了進一步的公開聲明。

中聯辦表示,中聯辦和港澳辦不是基本法第 22 條所指的一般意義上的「中央人民政府所屬各部門」,而是中央授權專責處理香港事務的機構,並表明兩辦有權代表中央政府,就涉及中央與特區關係事務,行使監督權,關注並表明嚴正態度。

按照中聯辦的理解,兩辦是不受《基本法》第 22(1)條中有關不得干預香港自行管理的事務的原則約束。

於 4 月 18 至 19 日的週末,香港特別行政區政府(特區政府)就《基本法》第 22 條有關中聯辦的地位一共發表了不少於三份公開聲明,其內容顯示猶豫及混亂。香港大律師公會注意到,特區政府在 2007 年提交給立法會的一份文件中,明確地確認中聯辦是根據《基本法》第 22(3)條並得香港政府同意設立的中央人民政府的機構。特區政府並就中央人民政府在香港特別行政區設立包括中聯辦的三個機構的有關詳情在憲報3/2000 刊登,新華通訊社亦正式確認改名為中央人民政府駐香港特別行政區聯絡辦公室。在 2018 年政制及內地事務局長亦確認中聯辦的人員必須按照《基本法》第 22(1)條遵守香港特別行政區的法律。

遺憾地,中聯辦以及特區政府就上述重要法律問題的言論令公眾深感不安。如前述,中央人民政府本身受《基本法》約束。港澳辦是中華人民共和國國務院的行政機構,中聯辦是中央人民政府於香港的聯絡辦公室,兩辦理應受《基本法》第 22(1)條下不應干涉香港特區自行管理的事務的原則約束。

無論如何,《基本法》中沒有任何條文賦予中聯辦和港澳辦對香港自行管理的事務行使監督權。如所謂兩辦擁有的監督權是指兩辦有權干預香港自行管理的事務,而非僅限於觀察及向中央政府匯佈,兩辦角色將有違《基本法》第 11 條第 12 條及第 22 條的規定。

中聯辦和特區政府最近所作出的評論,明顯有違特區政府於 2007 及 2018 的表述。鑑於《基本法》第 22 條內容明確而清晰,在這一重要議題上,香港市民有權得知清晰的說法以及相關的法律依據和理由,而不確定的現況將會削弱公眾對中央人民政府及特區政府有關《基本法》所保證「一國兩制」原則的承諾和信心。

中聯辦主任駱惠寧。美聯社圖片

Further Statement of the Hong Kong Bar Association
On Article 22 of the Basic Law

Under the constitutional framework of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Basic Law is a national law of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), having been enacted by the National People’s Congress pursuant to Article 31 of the Constitution of the PRC.

Article 11 of the Basic Law provides:
“In accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, the systems and policies practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, including the social and economic systems, the system for safeguarding the fundamental rights and freedoms of its residents, the executive, legislative and judicial systems, and the relevant policies, shall be based on the provisions of this Law.”

The “relevant polices” as mentioned and enshrined in the Basic Law include that the HKSAR shall enjoy “a high degree of autonomy” (Article 12) and executive, legislative and judicial powers, including the power of final adjudication (Article 2), whilst the Central People's Government (CPG) shall be responsible for the foreign affairs and defence relating to the HKSAR (Articles 13 and 14).

As to HKSAR’s internal affairs, Article 22(1) provides:
“No department of the Central People's Government and no province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government may interfere in the affairs which the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region administers on its own in accordance with this Law.”

The effect of Article 22 is to prohibit interference in the internal affairs of the HKSAR by any part of the CPG, which is itself bound by the provisions of the Basic Law, being a national law of the PRC, including Article 22(1). After public comments made last week by the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO) and the Liaison Office of the CPG in the HKSAR (LOCPG) in respect of a recent Court of Appeal judgment on the Emergency Regulations Ordinance and affairs in Legislative Council and public reaction to them (including a statement issued by HKBA on 14 April 2020), the LOCPG on 17 April 2020 made further public statements on the meaning of Article 22(1) of the Basic Law.

The LOCPG said that it and the HKMAO are not “department[s] of the Central People's Government” within the meaning of Article 22(1). It went on to say that they were bodies authorised by the CPG to handle HKSAR’s affairs and had the right to exercise supervision and express serious views on affairs regarding HKSAR and the Mainland.

The implication the LOCPG seeks to convey is that the LOCPG and the HKMAO are somehow excluded from the non-interference principle guaranteed by Article 22(1). Over the weekend of 18-19 April 2020, the HKSAR Government issued no fewer than 3 public
statements reflecting a degree of hesitation and confusion about the status of the LOCPG under Article 22. The HKBA notes that the HKSAR Government had previously presented a paper to the Legislative Council in 2007, unequivocally confirming that the LOCPG is an office of the CPG set up in Hong Kong with the consent of HKSARG Government under Art 22(3), and that the HKSAR Government had published the details of the LOCPG as one of 3 offices of the CPG set up in HKSAR in Gazette No. 3/2000 after its name change from “Xinhua News Agency”.

The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs had also in 2018 confirmed that personnel of the LOCPG must abide by the laws of Hong Kong in accordance with Article 22. Regrettably, the recent public statements made by the LOCPG and the HKSAR Government
on such a highly important legal issue have caused deep public unease. As mentioned, the CPG is itself bound by the Basic Law. There would appear to be no question but that the HKMAO, being an administrative agency of the State Council of the PRC, and the LOCPG, being the Liaison Office of the CPG in HKSAR, are bound by the Basic Law, including the prohibition of interference in the internal affairs of the HKSAR under Article 22(1).

In any event, there is no provision in the Basic Law which confers on the HKMAO and LOCPG the power of “supervision” over affairs which the HKSAR administers on its own. If "supervision" by the HKMAO and LOCPG is intended to connote their intervention in matters falling within the remit of the HKSAR's autonomy under the Basic Law, as opposed to observing and reporting back to the CPG, such a role would be inconsistent with Articles 11, 12 and 22 of the Basic Law.

The recent statements of the LOCPG and the HKSAR Government are plainly inconsistent with what was said by the HKSAR Government in 2007 and 2018. On such an important issue, and given the plain and obvious meaning of Article 22 of the Basic Law, the people of Hong Kong are entitled to a clear, reasoned and properly supported exposition of the legal position. The current uncertainty contributes to undermining confidence in both the CPG’s and the HKSAR Government’s commitment to the principle and practice of one-country, two-system enshrined in the Basic Law.


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