「阿港伯」出擊!

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1987 / 6月

文‧林麗雪陳淑美


新官上任,大家都集中注意力,看看林洋港怎麼做?


林洋港說,司法革新工作千頭萬緒,歸結起來,不過兩個範疇:一是制度、一是風紀,制度的改革又與風紀的重整息息相關。

首當其衝的,是前任院長黃少谷留下來、尚未決議的「兩階段分案」辦法,這個辦法的倡議就是鑒於目前司法風氣受人詬病。

「兩階段分案」惹爭議

什麼叫做「兩階段分案」?這得從法庭審理說起。

台灣大學法律系教授廖義男指出,我國法庭審理採「直接審理」制。審訊的次數,根據案件的大小,有的一次就可以結案,有的可能要十幾次;法官從被告、原告、律師、證人等的言詞辯論中,來瞭解、偵查事實真相,並在最後一審宣判。

這個制度的優點是:法官對接手案件的內容及證據瞭解得十分透徹,開庭偵訊也較有時間「察言觀色」,從原告、被告等人講話的表情、反應來判斷他們說的是真話還是假話,裁判結果更能接近公平與客觀。但另一方面,由於審判從頭到尾均由一個法官審理,假使當事人(原告及被告)要以不正當的方法來影響審判,很容易找到「目標」。

為了杜絕弊端,司法院在今年三月初舉行的司法首長會議上,提出「兩階段分案」的辦法,計畫將案件審理的過程中,調查事實真相與判決兩個部分,分由兩名法官擔任。為了不讓當事人有猜測宣判法官人選的機會,主持判決的法官在審判當天才抽籤決定。

看起來似乎是個好方法,但這個方案經報端披露後,卻在法學界引起軒然大波。法學界人士認為,「兩階段分案」不僅在學理上毫無依據,在其他國家也沒有先例;「更重要的,它違反了案件『直接審理』的原則」,廖義男教授說。

廖義男指出,「兩階段分案」辦法將調查事件真相與判決分開,「第二個法官怎麼可能只憑文字資料就來斷案呢?」而且,負責判決的推事在審判當日八時半開始閱卷、十時半就得進行審判,雖然也有言詞辯論程序,但時間終究是又急又短,法官怎能觀察到辦案中十分切要的一環——當事人的身體語言及心理狀況呢?

法官的尷尬情結

儘管學界的反對聲浪很大,但是與其相關最深、負責事務的法官們卻很少公開表示意見。「反對,怕被人抨擊是要收紅包;贊成,日後審判品質又會受影響」,一名法官說出他內心的矛盾。

「兩階段分案」辦法原本決議先在兩個地方法院試行,看看各方反應。但這個案子交到林洋港的手裡,卻有了另外的結論。目前林院長已決定將是否通過這個法案的決定權,交給全國各級法院的法官們——畢竟這件事與他們相關最深。

決定的方法是採用無記名投票,讓法官拋開先前的「心結」,能客觀地表明贊成反對的意見,五月廿一日,經由全國八百一十九名法官投票的結果公佈了,其中有百分之九十的法官反對,「兩階段分案」辦法有可能就此停擺。

身為主管全國司法事務的行政首長,林洋港知道,改革司法事務必從人下手——瞭解法官們在想什麼——是最直接的方法。對刑法規定緩刑制度應切實執行的指示,是其中一個例子。

緩刑不再是「寬典」

根據我國刑法第七十四條規定,被判二年以下有期徒刑者,若屬初犯或是五年內沒有犯罪紀錄,可以獲得緩刑的機會。

廖義男教授指出,不管從現代刑罰理論,或是刑事政策目的來看,緩刑都是對初犯或犯刑輕微者最直接的救濟機會。「所謂徒法不足以自行,犯罪者若能夠因為緩刑而得到匡正,在社會上重新作人,不是很好的一個示範嗎?其效果應比嚴刑峻罰更大」,一名法界人士指出。

但是,這個立意良好的制度卻未得到「合法」地實施。根據司法機關的統計,民國七十五年,台灣地區各級法院判決的刑事被告中,有將近七萬人符合緩刑條件,卻只有一萬二千人——約佔總數百分之十四左右獲判緩刑,比起美、日的百分之六十相差很大。

主要的原因,在於法官的「心結」。

一位法界人士指出,緩刑制度於法有據,其實是一項十分合理的制度,但在我國,不知何故,總被認為是一項「寬典」——好比特赦一樣,只有在極特殊的情況下,才可以成立。這樣的前提使法官一判緩刑,大家就以為「莫非是收了好處,或接受關說」的眼光視之。「有些法官心存障礙,乾脆就規避了」,廖義男說。

良制不能實行,掌理全國最高司法政策的林洋港十分痛心。五月八日,林洋港在就任後首次的「擴大業務會報」上明確指示,法官不宣告緩刑應有充分理由。「過去法官不敢判緩刑,為的是怕人家說閒話,現在責任由我來擔」,林洋港說,如此法官們更能「放心大膽」地就事論事。

大家拭目以待

「阿港伯」到司法院不到一個月,「兩階段分案」與「緩刑制度」不過是他的「牛刀小試」。此外,林洋港對法官工作負荷過重問題也十分關注。

以台北地方法院士林分院為例,平均每名推事每個月要審理一百八十多件案子,「他們常要趕大夜班寫判決書,這麼重的負荷,當然會影響審判品質」,林洋港切中時弊,表示決心減輕法官的工作負擔,改善他們的工作條件。

怎麼做?請給林洋港一些時間,且拭目以待。

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近期文章

EN

Lin Yang-kang Takes Charge

Jackie Chen and Sophia Lin /tr. by Phil Newell


Lin Yang-kang has said, though reforming the Judicial Yuan is a complex task, its aspects can be placed in two categories: the first is "the system," and the second is "moral character." Reforming the former and improving the latter are closely interdependent jobs.

Right now there is a pressing reform proposal, designed to alleviate doubts raised about the question of "moral character," which would dramatically change the trial procedures of the ROC

In order to understand the crux of the new proposal, it is necessary to first look at the current procedures used in trials in the ROC The current process is known as the "direct trial." Under this system, a single judge has responsibility for hearing out the participants in the case (defendants, lawyers, prosecutors, witnesses, or plaintiffs), for seeking to determine the true facts of the case, and for deciding the final disposition of the case.

The advantage of this system is that, with a single judge supervising the entire case, the judge will be thoroughly familiar with both the evidence and the participants, and will be in a good position to make a clear judgment of their credibility.

The proposed new system would divide the fact-finding process from the final judgement. One judge would undertake the first task, and then a second, randomly chosen after the fact-finding process is complete, would review the evidence in the written record and reach a judgment on the same day.

The rationale behind this plan is that the participants in the trial would have no way of knowing from the fact- finding process which judge would determine the final disposition of the case until the day of the judgment itself. In this way, the opportunities for any of the participants in the case to attempt to inappropriately influence the judge would be minimized.

When the proposal became public, however, it created a stir in the legal community. A host of practical problems were raised: How could the second judge have enough time to thoroughly review, and then reach a thoughtful judgment on, a large amount of written evidence in the short space of a morning? How could the second judge determine the relative credibility of the participants in the case when he or she has lacked the opportunity to see or speak with them?

Although judges are the people most directly affected by this proposal, they have not publicly commented for fear that opposition to the proposal could be interpreted as an endorsement of judicial corruption.

To resolve this dilemma, Lin Yang-kang recently held an anonymous vote among the judges at all levels. The result showed that 90 percent of the 819 judges polled were opposed to the proposal.

That reforming the judiciary without consulting the judges' is no easy feat is shown by another pressing problem: that of suspended sentences. In the ROC, defendants without a previous criminal record or who have been clean for five years, and whose conviction calls for a sentence of less than two years, are eligible for a suspended sentence.

But, whereas in the U.S. and Japan the percentage of those eligible who actually receive suspended sentences is about sixty, in Taiwan the figure is only fourteen percent. This is because the judges are I concerned that people will speculate that I there has been some corruption or undue influence in cases where the judge awards only a suspended sentence.

Lin Yang-kang therefore on May 8th publicly announced that he would assume responsibility for any possible adverse consequences of liberalizing the use of the suspended sentence provisions, thus freeing the hands of the judges to implement the law as it was originally intended.

Besides these two issues, Lin Yang- kang is also facing the problem of over- worked judges and overcrowded court dockets. But just give him some time, and he will certainly give us something new and interesting to think about.

 

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