Yu-Jie Chen

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen: Beijing and Taipei Should End Their Tug of War Over Repatriation of Criminal Suspects

Over Taiwan’s protests, China has since April persuaded several countries that do not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan – including Kenya, Malaysia and Cambodia – to send Taiwanese nationals suspected of telecommunications fraud to China rather than Taiwan for prosecution. 

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen. For Taiwanese, the mainland remains a dangerous place. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Going to the Chinese mainland can be dangerous. First-time visitors are often surprised at their freedom, and seasoned travelers may feel comfortable, but foreigners in China do get detained by police for many reasons. When commercial dealings sour business people of Chinese descent, including those from Taiwan and Hong Kong, are especially at risk.

大陆台商人身自由保障

出自:2012年09月06日 中国时报

英文原文:  http://usali.org/?p=7274

作者:孔杰荣(柯恩), 、陈玉洁

到中国大陆旅游洽商存在著风险。初到中国的旅客经常对他们享有的自由程度感到惊讶,经验丰富的游客也可能觉得相当自在,但实际上,外国人在中国可能因各式各样的理由遭到警方拘禁,成为阶下囚。尤其是华裔外籍商人,以及来自台湾和香港的投资者,若与中方交易恶化,处境更是特别危险。

诚然,为了给犯罪嫌疑人更完善的权利保护,中国已颁布相关法律。新修订的《刑事诉讼法》将于明年一月一日生效,其中就有许多条文旨在纠正中国长期以来警察滥权的一些问题。但尽管改革人士已竭尽所能,该法仍设下许多模糊和例外的规定。实践中,中国执法机关不但不会善意地填补这些法律漏洞,反而时常扭曲法律条文来便宜行事,即便在法律文义相当清楚的情况下也不例外;不仅如此,其所做所为有时甚至完全超出法律范围,或与法律直接抵触。针对政府的目无法纪,中国制度缺乏有效的救济方法。而虽然中国政府对国内外始终承诺终结酷刑,酷刑的猖獗却持续让政府脸上无光。

与遭到监禁的中国公民一样,每个在押的外国人都会面临以下问题:什么时候我的家人或者同事会被通知我被拘禁、拘禁的地点和原因?我可否与他们见面?我可否见律师?谁来帮我重获自由?大部分国家仰赖国际条约来保护他们的公民不受外国政府恣意监禁。中国已加入《维也纳领事关系公约》,该公约要求押人的政府不仅应告知当事人有权通知其本国领馆,还必须允许当事人本国的领事官员探访,领事也有权为其安排法律代理。许多国家还与中国签署双边领事条约,为其国民提供更详细的保障。

虽然这些国际条约提供的保障并非万无一失,但比起台湾人在中国大陆的待遇,他们还是赋予外国国民较多的安全。中华民国政府过去对《维也纳领事关系公约》的签署已不被国际社会认可,而其与中华人民共和国之间既无领事协定,更欠缺正式外交管道。然而,前往大陆的台湾游客多达上百万,还有数十万人在大陆工作生活。

台湾试图解决大陆在押台湾人的问题。于是,海基会、海协会在二○○九年签署了《海峡两岸共同打击犯罪及司法互助协议》。可惜,该协议仅仅要求双方主管部门「及时」通报对岸关于对方人员被限制人身自由的信息,却未规定通报时限;此外,当通报「将妨碍正在进行之侦查、起诉或审判程序」时,主管部门还可决定暂缓通报。而北京后续对于通报的执行成效不彰,更难以减缓台湾旅客,特别是台商的忧虑。

许多台湾人于是引颈期盼《海峡两岸投资保障和促进协议》,该协议于八月九日签署,在建立两岸商务争议的解决途径方面,有不少进步。许多人期待,该协议能最终确保中国大陆对每个案件都必须通报,至少是针对每个台湾投资者和其家属的案件。他们希望投资协议不仅要求立即通报家属,还必须规定哪些信息应该在通报中说明清楚,以及受拘禁人、其家属及律师的权利有哪些。然而,出乎意料之外,这样的规范在投资协议的本文或附件都付之阙如。取而代之的是海基会与海协会针对协议另外公布的《人身自由与安全保障共识》,但这份共识空有提升安全之外表,而无实质内涵。

这份不寻常的《共识》表示:大陆「公安机关」对台湾投资者个人、台湾投资企业中的台方员工,以及投资者和员工的随行家属,在依法采取刑事司法中的「强制措施」时,应在二十四个小时内通知当事人在大陆的家属。其中明显遗漏的是中国恶名昭彰的「国家安全」机关。另外《共识》也提到,如果当事人家属不在大陆,公安机关「可以」通知其在大陆的投资企业。

正如一些评论人士正确指出,《共识》所做出的承诺,无非是重复了中国明年将生效的《刑诉法》中已经存在的一些规定。这份《共识》顶多是一个措词模糊的提醒,指点中国警察机关在处理台湾投资者案件时,应当遵守中国法,在法律要求下,通知家属当事人已遭到拘禁、拘禁的处所和指控的罪名。

《共识》没有提到的是,中国新《刑诉法》中关于通知家属的规定,尽管较现行法律有所进步,却存在重要例外:在涉嫌危害国家安全犯罪、恐怖活动犯罪的案件中,如果公安机关认为通知可能有碍侦查,便可以不通知被拘留人的家属。在两岸协商《投资保障和促进协议》过程中,台湾曾坚持不能有例外,但中国大陆方面主张,即便《共识》最后未提到例外,《刑诉法》的例外规定仍然适用。为了淡化这些例外的重要性,大陆海协会的代表避重就轻地说,他们相信台湾投资者不会涉及从事危害国家安全和恐怖活动的犯罪。然而双方肯定不会忘记中国过去指控台商从事间谍行为、危害国家安全犯罪的种种案件。

一些台湾倡议人士还呼吁,应该保障受拘禁人的在台家属也能接获通知,并改善相关机制,以便迅速通知台湾家属。但由于台湾不受中国控制,由大陆方面直接通知在台家属并不可行。根据两岸二○○九年签署的《共同打击犯罪及司法互助协议》,中国大陆应通报台湾相关部门,再由台湾当局通知在台家属。但是在实践中,大陆的通报有时相当缓慢,或甚至根本没有通报。因此,两岸有必要制订出具体的通报时限,并允许台湾的代表探访当事人,为其安排迅速会见律师,而且也应容许家属探视。

然而,除非中国的刑事司法像台湾一样进行进一步改革,许多台湾方面提出的建议不太可能被接受。与台湾不同,中国普遍不允许家属探望被羁押的犯罪嫌疑人,实务上,在押嫌疑人与律师的接触受到许多限制,在某些案件中更是完全被禁止,而中国的律师无权在嫌疑人接受讯问时在场,这点也与台湾不同。虽然《共识》表示:双方「依据各自规定,为家属探视及律师会见提供了便利」,但其实这颇具误导性,因为以上重大差异并不会因《共识》出现而改变。

尽管如此,有些人仍然希望台湾人在北京眼中的特殊地位,可以为中国刑事司法制度带来突破性的进展,在改革路上另闢蹊径,惠及他人。(孔杰荣,Jerome A. Cohen,纽约大学法学院教授。陈玉洁,台湾律师,亚美法研究所研究员。英文原文请参www.usasialaw.org。陈玉洁译。

Yu-Jie Chen. A new experiment for international human rights treaty review: Taiwan’s experience

On March 1, Taiwan concluded a United Nations-type review of its implementation of two principal human rights treaties. A group of international experts issued their “Concluding Observations and Recommendations,”  identifying a slew of issues concerning whether Taiwan’s government has met the requirements of the two major treaties. This was the first time that the government of Taiwan invited independent international experts to systematically evaluate its human rights records in accordance with the treaties.

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen. Taiwan’s Incorporation of the ICCPR and ICESCR into Domestic Law. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou fulfilled a campaign pledge by signing the ratification instruments of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The legislature had, shortly before, incorporated the content of the two covenants into Taiwan’s domestic law. These significant acts deserve greater appreciation than they have received.

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen. Is a Rising China Losing Respect for International Law. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Although this week’s Rio Tinto case focused world attention on China’s domestic legal system, it also raised doubts about a rising China’s adherence to its international legal commitments.

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen. ECFA And Taiwan’s Political System. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Taiwan politics is in turmoil about the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed last week with China. Although ECFA promises to benefit Taiwan’s economy, the island’s politicians have been engaged in heated debate over how the Legislature should consider whether to approve this thirteenth agreement between Taiwan’s “semi-official” Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China’s “semi-official” Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS).

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen. For Taiwanese, the mainland remains a dangerous place. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Going to the Chinese mainland can be dangerous. First-time visitors are often surprised at their freedom, and seasoned travelers may feel comfortable, but foreigners in China do get detained by police for many reasons. When commercial dealings sour business people of Chinese descent, including those from Taiwan and Hong Kong, are especially at risk.

Yu-Jie Chen. A New Tool for Promoting Human Rights in Taiwan. China Policy Institute Blog

Earlier this month Taiwan concluded a United Nations-type review of its implementation of the two principal human rights treaties, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). It is the first time Taiwan has undergone an outside, comprehensive evaluation of its human rights record in a wide range of areas.

Yu-Jie Chen. How Can China Engage Taiwan? Hong Kong Journal

Since May 2008, relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan have improved significantly, but the two sides are now confronted with issues more difficult than before. One that has received more attention after the mass protests in Taiwan’s 2014 Sunflower Movement is human rights. 

Yu-Jie Chen and Jerome A. Cohen. Taiwan quietly forging ahead in human rights protection. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

For over four decades after the Allied victors in the second world war allowed Chiang Kai-shek’s Chinese government to reclaim Taiwan from Japan, the generalissimo’s Kuomintang maintained a ruthless Leninist-style dictatorship over the island. Yet KMT propaganda hoodwinked many outside the island to believe that it, unlike the Maoist regime that chased it from mainland China in 1949, was the defender of democracy, the rule of law and human rights for Chinese people.

Yu-Jie Chen and Jerome A. Cohen. Taiwan’s Proposed Experiment With Citizen Assessors In Criminal Trials. China Times

Are criminal trials too important to be decided by professional judges alone?  That question is increasingly being asked – and answered – in various Northeast Asian jurisdictions.  South Korea has used non-binding “consultative” juries  since 2008. The following year, Japan instituted “mixed tribunals” composed of three judges and six laymen to decide both guilt and punishment. Even some courts in Mainland China, which has long authorized one or two Soviet-style “people’s assessors” to join judges in decision-making, have recently been experimenting with consultative “people’s juries.” Now Taiwan is considering an official proposal for five laymen to sit with and advise three judges in serious criminal trials.

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-jie Chen. Cross-Strait Cooperation in Fighting Crime. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Although ECFA, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between China and Taiwan, continues to preoccupy popular attention, this past month the two sides made impressive progress in carrying out their less-known Agreement on Joint Cross-Strait Crime-Fighting and Mutual Judicial Assistance.

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-jie Chen. “Shanghaied” At Home — And Forever? SCMP (South China Morning Post)

While hundreds of thousands flood the World Expo in Shanghai every day, former lawyer Zheng Enchong is forbidden to even leave his apartment in the city. His home has been his prison since his official prison sentence ended in June 2006.

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jien Chen. Taiwan’s Return To Executions: The Need For Procedural Reforms.

Taiwan’s April 30 execution of four of its 44 death row prisoners seems insignificant compared to the many thousands executed in Mainland China each year. Yet it attracted international attention, especially from Europe, because it ended a de facto moratorium that had been in place since December 2005 and punctured the hope of many reformers that Taiwan’s moratorium would encourage other Asian nations that retain the death penalty to follow a gradual path toward its abolition.