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【大律師公會換屆】戴啟思發個人聲明 港未來發展堪憂風暴將臨 決定出選

2018/1/5 — 11:42

再次角逐大律師公會主席的公會前主席戴啟思發表個人聲名,講述個人對香港未來發展的憂慮,指自己因此決定出選大律師公會主席。           

戴啟思在文首即表示:「香港的未來在《基本法》下的發展,沒有一件事能預測。這情況從過去十八個月來所發生的事中清晰可見。」

戴啟思提到,早在十多年前擔任大律師公會副主席和主席期間,他已習慣從輕微的打撃中領導大律師公會。他認為自己和其他人都同意,他當時有合理地處理有關工作。

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戴啟思以天氣來比喻現時的社會氣候,可見未來一年風暴將會來臨,他覺得現時是時候走出來,再次領導大律師公會。所以戴啟思自己決定參選是次大律師公會換屆選舉。

聲明中提到,當公眾因釋法或《基本法》執行時的法律基礎改變而感困惑,會期望大律師公會表態,並讓公眾清晰理解事件。如事情符合基本法,大律師公會自當有話直說 。但若做法偏離《基本法》或有問題,公會亦會發聲,並與持有不同意見的人士溝通。表達自由不應只在議事堂或私下會議,公開地非常清楚地談論法治和憲法問題,也是必須要做的事情。

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另外,戴啟思亦在聲明中回應現時大律師行業的狀況。作為大律師公會主席候選人,戴啟思亦關心年青大律師的情況。戴啟思承諾會在現行機制中,為年青大律師尋找更多機會,讓所有繳交執業證書年費的會員都覺得物有所值,而不是將這項費用視為一種牌照費。

大律師公會將於本月舉行換屆選舉,今年罕有出現競爭。由人稱「人權大狀」的大律師公會前主席戴啟思率領團隊,挑戰現任主席林定國。

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【Philip Dykes, SC - Personal Statement】

There is nothing predictable about Hong Kong’s development under the Basic Law except that it it is unpredictable. This is clear from events happening in the last eighteen months.

I have been used to guiding the Bar through mild buffeting when I was Vice Chairman and Chairman ten or twelve years ago. I like to think that I handled myself creditably in that time. Certainly, other people thought that I did a reasonable job They believed that it is time that I should lead the Bar again because, using a nautical metaphor, stormy weather probably lies ahead in the next 12 months. So it is I offer myself as a candidate for election.

When the public is confused about the legal basis of changes made by the application or interpretation of the Basic Law they can expect the Bar to have a view that it will express that view in a way that is intelligible to the general public. If a measure appears to conform to the Basic Law the Bar will say so. If it appears to deviate or is problematic, it will also speak out and try and engage with bodies that hold different views. Just as freedom of expression is not a cloistered virtue that thrives only in the debating chamber or in private meetings, speaking out very clearly about rule of law and constitutional issues is something that simply must be done. With the aid of other members of the Bar Council, I will see that this is done.

It is almost a given that a candidate for the Chair expresses concern about livelihood issues affecting the Young Bar. There is only so much that can be done regarding levels of remuneration because most young barristers, apart from some very fortunate ones who can look to reaping the rewards of a first-rate legal education, have to begin by undertaking publicly funded work.

Rather than rely solely on persuading a parsimonious government increasing funds, I would like to explore what barristers can do for each other. I have asked around some young barristers and I have been told that very junior barristers feel that the training given to them to take up prosecution work and defence work in the magistrates’ courts is not adequate. If that is so, the Bar has to change it because poorly prepared barristers are no advertisement for the Bar. I would be also interested in relaxing the rules concerning barristers taking up other occupations.

As for the Bar as a whole, my duty is to it as a whole. Members who have not developed a specialised commercial or arbitration practice may feel that they are missing out on opportunities in the Mainland. I would hope to see whether opportunities for offering “cinderella” legal services can be pursued under existing arrangements. I would also hope to make sure that all members who pay the annual fee for a practising certificate get value for money and do not regard the fee as a kind of licensing fee.

These are my present concerns. If you think that I have overlooked some important matter which a new Bar Chairman simply must address, please get in touch with me.

Finally, whatever may be the result in the election, I thank you for providing the opportunity to persuade you that I would be a good leader for you all.

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