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立法會選舉指引 法政匯思意見書全文

2016/5/12 — 11:59

(編按:選舉管理委員會3月份公布立法會選舉活動建議指引,作公眾諮詢,以下為法政匯思早前提交的意見書全文。)

法政匯思就選舉活動建議指引公眾諮詢所提交之意見書

A.       摘要

廣告

1. 選舉管理委員會 (下稱「選委會」) 就擬訂立有關香港特別行政區立法會 (下稱「立法會」) 選舉活動的建議指引 (下稱「《建議指引》」) 展開了公衆諮詢。法政匯思就《建議指引》提交本意見書。

2. 法政匯思就《建議指引》中對《選舉活動指引》第八章,尤其是第 8.3 及 8.4 段的修訂表示關注。根據該等修改後的規定,香港居民在網上討論區及社交媒體上所進行的衆多日常活動、評論、辯論及討論,皆可能被當作及分類為「選舉廣告」(下稱「選舉廣告」)。

廣告

3. 《建議指引》第 8.3 及 8.4 段的定義非常廣泛,並可能導致個人或團體在選舉舉行之前或期間獨立行使其表達自由時,觸犯《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》(香港法例第554章)(下稱「《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》」)第23條下的罪行並被判處罰款或高達三年的監禁[1]

4. 法政匯思認為,《建議指引》第 8.3 及 8.4 段所採用的字眼足以導致香港選民受《中華人民共和國香港特別行政區基本法》(下稱「《基本法》」) 第27條及《香港人權法案條例》(香港法例第383章) (下稱「《香港人權法案條例》」) 第16 及21條所保證及保障的表達自由及參與公眾生活的權利遭受不合理的干擾。

5. 因此,法政匯思提出以下建議:

(1)個別人士表達政見的行為(即使是宣傳某候選人或對某候選人不利)應從「選舉廣告」的定義中明文豁免;

(2)《建議指引》不應作出將社交媒體區別於傳統出版物並將兩者分開處理的具體提述,因社交媒體與傳統出版物應獲相若處理 (換句話說,以電子或實體方式發送或分享競選宣傳並無並無原則上的區別)。如果茶餘飯後在親朋戚友面前宣傳或批評某候選人並不構成「選舉宣傳」,那麼在「臉書」帳戶上作出的相同行為便不應視作非法;及

(3)對「選舉期之前」的提述應予以移除,因為這會導致選舉期開始之前的宣傳都會受制於選舉宣傳相關法例條文的規定。

 

B.       選舉開支和言論自由的相關法律

政治表達及有意義參與選舉的基本權利

6. 基本法第27條以及香港人權法案條例第16條規定香港居民享有言論和發表個人意見的自由 。香港人權法案第21條亦保護參與公眾生活的權利。這說明在選區期間表達以及接受政治意見的權利,以及辯論和討論政治取態的權利均為受保護的基本人權。[2]

7. 不過,這些權利不是絕對的且是受規管的。在香港,條例的規管主要是針對候選人。候選人的選舉經費設有上限。這是為了保證選舉的平等、自由、公平以及便於符合資格人士參選 (即防止財雄勢大的候選人通過大量購買廣告位,從而提升自身公眾曝光率,扼殺其他候選人就其政見辯論的空間)[3]。這一推論是基於選民在接觸公開辯論和演講後,能就投票予誰作出明智決定的假定上的。由此,限制選舉經費的目的是為了令選民之間的言論自由和辯論不受壓制。

選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例

8.《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》規管了候選人開支,就所有選舉廣告活動,包括就選舉開支設以上限,提供了法定基礎。

9.「選舉開支」在《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》的第2(1)條被定義為:由該候選人或該候選人組合或由他人代該候選人或該候選人組合,為促使該候選人或該候選人組合當選,或為阻礙另一候選人或另一候選人組合當選,而招致或將招致的開支,包括包含貨品及服務而用於上述用途的選舉捐贈的價值。

10. 而「選舉廣告」在《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》的第2(1)條被定義為:就選舉而言,指為促使或阻礙一名或多於一名候選人在選舉中當選而發布的公開展示的通知,或由專人交付或用電子傳送的通知,或以無線電或電視廣播,或以錄像片或電影片作出的公告,或任何其他形式的發布。

11. 按《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》第23條規定,只有候選人或候選人的選舉開支代理人可代候選人招致選舉開支[4]。任何其他人士作出被視為招致選舉開支的行為均可於《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》第22條下被裁定犯了在選舉中作出非法行為的罪行。

12. 若有未經授權人士被視為代候選人招致選舉開支,該開支將計算在該候選人的選舉開支總額内。《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》第24條清楚表明這點 — 候選人雖然可能因選舉開支總額超過選舉開支最高限額而於第24條第(1)段下在選舉中被視為非法行為,但該選舉人可按第24條第(3)段證明相關開支是在其無疏忽下及未經其同意下招致的,以作出免責辯護。

《建議指引》與相關法規

13. 下列活動於《建議指引》下均可構成選舉廣告:

(1) 一般而言,《建議指引》第8.3段規定任何人士或團體於選舉舉行之前或期間發佈任何材料以直接或間接鼓勵選民投票給候選人,均可視為選舉廣告而因而可視為招致選舉開支。

(2) 《建議指引》第8.4段更特別規定任何人士或組織于互聯網平台上(即網站、社交媒體、通訊網路等)發佈旨在促成或阻礙某位候選人當選的資訊, 即屬選舉廣告。

(3)《建議指引》第8.4段下有一項例外 — 倘若網民分享或轉發競選宣傳但沒有促使或阻礙某位候選人當選的意圖,此行為並不符合發布選舉廣告的定義。

深入討論

14. 如上述指出,《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》的目的是限制候選人的選舉開支,從而推廣自由和公正的選舉。 因此,《建議指引》必須符合此立法意圖,不應超越其既定目的。

15. 法政匯思認為就第8.3及第8.4段有兩項問題:

(1) 首先,第8.3及第8.4段下「選舉廣告」的定義是否太廣泛?

(2) 此外,第8.3及第8.4段於選舉舉行前限制政治意見的表達是否合理?

「選舉廣告」定義太廣泛

16. 終審法院曾判定《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》中「選舉開支」的法定意義非常廣泛,故此必須小心詮釋,否則所有活動也會被視為選舉開支,縱使此非立法原意[5]

17. 以類似方法詮釋選委會訂立的《建議指引》第8.3 及8.4段內何謂選舉廣告,則「選舉廣告」的定義包括:

(1) 「任何人士發佈任何材料」以「直接或間接鼓勵選民投票或不投票及某些候選人...而無論其該些材料是否含有候選人的名字或照片」;及

(2) 「任何在互聯網平台上發佈旨在促成或阻礙某位候選人當選的訊息」。

18. 無相關意圖的活動可包括個人在互聯網,社交平台或通訊網絡發表其政治意見或對某些候選人的偏好。任何人在沒有候選人唆擺下而製作嘲諷其他候選人的作品,亦被視為促成或阻礙某會位候選人當選[6]。而這些政治意見是無可避免會促成或阻礙一個或更多選舉候選人當選[7]

19. 第8.4段有一項例外,但該例外只限於個人分享或轉發競選宣傳。這表示網民若自創內容,例如自撰訊息或發佈視頻等,就有可能負上刑事責任。另外,第8.4段未有澄清網民如何證明他們在分享或轉發選舉宣傳時,並沒有任何促成或阻礙候選人當選的意圖。只要任何人轉發或分享某位候選人的宣傳選舉宣傳時,他已在促成某位候選人當選而阻礙其他候選人。

20. 法政匯思因此認為就目前的草案來看,《建議指引》第8.3和8.4段會對香港居民表達自己的政治觀點及有意義的參與公共生活的憲法權利造成一種違憲的干擾。

21. 此外,在這裏必須指出《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》第24條還要求所有候選人申報所有選舉開支,包括那些未經授權的開支。如果沒有申報,則屬非法行為。雖然可利用已採取合理的措施去申報作為法定的抗辯理由,或者說這些費用是沒有得到候選人的同意下而支付,但這無疑在選舉後期造成不必要的混亂,並會增加無辜的候選人提出多項選舉呈請的可能性。

對政治表達的時間性限制

22. 此外,第8.3和8.4段規定禁止這些並無違法的活動在選舉期間之前進行。根據《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》第2(1)條,選舉期間是指由選舉提名日起,至該項選舉投票日止的期間。

23. 終審法院判定「《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》內有關選舉開支的條文旨在規範的活動類型或事項,僅包含那些在特定的選舉和在選舉期間或者在某一個人的候選期間內進行的活動或事項(以開始時間較早者為準)。」[8]

24. 法政匯思同意終審法院對《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》的解讀。因此,第8.3段所規定,關於選舉期間之前的時間性限制,明顯是直接違背終審法院的判決,在法理上是錯誤及違憲的。

 

C.      結論和建議

25. 立法會秘書處早前已提供一份文件比較海外地方如何規管在選舉中社交媒體的運用[9]。值得留意的是在英國、新西蘭及加拿大:

(1) 這些國家有條例區分個人活動及候選人及特許選舉代理的活動;及

(2) 個人活動設有特定上限,而超過該上限只影響個人,並不是增加有關候選人負擔。而新西蘭及加拿大則不設相關上限。

26. 法政匯思認為《建議指引》第8.3及8.4段沒有合理地區分那些活動應被《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》監管,那些為合法活動(即個人政見表述)。正如上訴庭早前指出「選舉經費指的正正是候選人就選舉的舉辦及管理而作出的經費;換言之是針對選舉工程的活動及事宜」。[10]

27. 再者,如不豁免個人活動,選委會是要求所有候選人負上監控所有網上平台、社交媒體及通訊網絡的責任。法政匯思認為這樣的負擔相對於《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》的目的並不成比例,而選委會實際上亦無法執行。

28. 法政匯思提議以下有關8.3及8.4段的修改:

(1)  個別人士傳播政見的行為(即使是宣傳某候選人或對某候選人不利)應從「選舉廣告」的定義中明文豁免;

(2) 《建議指引》不應作出將社交媒體區別於傳統出版物並將兩者分開處理的具體提述,因社交媒體與傳統出版物應獲相若處理 (換句話說,以電子或實物方式發送或分享競選宣傳並無並無原則上的區別)。如果茶餘飯後在親朋戚友面前宣傳或批評某候選人並不構成「選舉宣傳」,那麼在「臉書」帳戶上作出的相同行為便不應視作非法;及

(3)  對「選舉期之前」的提述應予以移除,因為這會導致選舉期開始之前的宣傳都會受制於選舉宣傳相關法例條文的規定。

2016年4月1日

法政匯思

 

---------------

[1]     《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》第22條規定:-

(1)     任何人在選舉中作出非法行為,即屬犯罪—
(a)     如循簡易程序審訊,一經定罪,可處第5級罰款及監禁1年;或
(b)     如循公訴程序審訊,一經定罪,可處罰款$200000及監禁3年。
(2)     如任何人被裁斷在選舉期間前、在選舉期間內或在選舉期間後作出非法行為,則該人可被裁定犯了在選舉中作出非法行為的罪行。

[2]    英國1998年2月19日判決的案例Bowman v. The United Kingdom (141/1996/762/959) 的第42段:

「自由選舉和言論自由,特別是政治辯論的自由,共同構成任何民主制度的基石 (見1987年3月2日判決的案例 the Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt v. Belgium第22頁第47段,以及1986年7月8日判決的案例the Lingens v. Austria第26頁第41-42段)。這兩項權利是相互關聯並相互加強的:比如,由過往法庭的經驗來看,言論自由是確保人民能自由表達選擇立法機關意見的其中一項必要條件 (見上述案例Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt 的判決書第24頁第54段)。」

[3]  見備註二,第43段。

[4] 《選舉(舞弊及非法行為)條例》第23(1)及(2)條。[1]

[5]    Mok Charles Peter v Tam Wai Ho & Anor (2012) 15 HKCFAR 489的第30段。

[6]    See for example this Youtube video - JFung Remix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-9jtQi7JJI)

[7]    Director of Public Prosecutions v Luft [1977] AC 962, 983G-984A一案中的判詞第32段:「事情總有兩面,阻礙競選對手當選亦同時會促成自己當選。」

[8]    Ma CJ第38段的第3點。

[9]  http://www.legco.gov.hk/research-publications/english/1516in01-regulation-of-the-use-of-social-media-in-election-in-selected-places-20151030-e.pdf

[10] Ma CJ第41段的第3點。

 

 

Public Consultation on the Method of Selecting the Chief Executive in 2017
Proposed Guidelines on Election Related Activities
Submissions of the Progressive Lawyers Group

 

A.      Summary

1. The Electoral Affairs Commission (“EAC”) has initiated a public consultation to invite comments on a Proposed Guidelines on election-related activities in respect of the Legislative Council (“LegCo”) Election (“the Proposed Guidelines”).  These are the Progressive Lawyers Group's (“PLG”) submissions.

2. The Progressive Lawyers Group's (“PLG”) is concerned about the amendments to the Proposed Guidelines under Chapter 8 and in particular, Paragraphs 8.3 and 8.4 which provide that many common daily activities, commentaries, debates and discussions which occur in online forums and on social media amongst individual residents of Hong Kong, may be deemed and classified as an Electoral Advertisement (“EA”).

3. Paragraphs 8.3 and 8.4 of the Proposed Guidelines are drafted in such wide terms that individuals and groups acting independently and exercising their freedom of expression before, during or after the election period, may be found liable and in breach of Section 23 of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance, Cap. 554 (“ECICO”) which can result in fines or periods of imprisonment up to 3 years.[1]

4. The PLG is of the view that the present wording of Paragraphs 8.3 and 8.4 of the Proposed Guidelines amountsis framed in manner that can lead to an unjustifiable interference with Hong Kong voters’ freedom of expression and the right to participation in public life as guaranteed and protected by Article 27 of the Basic Law (“HKBL”), and Articles 16 and 21 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights (“HKBOR”).

5. The PLG therefore recommends that:

(1) Individual acts of broadcasting personal expressions of political expression which may promote or prejudice a candidate should be expressly exempted from the definition of an Electoral Advertisement; and

(2) Specific references to social media as a separate measure from traditional methods of publication should be removed as they should be treated similarly (i.e. there is no principled distinction between forwarding or sharing an election campaign digitally and physically);).  If it is not an electoral advert to promote or prejudice a candidate to friends and family at a dim sum table, it should not be unlawful to do the same on a Facebook account; and

(3) The reference to “before” the election period should be removed as this suggests that pre-election period advocacy may be caught by provisions which are specific to electoral campaigning.

 

B.      The Law on Regulation of Electoral Expenses and Freedom of Expression

Fundamental Rights to Political Expression and Meaningful Participation in Elections

6. HKBL Article 27 and HKBOR Article 16 provide that all persons in Hong Kong enjoy the fundamental rights to the freedom of expression and opinion.  HKBOR Article 21 also protects the right to take part in public life.  What this means is that the right to express and receive political opinions, and the right to debate and discuss ones personal views during elections are protected fundamental human rights.[2]

7. Such rights are however not absolute and may be regulated.  InRegulation in Hong Kong's form of democracy, limits to each Kong is imposed primarily on candidates expenditure.  Candidates are not allowed to spend above a fixed ceiling on electoral expense are imposed for the purpose of protecting the integrity of our elections,expenses. This is to ensure that theyelections remain egalitarian, free, fair and accessible (i.e. to prevent rich and resource heavy candidates from buying up advertising and increasing public exposure and denying space for informed debates).[3]  The corollary is that voters are able to make informed decisions about whom to vote, and to be able to participate in the elections through open debate and discourse.  The purpose of regulating election expenditure is not to stifle free speech and debate amongst voters.

The ECICO

8. The regulation of candidate expenditure is provided for by the ECICO is .  It provides the statutory provision that regulatesfooting to regulate all electoral advertising activities generally including the imposition of limits to electoral expenses.

9. Elections expenses are defined in ECICO s.2(1) as expenses incurred either by a candidate or on behalf of a candidate for the purpose of promoting the election of the candidate or prejudicing the election of another candidate and includes the value of election donations consisting of goods and services used for that purpose.

10. Election advertisements are also defined in ECICO s.2(1) as a publicly exhibited notice, a notice delivered by hand or electronic transmission, a public announcement made by radio or television or by video or cinematographic film, any other form of publication, published for the purpose of promoting or prejudicing the election of a candidate or candidates at the election.

11. ECICO s.23 provides that only the candidate or persons authorised by the candidate are entitled to incur expenses on behalf of a candidate only.[4]  Anyone who is not authorised but is deemed to have incurred an electoral expense is liable for prosecution of a criminal offence under ECICO s.22.

12. If an unauthorised person is deemed to have incurred electoral expenses on behalf of a candidate, such expenses are counted towards a candidate.  This is made clear by ECICO s.24 because although subsection (1) provides that although the candidate may be found to have engaged in illegal conduct in exceeding electoral expense limits, subsection (3) provides for a defence that such expenses were incurred without the candidate's negligence or his/her consent.

The Proposed Guidelines and the Statutory Context

13. The following activities under the Proposed Guidelines may amount to an Electoral Advert:

(1) Proposed Guidelines Paragraph 8.3 provides generally that any materials published by any person or organisation, during or before the election period, to appeal directly or indirectly to electors to vote or note vote for candidates, may be regarded as Electoral Adverts and therefore will be regarded as election expenses.

(2) Proposed Guidelines Paragraph 8.4 provides specifically that an individual or group who publishes a message through internet platforms (i.e. websites, social media, communication networks, etc.) that promotes or prejudices electoral candidates is an Electoral Advert.

(3) Proposed Guidelines Paragraph 8.4 provides one exception to the above – namely, web surfers are allowed to share or forward different candidates election campaigns if they do not intend to promote or prejudice the elections of any candidates.

Discussion

14. It is important to considerAs set out above, the reasonablenesspurpose of the ECICO is to promote free and fair elections by imposing limits on candidates spending on electoral expenses.  The Proposed Guidelines inmust thereore be consistent with the context oflegislative intent with the statutory provision to ensure the Proposed Guidelines doECICO and not go beyond the intended intention of the legislature.  The its stated purpose.

15. The PLG is of the view that Paragraphs 8.3 and 8.4 raise two issues ariseto consider:

(1) First, is the construction of electoral advertisement under Paragraph 8.3 and 8.4 too wide?

(2) Second, is it reasonable for Paragraph 8.3 and 8.4 to restrict political expression before the commencement of the election period?

Definition of Electoral Advertisement too wide

The Court of Final Appeal has previously held that the statutory definition of an election expense under the ECICO is extremely wide and therefore it must be carefully construed otherwise “all sorts of activity may be caught by the definition when this could not have been the statutory intention.”[5]

17. Adopting a similar approach to the construction of the EAC of electoral advertisments under the Proposed Guidelines Paragraphs 8.3 and 8.4, the PLG is of the view that by defining Electoral Advertisements to include:

 (1)“any materials published by any person” that “appeal directly or indirectly to electors to vote or not vote for certain candidates … and whether they contain any names or photographs of candidates”; and

 (2)“a message published through internet platforms … for promoting the election of a candidate or prejudicing the election of other candidates”

the aforesaid definition is so wide that it includes all sorts of innocent activities.

18. Such innocent activities include individuals expressing their personal political opinions or preferences for candidates on the internet, social networks or communication networks.  Satirical pieces which poke fun of candidates often created by individuals without any instigation from any candidate may be deemed to promote or prejudice one candidate over another.[6]  It is also inevitable that such political opinion will promote or prejudice on or more electoral candidates.[7] 

19. Paragraph 8.4 which does expressly provide for an exception to individuals, is restricted to persons who forward of share candidate's electoral campaigns only.  This means that persons who create content (i.e. write a message, post a video, etc.) are exposed to criminal liability.  Furthermore, Paragraph 8.4 does not provide any clarification on how web surfers can prove that they do not having the intention to promote or prejudice the election of candidates by forwarding or sharing such campaigns.  By dint of forwarding or sharing a candidate's electoral campaign, one is already promoting a candidate at the expense of another. 

20. The PLG is therefore of the view that as currently drafted, Proposed Guidelines Paragraph 8.3 and 8.4 amount to an unconstitutional interference with Hong Kong residents’ constitutional rights to express their political opinion and to have meaningful participation in public life.

21. Furthermore, it must be recalled that ECICO s.24 also imposes a burden on therequires all candidate to declare all electoral expenses, including those which are unauthorised and the. The failure to do so will amount to illegal conduct.  While there are statutory defences of taking reasonable care orto do so, or that such expenses were incurred without consent of the candidate, this createswill undoubtedly create unnecessary post-election period confusion and will ultimately prolongincrease the election process by encouragingpossibility of multiple election petitions and allegations of wrongdoingby aggrieved candidates.

Temporal Limitation on Political Expression

22. Furthermore, Paragraph 8.3 and 8.4 provide that the prohibition on such innocent activities begins before the election period.  The election period is defined under ECICO s.2(1) as the time beginning from the nomination day until the end of the polling. 

23. The Court of Final Appeal has held that “the type of activity or matter intended to be caught by the  election expense  provisions in ECICO consists only of those activities or matters which are referable to a specific election and which take place or occur during the election period or the period of a person's candidacy (whichever period begins earlier).” [8] (emphasis added).

24. The PLG agrees with the construction of the ECICO by the Court of Final Appeal and it is therefore clear that the temporal limitations imposed by Paragraph 8.3 before the election period is in direct contravention of the Court of Final Appeal decision, wrong as a matter of law and unconstitutional.

 

C.    Conclusion and Recommendations

25. The Legco Secretariat has already provided a comparative study of various jurisdictions who regulate the use of social media during elections.[9]  It is notable that in all the other comparative jurisdictions of the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada:

(1) all distinguish between individual activities and those from candidates and authorised election agents;

(2) individuals are provided with a threshold limit in the United Kingdom and exceeding that limit does not impose any burden on a candidate but only on the individual himself/herself.  No such limits are imposed in New Zealand and Canada.

26. It is the PLG's view that the Propose Guidelines Paragraphs 8.3 and 8.4 fail to properly distinguish between activities which were intended to be caught by the ECICO and those which are legitimate activities, i.e. individual expressions of political opinion.  As held by the Court of Final Appeal, “election expenses refer precisely to those activities or matters in the conduct or management of an election by those seeking to be elected (the candidates); in other words, those activities or matters which go to the machinery of an election.” [10]

27. Furthermore, without exempting individuals and, what the statutory burden on candidates to police their supporters, it would be overly burdensome forEAC is in effect demanding of all candidates tois that they monitor and police the internet forums, social media networks and communication networks.  PLG is of the view that such a burden is disproprotionate to the aim of the ECICO and impractical to enforce against third parties to avoid unauthorised election expenseseven by the EAC itself.

28. The PLG therefore recommends the following amendments to Paragraphs 8.3 and 8.4:

(1) Individual acts of broadcasting personal expressions of political expression which may promote or prejudice a candidate should be expressly exempted from the definition of an Electoral Advertisement; and

(2) Specific references to social media as a separate measure from traditional methods of publication should be removed as they should be treated similarly (i.e. there is no principled distinction between forwarding or sharing an election campaign digitally and physically);).  If it is not an electoral advert to promote or prejudice a candidate to friends and family at a dim sum table, it should not be unlawful to do the same on a Facebook account; and

(3) The reference to “before” the election period should be removed as this suggests that pre-election period advocacy may be caught by provisions which are specific to electoral campaigning.

 

1st April 2016

The Progressive Lawyers Group

 

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[1]   s.22 of the ECICO provides that:

“(1) Any person who engages in illegal conduct at an election commits an offence and is-

(a) if tried summarily, liable on conviction to a fine at level 5 and to imprisonment for 1 year; or

(b) if tried on indictment, liable on conviction to a fine of $200000 and to imprisonment for 3 years.

(2) A person may be convicted of an offence of having engaged in illegal conduct at an election if the person is found to have engaged in the conduct before, during or after the election period.”

[2]   Bowman v. The United Kingdom (141/1996/762/959) 19 February 1998 at §42:

"Free elections and freedom of expression, particularly freedom of political debate, together form the bedrock of any democratic system (see the Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt v. Belgium judgment of 2 March 1987 , Series A no. 113, p. 22, § 47, and the Lingens v. Austria judgment of 8 July 1986 , *1230 Series A no. 103, p. 26, §§ 41–42). The two rights are inter-related and operate to reinforce each other: for example, as the Court has observed in the past, freedom of expression is one of the ‘conditions’ necessary to ‘ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature’ (see the above-mentioned Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt judgment, p. 24 , §54)”

[3]   note 2 supra at §43

[4]   ECICO s.23(1) and (2)

[5]   Mok Charles Peter v Tam Wai Ho & Anor (2012) 15 HKCFAR 489 per Ma CJ at §30

[6]   Tree根好大鑊 - JFung Remix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-9jtQi7JJI)

[7]   note 4 supra at §32 per Ma CJ citing with approval Director of Public Prosecutions v Luft [1977] AC 962 , 983G-984A “are really two sides of the same coin in that prejudicing the election of a rival candidate will usually involve promoting oneself in the election”;

[8]   note 3 supra at §38 per Ma CJ

[9] http://www.legco.gov.hk/research-publications/english/1516in01-regulation-of-the-use-of-social-media-in-election-in-selected-places-20151030-e.pdf

[10]   note 3 supra at §41 per Ma CJ

 

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