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【丁權案】香港政府出賣新界原居民

2019/4/9 — 11:28

鄉議局當然執委兼律師林國昌(圖左)、鄉議局副主席林偉強(圖右)

鄉議局當然執委兼律師林國昌(圖左)、鄉議局副主席林偉強(圖右)

丁權司法覆核案昨日法庭有判決,三類丁權中,只有一項村民擁有的私人土地內興建「免費牌照屋」(Free Building Licence)才屬新界傳統權益,受基本法保障,其餘兩類「私人協議批地」(Private Treaty Grant)及「與政府換地」(Exchange)皆判定為不屬新界傳統權益。

圖 1 判決書 [1]

圖 1 判決書 [1]

廣告

根據判詞,法官主要依賴政府的文件及代表政府的律師所表達的政府立場來作出裁決,如果大家留意代表政府的律師所表達的政府立場,基本上是全面否定鄉議局的看法,甚至否定政府自己多年來執行的丁屋政策,似乎有意令鄉議局敗訴。

譬如鄉議局認為丁權在制定基本法時新界原居民已享有的傳統權益,在起草基本法時列明受基本法 40 條保障,政府自 1972 年起亦一直批准原居民興建丁屋。但政府律師在庭上竟然打倒政府自己幾十年的行為,反駁指傳統權益只侷限於新界原居民在 1898 年前已可追溯到的權益,而不是基本法起草前享有的權益!原文如下:

廣告

‘in terms of “traditional” rights and interests, they are confined to those traceable to the rights and interests of the New Territories indigenous inhabitants before the commencement of the New Territories Lease in 1898’[1]

法官接納政府律師的講法,否決了鄉議局的觀點。

‘Having regard to the context and purpose of BL 40, I agree with the Government’s submission …’[1]

然而,綜觀判決書全文,法官除了分析 1898 年前的大清律例和清朝寶安縣的地方村落習俗外,亦分析了大量有關港英時期由 1898 年至 1980 年間的政府文件和政府行政局簡報等內容,以決定三類丁權是否傳統權益的理據,明顯有考慮 1898 年之後,1972 年之前的新界原居民建屋政策,與政府律師所定義的傳統不完全一樣,卻完全與我在 2016 年所提出的理據如出一轍 [2]。

譬如界定興建「免費牌照屋」屬新界傳統權益時,參考了 1906 年金文泰的意見 (CSO No. 807/06),認為大清律例並無區分農地與屋地;還有 1957 年行政局簡報 (1957 ExCo Memo) 註明如村民興建「牌照屋」只作村民自己居住用途,可免補地價。原文如下:

‘(1957 ExCo Memo) A bona fide villager will in general be permitted, subject to planning and fung-shui considerations, to build a village-type house for his own occupation, and such permission (by building license) will be free of premium’[1]

‘(1957 ExCo Memo) We have said many times that the grantees of old schedule lots and their descendants are not required to pay premium for conversion of their agricultural land to build traditional village houses for their own occupation.’[1]

再參考 1967 年行政局簡報,列明三項免補地價的建屋條件,分別為:(1) 與政府在新界有集體官批租約關係人士 (即新界原居民),(2) 在自己擁有的農地上建屋,及 (3) 作自己佔用用途。原文如下:

1967 ExCo Memo XCR (67)62: Since the beginning of the lease of the New Territories there has been a tacit agreement that the villagers be allowed to build houses for their own occupation on their own agricultural land held under the Block Crown Lease, free of premium.’ [1]

即使過了 1972 年的政府文件,只要提及新界原居民的傳統權益,一樣參考。譬如 1980 年首席土地行政官林定國先生(譯音)的《新界丁屋報告》(The New Territories Small House Policy Report)回顧了新界村民的農地建屋政策,同樣強調必須符合以上三項條件,證明在丁屋政策推行前或後的政府政策一致,只是近年來變質,原文如下:

‘The New Territories Small House Policy Report 1980: Since the beginning of the lease of the New Territories the custom of the villagers to build houses in their village for their own occupationand on their own agricultural land held under the Block Crown Lease issued in 1905, free of premium, has been recognised. This tradition was officially endorsed by the Executive Council in October, 1959.‘ [1] (underlined by the court)

參考了多份政府文件後,法官的結論是如果符合以上三項條件(另加一項不被村民反對),興建「免費牌照屋」屬新界原居民的傳統權益,原文如下:

‘113 It is not, I understand, to be in dispute that before the War and for several decades after the War, consent to applications by villagers for free building licences were, in practice, restricted by the District Officer to male villagers applying to build village houses for their own use or the use of their families within their own village area, where the applications were not objected to by the village communities.’[1]

換言之,今次法庭判決最重要不是確立「免費牌照屋」屬新界原居民的傳統權益,而是丁屋如須受基本法 40 條保障,該「免費牌照屋」必須只作合資格申請人一家自住,並在申請人自己擁有的私人農地上興建。這意味著受基本法保障的丁屋將不可在市場轉售或出租,對新界房產市場影響深遠,然而,由於法官要求各方在 21 天內再補交文件討論如何落實判決,因此判決書未有深入討論有關判決對現行及將來的丁屋有何影響。

最後,政府律師完全改變政府多年來對丁屋政策目的的講法,突然改為與民間近年揭發的資料一致,把丁屋政策的目的說成是為了控制寮屋問題,改善臨時住宅結構及其狀況,與權益可謂風馬牛不相及,原文如下:

‘It is the Government’s evidence that “[t]he purpose of the Small House Policy … was to control the squatter problems and improve temporary domestic structures and their conditions’[1]

然而,政府為了令鄉議局敗訴,變臉不認人,更難以自圓其說。如果丁屋政策的目的是為了控制寮屋問題,改善臨時住宅結構及其狀況,那麼為什麼在 90 年代已經完全解決了原居民的居住環境後仍不停止有關政策?明顯是自打咀巴,另有目的。此外,如果政府認定基本法第 40 條的傳統二字只指 1898 年前的權益,那麼為什麼繼續容許新界原居民在政府土地上興建丁屋,還預留 900 公頃政府土地作興建丁屋用途?政府今次的行為和言論簡直可謂人格分裂,自相矛盾!

 

[1] Kwok Cheuk Kin and Lui Chi Hang v DoL, CEinC, SfJ and HYK, HCAL 260/2015. (Judicial Review of Small House Policy)
[2] 姚松炎(2016)丁屋政策是傳統?取消丁權,才是回歸真傳統,《端傳媒》1 月 29 日。

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