立場新聞 Stand News

法律未必能矯正一切不公義

2015/4/23 — 8:00

【《法政匯思》短評:關於近日一個七旬長者被判入獄四個月的案件】
THE PROGRESSIVE LAWYERS GROUP'S SHORT COMMENTARY REGARDING A RECENT CASE WHERE AN ELDERLY PERSON IN HIS SEVENTIES WAS SENTENCED TO FOUR MONTHS' IMPRISONMENT

根據近日傳媒報道,一名七旬患有心臟病長者,因為希望能自力更生去照顧自己及其妻子,在過往六年期間用在深圳買回來把自己年齡報得年輕一點的「身分證」來獲聘用為保安員。在這段時間,他的工作表現良好,曾經因此收到警察書面上的嘉許。

但他用的「身分證」的非真實性最終被發現,失去工作之餘亦就此被刑事起訴。長者最終在上星期四被判入獄四個月。社會人士就這案件量刑的對與錯議論紛紛。單憑近日的報導,要嘗試評論這案件的量刑實在不容易。我們只能十分概括地說,「欺騙金錢利益」的確是會被法庭視為嚴重的刑事罪行,而這類案件在定罪後被判入獄亦是常見的。就此,我們呼籲所有在評論這案件對或錯的人士能保持克制,避免對個別司法人員作出謾罵或沒有根據的攻擊。

廣告

言歸正傳,或許這個慘案所反映的,就是法律未必是適合用來去處理及矯正社會上一切不公義的工具。法律始終是根據一些大原則去執行,而這些原則亦很難去兼顧所有各式各樣的情況及案件。這案件所帶出來的,反而是一些更深層次的社會問題。當我們的壽命越長、越有能力工作到一個較大的年紀時,為何我們的就業市場就偏偏越來越排斥年紀較大的人士?當我們的社會應該是富裕時,為何貧困的長者不被賦予機會去分享這富裕的果實,而是要為了維持生計,想盡辦法繼續嘗試找低薪但亦艱辛的工作?當一個社會的文明與否是在於我們怎樣對待弱勢社群時,為何我們締造了一個「凡是拿福利的人都是懶人」的風氣,使弱勢社群受壓,覺得受到任何資助就等同被剝削尊嚴?

就讓我們法律界及其他專業人士從今次及類似事件能體會到,我們不是因為所謂「讀多些書」,就甚麼都認識、甚麼都能高高在上地「教」他人應該怎樣過他們的生活。我們需要的,是多一份謙卑、多一份同理心、多一份愛,好好地向我們的弱勢社群學習、使他們得到應有的尊重。

廣告

法政匯思
2015年4月21日

According to recent press reports, an elderly person in his seventies with a history of heart problems had in the past 6 years used forged ID cards he purchased in Shenzhen which showed him to be younger than he actually was, so that he could continue to be employed as a security guard to support himself and his wife, without not relying on welfare. His work performance was good during the relevant period and he had received written commendations from the Police.

However, the fact that his identity card was not genuine was eventually discovered. The elderly lost his job and was prosecuted, and he was sentenced to 4 months’ imprisonment last Thurday. The correctness or otherwise of the decision has led to much discussion among members of the public. We are not in a position to comment on the sentence in this case solely based on the facts as stated in the recent reports. We can only note generally that obtaining a monetary advantage by deception is considered as a serious offence by the Court, and it is common for those convicted of such an offence to be sentenced to imprisonment. As such, we call on everyone who is commenting on the correctness or otherwise of the decision to exercise restraint and refrain from making abusive or unfounded attacks on individual judges.

Returning to the case itself, it is perhaps the case that this tragic matter demonstrates that the law may at times not be an appropriate tool to deal with or rectify all injustices in the society.  The law is enforced by the application of certain general principles, and it is difficult for such principles to seek to cater for every single scenario and case.  This case has in fact raised some deeper social issues. Whilst we now have longer life expectancy and are capable to remain in work longer, why does the labour market increasingly shut out these elderly workers? In an affluent society like Hong Kong, why are those elderly citizens who are living in poverty not entitled to share the fruits of our success, but are instead forced to seek tough but low-paying jobs in order to support themselves? When a society's civility is measured by how it treats its weakest members, why are we stigmatising all welfare recipients as the “lazy poor”? This makes the social vulnerable groups feel pressured into thinking that receiving welfare is somehow undignified.

We in the legal profession and other professions should learn from this incident and other similar incidents that our so-called better education does not mean we know everything and can see fit to "teach" others how they should live their lives. What we need is to demonstrate more humility, empathy and love towards the vulnerable in society, to learn from them and let them have the respect and dignity they deserve.

Progressive Lawyers Group
23 April 2015

(標題由編輯所擬)

發表意見