程水:當代獨立權利來自民族自決

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香港民族黨成立,成為首個開宗明義主張香港獨立的政黨,其獨立的基礎是香港乃一民族,在國際法下有民族自決的權利。以主張獨立來說,以民族為理據,是正路,因為民族自決的原則在特定處境下確實給予一民族獨立建國的權利。

當然,國際法沒那麼簡單,民族自決並非必然等於有獨立的權利,是甚麼處境足以令一民族獲得分裂原宗主國國土以獨立建國的權利,是數十年來仍在爭拗的國際法問題。香港的國際法教育素來不足,即使連知識份子也欠缺國際法常識是已知事實,但竟然會有人說「獨立訴求的權利與民族自決無關」,實在只能令人失笑,低處未算低。我唯有花點時間,簡單解釋一下國際法下的民族自決原則。

人權條約確立的群體權利

先從歷史說起。民族自決雖然是現時國際法明確承認的權利,但它被國際法承認為權利,其實還不夠一個世紀。在1920年國際聯盟對奧蘭群島主權問題的決定中,仍斬釘截鐵地說:

「The recognition of this principle [of self-determination of peoples] in a certain number of international treaties cannot be considered as sufficient to put it upon the same footing as a positive rule of the Law of Nations.」(簡註:Law of Nations即國際法。)

此決定後,民族自決是否國際法權利的爭議,仍然持續,特別是在二戰後,更趨激烈。而最後將民族自決確立為國際法權利的,是一九六O年十二月十四日的聯合國大會1514號決議。從決議的內容不難看出,關鍵的背境是反殖浪潮──殖民乃對一民族的壓迫和剝削,違反基本人權,而該基本人權就是自決的權利,明確指出殖民地人民有脫離殖民者獨立建國的權利。

至一九六六年,聯合國通過了《公民及政治權利國際公約》及《經濟、社會及文化權利國際公約》(下稱「兩份公約」) (但生效則延至一九七六年),兩份公約的第一條皆訂明「All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.」這裡特意引用英文,中文版本下節再談。

這個自決權利,見於一九六六年通過的兩份公約,卻不是一九四八年的《世界人權宣言》的一部份。其實只要比較《公民及政治權利國際公約》及《世界人權宣言》,不難發現兩者在內容上的最大差別,就是前者多了民族自決權 (第1條) 和少數族群權利 (第27條),而這兩種權利皆為群體權利。從一九四八年的《世界人權宣言》到一九六六年的兩份公約,國際法對人權的理解已拓闊至保障群體權利。如果因為《世界人權宣言》而以為國際法下的人權皆為個人層面的人權,並由此理解民族自決權,無疑是大錯特錯。

「Peoples」的意思

到底兩份公約第一條中所指的「Peoples」,是「民族」還是「人民」,不止是一個翻譯上的爭議。即使是修讀人權法的人也未必知道,兩份公約的中文版共有兩個版本,一個是公約通過之時中華民國仍為聯合國中國代表時之正體字版本,另一個是中華人民共和國奪得此代表席位後之簡化字版本,兩個版本的翻譯有明顯不同:

中華民國為聯合國中國代表時的版本

「所有民族均享有自決權,根據此種權利,自由決定其政治地位及自由從事其經濟、社會與文化之發展。」

中華人民共和國為聯合國中國代表時的版本

「所有人民都有自决权。他们凭这种权利自由决定他们的政治地位,并自由谋求他们的经济、社会和文化的发展。」

由於中文是兩份公約的法定語言之一,「Peoples」一詞在公約中是指「民族」還是「人民」,不止是翻譯的問題。然而,由於兩份公約的內容乃於一九六六年於聯合國通過,其時中華民國為聯合國的中國代表,即使被中華人民共和國取代後出現了兩份公約的另一中文版本,該新版本在法理上依然無法改變已然通過之兩份公約的實質內容。基於這個原因,「Peoples」在兩份公約中應指「民族」。

殖民地的自權決和uti possidetis

「Peoples」應解作民族,但這裡所指民族,不是血統或種族決定。我無意涉足甚麼公民民族主義的政治理論爭拗,而是要指出,自決權的行使和國際法另一原則uti possidetis的關係。這個拉丁語字詞的大約意思是,國界以當下為準。以殖民地行使自決權獨立的情況來說,就是不會理會那些地方成為殖民地前的國界。擁有獨立權利的群體的定義,並非取決於殖民之前的歷史、文化或種族,而是由殖民地時代劃下的界域所界定。

我在此偷個懶,直接引用聯合國國際法院一九八六年於Case Concerning the Frontier Dispute (Burkina Faso/Republic of Mali) 一案的判詞:

「20. … [T]he principle of uti possidetis seems to have been first invoked and applied in Spanish America, inasmuch as this was the continent which first witnessed the phenomenon of decolonization involving the formation of a number of sovereign States on territory formerly belonging to a single metropolitan State. Nevertheless the principle is not a special rule which pertains solely to one specific system of international law. It is a general principle, which is logically connected with the phenomenon of the obtaining of independence, wherever it occurs. Its obvious purpose is to prevent the independence and stability of new States being endangered by fratricidal struggles provoked by the challenging of frontiers following the withdrawal of the administering power.

21. It was for this reason that, as soon as the phenomenon of decolonization characteristic of the situation in Spanish America in the 19th century subsequently appeared in Africa in the 20th century, the principle of uti possidetis, in the sense described above, fell to be applied. The fact that the new African States have respected the administrative boundaries and frontiers established by the colonial powers must be seen not as a mere practice contributing to the gradual emergence of a principle of customary international law, limited in its impact to the African continent as it had previously been to Spanish America, but as the application in Africa of a rule of general scope.

23. There are several different aspects to this principle, in its well known application in Spanish America. The first aspect, emphasized by the Latin genitive juris, is found in the pre-eminence accorded to legal title over effective possession as a basis of sovereignty. Its purpose, at the time of the achievement of independence by the former Spanish colonies of America, was to scotch any designs which non-American colonizing powers might have on regions which had been assigned by the former metropolitan State to one division or another, but which were still uninhabited or unexplored.

However, there is more to the principle of uti possidetis than this particular aspect. The essence of the principle lies in its primary aim of securing respect for the territorial boundaries at the moment when independence is achieved. Such territorial boundaries might be no more than delimitations between different administrative divisions or colonies al1 subject to the same sovereign. In that case, the application of the principle of uti possidetis resulted in administrative boundaries being transformed into international frontiers in the full sense of the term.

This is true both of the States which took shape in the regions of South America which were dependent on the Spanish Crown, and of the States Parties to the present case, which took shape within the vast territories of French West Africa. Uti possidetis, as a principle which upgraded former administrative delimitations, established during the colonial period, to international frontiers, is therefore a principle of a general kind which is logically connected with this form of decolonization wherever it occurs.」

因此,兩份公約第一條所訂明的民族自決權,擁有自決權利的殖民地「民族」,嚴格來說不是由殖民之前的歷史定義,而是根據殖民時代所劃下的界域,決定何謂一個有自決權利的民族。「民族自決權」中的民族界線,在殖民的情況下,由殖民地界定。我在兩年前寫〈只有民族自決,能讓香港免於三十三年後毀滅〉時忽略了uti possidetis此原則,是一謬誤,特此更正。

前殖民地的獨立權利

雖然兩份公約說所有民族皆有自決權利,但正如本文開初所說,並非所有民族都有權利獨立。事實上,能透過此權利獨立的,只有前殖民地。除此以外,非殖民地民族是否可以要求獨立,仍然是國際法的一大爭論點,未有定案。加拿大最高法院於1998年Reference re Secession of Quebec的判詞就援引Antonio Cassese的《Self-Determination of Peoples》,清晰地指出:

「131. … [T]he general state of international law with respect to the right to self-determination is that the right operates within the overriding protection granted to the territorial integrity of “parent” states. However, as noted by Cassese … there are certain defined contexts within which the right to the self-determination of peoples does allow that right to be exercised “externally”, which, in the context of this Reference, would potentially mean secession:

… the right to external self-determination, which entails the possibility of choosing (or restoring) independence, has only been bestowed upon two classes of peoples (those under colonial rule or foreign occupation), based upon the assumption that both classes make up entities that are inherently distinct from the colonialist Power and the occupant Power and that their ‘territorial integrity’, all but destroyed by the colonialist or occupying Power, should be fully restored. …

132. The right of colonial peoples to exercise their right to self-determination by breaking away from the “imperial” power is now undisputed…」

殖民地的民族自決,是一個指向獨立的權利。這是民族自決權與獨立的關係中最無爭議的一點。除殖民以外,一個民族基本上暫時仍沒有單方面脫離其現有國家直接獨立的明確權利。

不少人還在爭拗何謂「香港民族」,但其實說到尾,根據國際法中的uti possidetis原則,香港曾為英國殖民地的歷史本身已足以令香港成為可以行使自決權的「民族」,而同一段歷史亦令民族自決權之於香港構成一個獨立的權利。香港的獨立訴求,據此兩項國際法原則即可。這就是為何香港獨立,絕對應該以民族自決為綱。

反過來說,在主權平等、領土完整也同為國際法原則的當代,除了殖民地民族自決外,基本上已難以再找到另一個能應然獲取獨立權利的途徑。正如加拿大最高法院在Reference re Secession of Quebec中所說,殖民地或受壓迫地區這些可以藉民族自決原則獨立的情況本身就屬例外,一般情況下爭取獨立應通過與所屬國家協商。但以香港的情況,不訴諸殖民地的民族自決獨立權,難度還要像泛民主派般與中華人民共和國協商?爭取獨立之路應如何走,答案其實很清晰。


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