世行对中国司法解释的法律效力仍存疑虑,中国法学家赴华盛顿解疑_东方法眼 [dffyw.com]
 
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世行对中国司法解释的法律效力仍存疑虑,中国法学家赴华盛顿解疑

2019年07月04日07:53 上观新闻 罗培新
   
 

核心提示:摘要:世行专家的核心疑虑是,最高法院不是立法机关,中国又没有判例法,凭什么可以造法?人世间有太多的认知差异,千万不要认为,我们的常识,就是他

摘要:世行专家的核心疑虑是,最高法院不是立法机关,中国又没有判例法,凭什么可以造法?人世间有太多的认知差异,千万不要认为,我们的常识,就是他人的理所当然。

 

2019年6月,世行华盛顿总部,草木繁盛,万物并育。中国代表团与世行专家就营商环境评估的十项指标,密集举行了十场磋商。世行每一项指标的背后,都拥有中国法律的强大支撑。而其中,“办理破产”、“保护中小投资者”与“执行合同”的诸多得分点,除了依靠法律法规之外,还必须依赖最高法院的司法解释。

世行 司法解释

本人全程参与十项指标的磋商,见证了世行专家对我国最高院司法解释效力的种种疑虑。应世行要求,本人梳理完成了司法解释具有法律效力的所有文件,在征求世行专家张木桥的建议后,在三天之前提交给了世行,世行专家回复称“亲爱的培新教授,我收到了这份非常有意思的文件,我随后会与其他指标团队分享”(Dear Professor Peixin, We acknowledge receipt of this very interesting document and I will share with other indicator teams accordingly.)从这份中性的回复里,无法读出世行专家的态度,我隐隐有些不安。当天早上,我请教了两位上海外办的翻译专家朱敏与赵琰,她们说,“有意思(interesting)”这个词,不但看不出肯定的意思,而且,往往传递的是偏负面的信息。这一判断,验证了我的预感。如果世行最终不认可我国司法解释的效力,我国的三项指标“办理破产”、“保护中小投资者”与“执行合同”将会受到重大影响。

世行 司法解释

人世间,有太多的不得已。对于熟悉中国法的人来说,最高院司法解释具有法律效力,属于常识般的基本认知。但对于必须面对诸多不同法域的世行专家而言,他们却很难理所当然地接受。他们的核心疑虑是,法院不是立法机关,中国又没有判例法,最高院凭什么可以造法?

与世行磋商,文本交换是基础,说理愈显重要

思来想去,除了将法律文件提供给世行之外,一项更重要的工作是,针对世行的疑虑,形成说理闭环,进一步强化司法解释的效力。

世行专家的三大疑虑是:其一,最高院的司法解释,是否在立法机关之外,创造了法律?其二,如果法律保持沉默,司法解释将其进一步细化了,是否超越了权限?其三,法律保持沉默,只是由司法解释予以细化,当事人如何能够获悉并行使此种权利?

接下来,针对世行的疑惑,在飞离美国的航班上,我形成以下说理,译成英文,发给世行专家:

其一,世行问卷的方法论所认可的规则,囊括了一切具有拘束力的规则。以“办理破产”DB2020问卷为例,该问卷第4.6题的设问是“What laws and supporting regulations/rules will apply in Mirage’s case ”,也就是说,“在问卷假设的Mirage案件中,哪些法律、法规或者规则将予以适用”?在问卷的多处,还出现了“法律框架”(Legal Framework)或“合法基础”(Legal basis)的表述。因而,世行认可的规则,绝不限于全国人大制定的法律,还应包括对其假设的案例具有拘束力的所有规则,甚至包括北京和上海的地方性法规、政府规章和规范性文件,上交所颁布的上市准则等。在DB2019中,司法解释曾经运用于“保护中小投资者”指标,世行也予以认可,中国因此也得了分。故而,司法解释自然属于世行方法论认可的“规则”。

世行 司法解释

其二,司法解释并不创造基本权利与义务,只是对法律的适用进行解释,具有相应的法律效力。司法解释的法源基础(Legal basis)是《中华人民共和国人民法院组织法》第18条“最高人民法院可以对属于审判工作中具体应用法律的问题进行解释”,以及《全国人民代表大会常务委员会关于加强法律解释工作的决议》的规定“凡属于法院审判工作中具体应用法律、法令的问题,由最高人民法院进行解释”。基于以上两点,《最高人民法院关于司法解释工作的规定》第5条规定,最高人民法院发布的司法解释,具有法律效力;第27条规定:司法解释施行后,人民法院作为裁判依据的,应当在司法文书中援引。

其三,司法解释可以对法律规定不明确之处,予以具体化;或者对法律规定的空白之处,予以补白,这属于填补法律漏洞,必须符合法律原理与法律精神,并不创造或者消灭基本权利,当然不属于超越法律。前者如我国《破产法》第42条第4项规定,人民法院受理破产申请后发生的下列债务,为共益债务:……为债务人继续营业而应支付的劳动报酬和社会保险费用以及由此产生的其他债务。由于“其他债务”并不明确,《破产法》司法解释三第2条规定,破产案件受理后,为继续经营债务人企业而新发生的借款,应当作为《企业破产法》第42条第4项规定的共益债务,由债务人财产随时清偿。此条司法解释,即属于对“其他债务”的具体化规定。后者如我国《公司法》司法解释五第4条规定,“决议、章程中均未规定时间或者时间超过一年的,公司应当自决议作出之日起一年内完成利润分配”。此条规则,依据的即是公司法理,即年度股利当然应当至迟在一年内完成分配,我国公司法在此处留白,应当属于立法漏洞,司法解释很好地填补了漏洞。

其四,最高院出台司法解释之前,必须事先征求全国人大常委会的意见;出台司法解释之后,还要经全国人大常委会备案审查,这为司法解释的合法性,奠定了坚实的基础。《中华人民共和国立法法》第104条规定:最高人民法院作出的属于审判工作中具体应用法律的解释,应当自公布之日起三十日内报全国人民代表大会常务委员会备案。就事先征求意见而言,此次破产法的司法解释征求意见稿,最高院向全国人大法工委征求意见后,有一条因全国人大明确提出异议,最高法院最后删除了该条,充分体现了司法解释的严肃性。就事后备案而言,十二届全国人大以来,对128件最高人民法院的司法解释进行了审查,发现5件存在与法律不一致的情形,及时进行了纠正。这就意味着,成功通过全国人大备案审查的司法解释,具有法律效力。

基于以上分析,最高院的司法解释,并没有在法律之外创设基本权利与义务,并不超越权限,经全国人大常委会备案后,向社会公开,具有与其解释的法律同等的法律效力。日后如果法律修订,司法解释也将进行相应的清理,以保证其合法性。

世行评估,法律无所不在

世行营商环境评估的十项指标,从“开办企业”到“办理破产”,从表面上看,没有一个特定的法律指标,然而,事实上,法律无所不在。所有的指标,都涉及到法律的支撑与保障。鉴此,2019年4月23日,第十三届全国人民代表大会常务委员会第十次会议通过了八部法律的修订,分别是《中华人民共和国建筑法》《中华人民共和国消防法》《中华人民共和国电子签名法》《中华人民共和国城乡规划法》《中华人民共和国车船税法》《中华人民共和国商标法》《中华人民共和国反不正当竞争法》《中华人民共和国行政许可法》,涉及数十个条款的修订。另外,国务院也修订了《中华人民共和国注册建筑师条例》《建设工程质量管理条例》《不动产登记暂行条例》等三部行政法规……这批法律法规的修订,绝大多数都与世行营商环境相关。

多次参与世行营商环境磋商,一个切身的感受是,关于流程、时间与费用的说理相对简单,因为它们都是客观指标,而关于法律的说理最为艰难,甚至只是因为翻译有欠精准到位而给磋商带来了极大的难度,例如,将质押合同条款的“一般包括”(generally include)翻译为“shall include”,虽仅一字之差,却将示范性规则误译为强制性规则,从而使世行专家误认为中国法律不允许对担保物进行概括描述,我国面临丢分的危险。此次磋商,我们花了很大力气,希望能够纠正世行的此种误解。

营商环境评估,法律人责无旁贷,大有可为!祝福国运隆昌,百姓安康!

(作者系上海市司法局副局长、法学教授)

附:关于最高院司法解释具有法律效力的说明英文文本

 

Legal basis explaining why the Judicial Interpretations of PRC Supreme Court should have Legal Effect

 

Based on the policy dialogues in the past few days, we acknowledge that some experts of WB still have concerns about Judicial Interpretations as follows: First, have the Judicial Interpretations of PRC Supreme Court (hereafter referred as Judicial Interpretations) created laws beyond its authority? Second, if the law remains silent and Judicial Interpretations specify the rules, would that constitutes the breach of court’s jurisdiction? Third, in the second case, how will the parties be aware of these and excise their rights accordingly?

These are really great questions, which we hope could be responded properly with the followings:

First, the rules recognized by the WB questionnaire include all rules enjoying legal binding force. For example, the question of 4.6 of “Resolving Insolvency” DB2020 states “What laws and supporting regulations/rules will apply in Mirage’s case”? With such methodology in mind, the rules in China should include laws produced by National People’s Congress and Judicial Interpretations, which has been the case in DB2019, where the WB experts referred to Judicial Interpretation as legal basis in the Indicator of Protecting Minority Investors.

Second, Judicial Interpretations deal with the application of laws, creating no essential rights and obligations, and have legal effect based on the followings: 1. Organization Law of the People's Court of the PRC (Article 18: The Supreme People's Court can explain the issues that are specific to the application of the law in the trial).2. Resolutions of Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Strengthening the Law Interpretation (Any issue concerning the specific application of laws and decrees in the court's trial shall be interpreted by the Supreme People's Court.) 3.Provisions of the Supreme People's Court on Judicial Interpretation Work (Article 5: The judicial interpretation issued by the Supreme People's Court has legal effect. Article 27: After the judicial interpretation is implemented, it should be cited by the people's courts in the judicial documents as the basis for the judgment).

  Third, Judicial Interpretations could specify the rules where laws do not make clear, and fill up the loopholes where laws remain silent. In both cases, Judicial Interpretations should strictly conform to the legal spirits and principles and be subject to the examination of National People’s Congress to make sure they do not go beyond its authority. For instance, article 42.4 of China’s Enterprise Bankruptcy Law states: The following debts incurred after the people's court accepts an application for bankruptcy are debts incurred for the common good of creditors: remunerations for work and social insurance premiums payable for sustaining the debtor's business operations, and other debts arising therefrom. Because the meaning of the phrase of  “other debts” is not clear, the Judicial Interpretation on the Bankruptcy Law provides in its article 2 that the new loans incurred for sustaining the ongoing business of the debtor-enterprise after the case acceptance by the court is the debt incurred for the common good of creditors…In addition, based on article 43 of China’s Enterprise Bankruptcy Law, the debts incurred for the common good of creditors shall be paid off with the debtor's property at any time. With the two provisions combined, the new loan for the ongoing business of the debtor-enterprise after the case acceptance by the court shall be paid off anytime. For another example, article 4 of the Judicial Interpretation on Company Law states that……company should distribute its dividends within one year after declaration. In so doing, the Judicial Interpretation fills up the loophole of the Company Law while conforming to the legal spirit because that annual dividend should be paid within one year is the common knowledge.

Fourth, the examination of the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress on the Judicial Interpretation sets the solid foundation for its legal basis. Article 104 of Legislation Law of PRC states that the judicial interpretations produced by the Supreme Court should be filed with the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress within 30 days. Ever since 12th session, The National People’s Congress has been examining the Judicial Interpretations all the time and has confirmed that 5 among 128 judicial interpretations have some inconsistencies with the law and corrected them thereafter. That is to say, the judicial interpretations that have passed the examination of National People’s Congress shall have legal effect. In the process of producing the Judicial Interpretation of Bankruptcy Law in 2019, the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress did insist on abolition of one provision, which turns out to be deleted from the final version.

Based on the above mentioned, the Judicial Interpretations do not go beyond their authority and, after being examined by the National People’s Congress and going public, shall enjoy legal effect.

(感谢朱敏、赵琰帮助纠正了个别表述错误)


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