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郭国汀 美國言論自由发展簡史 [1]

郭国汀美國言論自由发展簡史 [1]
   (自由圣火首发)
   文章摘要: 美國言論自由憲政權利的發展史表明:言論自由首先表現為對政府權力的嚴格限制,並通過憲法第一修正案禁止國會通過任何禁止言論自由的法律,否則因違憲而無效,而美國最高法院確實反復宣告美國政府頒佈的眾多法規因違憲而無效。
   作者 : 郭国汀,
   發表時間:11/21/2007
   言论自由(表达自由)是联合国一系列公约反复加调,也是几乎世界各国宪法明文规定的基本人权.言论自由是人之为人不可剥夺的最重要的一项基本自由.思想自由、出版自由、宗教信仰自由、结社组党自由与之密切相关。思想自由若无言论自由支撑也就没有意义;如果没有言论自由,出版自由毫无意义;要是没有言论自由,宗教信仰自由也将不复存在。没有言论自由,人必将成为奴隶,而非有自由意志的人。没有言论自由,决不可能有人权,也不可能有法治,因为没有人权的法治只能是伪法治。因此,言论自由是最基本的人权,也是最重要的政治权利。然而任何权利都是人们在与政府长期反复斗争中争来的,言论自由权亦不例外。今日美国是全球言论最自由的国度之一,美国言论自由发展史颇具典型意义,对吾国言论自由权的实现具有重要借鉴指导价值。此论题值得深入研讨,本文仅是抛砖引玉 [2],以期国人高度重视之。
   
   1 殖民地时期的言论自由状况
   The most stringent controls on speech in the colonial period were controls that outlawed or otherwise censored speech that was considered blasphemous in a religious sense. A 1646 Massachusetts law, for example, punished persons who denied the immortality of the soul. In 1612, a Virginia governor declared the death penalty for a person that denied the Trinity under Virginia's Laws Divine, Moral and Martial, which also outlawed blasphemy, speaking badly of ministers and royalty, and "disgraceful words."
   美國殖民時期當局對言論自由,主要是对褻瀆宗教言論的限制。例如1646年马州法律规定否定灵魂不灭的言论构成犯罪;而1612年维州州长竟将否定三位一体说者处死。
   
   2 1700年美国仍适用英国煽动性诽谤政府法规范言论
   During colonial times, English speech regulations were rather restrictive. An English seditious libel law made criticizing the government a crime. According to the English Court of the Star Chamber, the King was above public criticism and statements critical of the government were forbidden. Chief Justice Holt, writing in 1704, explained the apparent need for the prohibition of seditious libel, "if people should not be called to account for possessing the people with an ill opinion of the government, no government can subsist. For it is very necessary for all governments that the people should have a good opinion of it." The objective truth of a statement in violation of the seditious libel law was not a defense.
   1700年以前,依英國煽动性诽谤法(在美國適用)煽動性誹謗政府或其首腦均構成犯罪,王座法院认定國王不應受公眾批評,而且陈述客观事实并不能成为抗辩理由。
   
   3 1735年美國言論自由得以確立的首個案例
   The trial of John Peter Zenger in 1735 was a seditious libel prosecution for Zenger's publication of criticisms of the Governor of New York. Andrew Hamilton represented Zenger and argued that truth should be a defense to the crime of seditious libel, but the court rejected this argument. Hamilton persuaded the jury, however, to disregard the law and to acquit Zenger. The case is considered a victory for freedom of speech as well as a prime example jury nullification. The case marked the beginning of a trend of greater acceptance and tolerance of free speech.
   盡管法官不接受[真實]事實抗辯,但辯護律師卻說服陪審團最终認定被告無罪,突顯了陪審團在刑事訴訟中的巨大作用。而中共专制暴政下的所謂人民陪審制度,徒有陪審其名而無陪審員決定罪與非罪實權之實。
   
   4.1791年美国宪法第一修正案正式确立言论自由至高无尚
    Amendment I Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression.12/15/1791.
   Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
   
   第一條修正案。國會不得制定有關下列事項的法律:確立一種宗教或禁止信教自由:剝奪言論自由或出版自由:或剝奪人民和平集會及向政府要求伸冤的權利。
   
   5. 1798年美國言論自由的首個反彈
   
   In 1798, Congress adopted the Alien and Sedition Acts. The law prohibited the publication of "false, scandalous, and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame . . . or to bring them . . . into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them . . . hatred of the good people of the United States, or to stir up sedition within the United States, or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the President of the United States." set out punishments for publishing of up to two years' imprisonment for "opposing or resisting any law of the United States" or writing or publishing "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" about the President or Congress (but specifically not the Vice-President).
   The law did allow truth as a defense and required proof of malicious intent. The Federalists under President John Adams aggressively used the law against their rivals, the Democratic-Republicans. The Alien and Sedition Act was a major political issue in the 1800 election, and after he was elected President, Thomas Jefferson pardoned those who had been convicted under the Act. The Act was repealed and the Supreme Court never ruled on its constitutionality.
   該煽动反政府法是對憲法第一修正案的悖離,此罪没有使用暴力的前提条件,但须是故意诽谤才构成此罪,因此該法規定真實事實可作為抗辯理由,且控方須證明行為人主觀惡意,此点较之前述英国煽动反政府法是个进步。但該法僅实施三年,隨後即被傑佛遜總統廢棄;同時因該法被拘捕判刑的數十人全部無罪釋放。中國刑法中的反革命煽動罪,即今日之刑法第105条第2款之煽動顛覆國家政權罪,較230年前的美國煽动反政府法,還要落後反动得多。實踐中即便批評中共的言論完全屬實,幾無例外全被中共專制暴政 無罪重判,且檢察官甚至無需證實被告的主觀惡意!
   
   6. 1850年代及1860年初美国内战时期的言論自由
   As the controversy over slavery intensified during the 1850s, some states and municipalities enacted laws prohibiting "agitation" over the issue, but the First Amendment did not then apply to the states or their municipalities, and, in any event, those laws soon disappeared along with slavery itself. During the Civil War, federal authorities detained thousands of persons who had expressed Southern sympathies, but those who had merely spoken, and not acted, for the South almost always were released quickly.
   1850年代,美國南部各州曾頒布法規禁止煽動黑奴闹事,但因第一修正案僅適用於聯邦法而不適用於州法(第14修正案才規定第一修正案同樣對州法適用),且由於奴隸制本身很快即消失,故該法未引起宪法权利之争。美国內戰期间聯邦政府拘捕了數千名有同情南方言論的異議人士,但對於僅有言說而無行動者很快均釋放。
   
   7. 1917年言論自由憲政时代的到来
   The era of "freedom of speech" as a matter of adjudicated constitutional law began during World War I, with the trials of various persons who opposed and tried to obstruct United States participation in the war. Ever since, there has been a large amount of litigation over the definition of "speech" and the extent to which that speech is protected. A few questions that have been raised over the years indicate the scope and complexity of "freedom of speech" in American law:
   ·Is advocacy of illegal conduct constitutionally protected?
   ·Are false slanderous statements protected?
   ·Are obscene or pornographic words and depictions protected?
   ·Are commercial advertisements protected?
   。Is nonverbal conduct protected when it is used to communicate ideas?
   言論自由真正成為憲法爭议並由最高法院定论始於第一次世界大戰。因反战言论引发了大量涉言论诉讼,也促使法院考虑:煽动非法行为是否受宪法保护?虚假的诽谤性言论是否受保护?猥亵或色情言论是否受保护?商业广告是否受保护?用于表达观念的非语言性行为是否受第一修正案保护?美国最高法院审理了一系列此种涉及 言论自由的案件。限于篇幅将另文专论。
   
   8. 1940年史密斯法強調必須有煽動[暴力]才構成此罪 。
   The Alien Registration Act or Smith Act of 1940 is a United States federal statute that made it a criminal offense for anyone to" knowingly or willfully advocate, abet, advise or teach the duty, necessity, desirability or propriety of overthrowing the Government of the United States or of any State by force or violence, or for anyone to organize any association which teaches, advises or encourages such an overthrow, or for anyone to become a member of or to affiliate with any such association." The Act is best known for its use against political organizations and figures, mostly on the left. From 1941 to 1957, hundreds of socialists were prosecuted under the Smith Act. The first trial, in 1941, focused on Trotskyists, the second trial in 1944 prosecuted alleged fascists and, beginning in 1949, leaders and members of the Communist Party USA were targeted. Prosecutions continued until a series of United States Supreme Court decisions in 1957 threw out numerous convictions under the Smith Act as unconstitutional. The statute remains on the books, however.

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