人权律师叹在狮城诉诸司法不便宜

日前,本地社运分子范国瀚因被判藐视法庭罪而申请上诉,不过他必须先缴两万元的担保金(security for costs),如果上诉失败,这笔担保金也拿不回,令他感叹“正义也不便宜啊!”(Justice is not cheap!)。不过所幸后来他得到总理弟弟李显扬襄助,为他负担这笔费用。

对此,本地人权律师拉维(M.Ravi)就在脸书发文分享,他今早告知马国律师同业阿伦卡西(Arun Kasi),范国瀚上诉需缴两万元担保金,令后者感到惊讶。

他指出,事实上目前马国上诉庭和联邦法院申请上诉,是不需要缴担保金的,过去的费用的一千令吉马币,不过有关收费已在去年取消,确保当事人有申诉正义的管道。

他说,如果没有富有赞助者的襄助,范国瀚可能也会痛失上诉的权利,除了范,还有另一同样被判藐视法庭罪的民主党要陈两裕,也在为筹募两万元上诉担保金头痛。

“这就是在新加坡诉诸司法面对的可悲情况。甚至有时需仰仗有钱有势人家的协助。”

除了抵押金,向法院提呈诉讼的费用也非常贵,增加司法费用。“若说新加坡拥有全球最高昂的诉讼和法庭相关费用,我不会感到惊讶。”

他说,近期政府尝试缩减律师收费,并已和律师群体达致协议。但他从未听说律政部长有意探讨削减法庭申请诉讼费用。

“有外国律师就惊讶地发现,法庭服务已有纳税人买单,但在民事诉讼人还得另外支付数以千计的庭费,他都摇头感叹“你们怎么那么傻!”,我能说什么?”

他也期待在2020年法律年度大会上,听听大法官、律政部长和律师公会对于司法诉讼费用高昂的高见,同时也呼吁工人党议员应在国会提呈动议讨论此事。

根据《法院程序》第57指示第3(3)规章,阐明上诉人的上诉担保金款项可高达两万元:

86. Quantum of security to be provided under Order 57, Rule 3(3) of the Rules of Court

(1) Order 57, Rule 3(3) of the Rules of Court provides:

(3) The appellant must at the time of filing the notice of appeal provide security for the respondent’s costs of the appeal in the sum of $10,000 or such other sum as may be fixed from time to time by the Chief Justice by —

(a) depositing the sum in the Registry or with the Accountant-General and obtaining a certificate in Form 115; or

(b) procuring an undertaking in Form 116 from his solicitor and filing a certificate in Form 117.

(2) The Honourable the Chief Justice has, in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Order 57, Rule 3(3), fixed the sum to be provided by the appellant by way of security for the respondent’s costs of an appeal to the Court of Appeal at $15,000 for appeals against interlocutory orders and $20,000 for all other appeals.