美國文本主義解釋方法為我國審判實務繼受之可能性及方法 —以Justice Antonin Scalia見解為例示


郭玉林

中文摘要

Scalia法官在美國聯邦最高法院任內,以文本主義(textualism)作為其法律解釋的方法,強調司法應依一體適用的規則為法律判斷,反對涉及個人主觀價值的裁判。其認為權力分立觀點下,法官如果使用個人主觀的價值觀進行法律解釋,可能混淆其個人主觀傾向與立法機關本於民主正當性所制定的法律規範。並主張法律解釋應以一般人對於法律條文文本本身的明顯文義所理解內容,作為法律的客觀內容,同時排斥將立法過程中的立法資料作為法律解釋的依據;法院著重法律條文文本本身,即是尊重法律條文作為民主原則下、多數公民公意的具體呈現之內容,因此當法律條文文本的文義已經明確,法院應依其文義賦與效力。 我國憲法在成文法秩序、與動態平衡權力分立下,法律條文文本可代表多數人意見,將公意內容以客觀性與普遍性方式呈現,為最有實質依據的民主表現,如果法院忽略條文文本,可能有逾越權力分立的風險,並使受法律規範者,欠缺客觀的規則依據,無從依法律條文文本預測裁判結果。本文介紹Scalia法官文本主義的法律解釋方法及美國法上Chevron退讓原則,藉以回顧我國司法實務,分析有關民法請求權時效及原住民持有自製獵槍案例,指出法律條文文本遭忽略的情形及其風險,同時提倡立法、行政、司法均應認真看待法律條文文本,以維持適當權力分立,避免司法判斷時納入無關的主觀價值考量,增進裁判的可預測性。

 

The Textualism as a Method of Reflection on the Statutory Interpretation in the Judicial System in Taiwan —The Lessons of Justice Antonin Scalia

Yu-Lin Kuo

abstract

Among U.S. Supreme Court justices, Justice Scalia persistently had espoused and explained his judicial philosophy and approaches to statutory interpretation. He offers a powerful critique of the dichotomy between "general rule of law" and "personal discretion to do justice". For the reason of separation of powers, in Justice Scalia’s view, judges who use their own values to define the meaning of statutes may run the risk to confuse their own policy preferences with those of the elected representatives who authorized the legislation in a democracy. In his textualism argument, the court should look for an objectified intent that a reasonable person would gather from the text itself of the law. This method posits that the court has to find out plain meanings through the text and that the consideration of legislative history becomes irrelevant. Once the language of the text is clear, it must be given effect. This neutral principle has a claim to our attention because the statute is a democratic public will which has been passed by the prescribed majority. Since the Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan) declares the principle of separation of powers and says that Legislative Yuan (Parliament) has the exclusive authority to make law, the judicial system ought to profoundly place emphasis on the text of statutes which are the unambiguous and tangible documents of law. This article analyzes the judicial interpretation in Taiwan especially in specific cases in relation to statutes of limitations and gun rights of aboriginal people. It reveals that adjudications are inconsistent due to the lack of a general view in statutory interpretation, and that, to some degree, all the administration, the Legislative Yuan and the court neglect the text of statutes. If the court defines the statutory meaning according to the subjective intent which is far from the text, it will not only decide what the law is, but also provide what the norm should be. There might be a chaos in the accountability under a system of checks and balances. The results of judicial cases are thus unable to be predictable. My purpose is to take Justice Scalia’s textualism as a method to reflect on the judicial opinions in Taiwan. It is argued that the judicial system could avoid unpredictable personal discretion and would be more stable if judges adopt the textualism philosophy as a serious matter of interpretation.