在这个学术博客，法律讲师 克里斯·莫纳亨 阐述了他对弹劾的看法. 克里斯是法学院的首席讲师 法学院的 而且 is currently studying for a PhD in Law at King’s College London. 他的博士论文从历史的角度探讨了弹劾, contemporary 而且 comparative perspective 而且 he is looking at whether impeachment could ever be used again in the United Kingdom.
去年晚些时候, J唐纳德特朗普, 美利坚合众国的总统号, made headlines when he became the third person holding that office to be impeached. Although he was impeached (that is accused) by the House of Representatives on two counts, which related to alleged abuse of power 而且 the obstruction of Congress, 他后来被美国参议院宣判无罪. 大约20年前, 另一位美国总统, 比尔。克林顿, was impeached by the House of Representatives 而且 likewise acquitted by the Senate. 然而,, 尽管它与美国有着广泛的联系, 弹劾有一个英国或, 更准确地说, 一个英语的起源.
把字面意思, impeachment is the formal accusing of a public official of a serious offence in connection with their job, 但这是一种美国现象. Within the past decade there have been presidential impeachments in countries such as Brazil 而且 South Korea, 然而, 而是美国, 克林顿弹劾案的遗留问题, 现在特朗普弹劾, 这可以说是与这个术语最相关的. This is despite there having been just three presidential impeachments since the introduction of impeachment in the federal constitution of 1787.
根据美国宪法, 总统可能会因“叛国罪”被弹劾, 贿赂, 或其他重罪或轻罪". 然而, whilst the House of Representatives only needs a bare majority of votes to impeach a President in the first stage of the process (50 per cent plus one), two-thirds of the Senate need to support the impeachment in the second stage in order to remove the President.
要研究弹劾的起源，新黄金城集团必须追溯到1376年, 在英国议会的一次会议上, the Commons (the lower house of the English Parliament) accused a royal official, 主威廉·拉蒂默他滥用职权，与敌人合作.
Latimer was accused of surrendering key military defenses to the French. At the time Engl而且 was fighting the Hundred Years War, 而且 currently losing. 在位的国王, 爱德华三世, was very old 而且 there were popular concerns that Latimer 而且 other officials were abusing their position 而且 profiting from the situation.
The Commons’ accusations against Latimer were made on behalf of the entire body. It was not just one Member of Parliament that was bringing a complaint against Latimer. 1376年发展起来的程序被称为弹劾和 it’s a word that has its origins in the English, French 而且 Latin languages.
The Commons impeached Latimer 而且 dem而且ed that he was tried before the Lords (the upper house of the English Parliament), 谁同意. A trial took place 而且 Latimer was found guilty 而且, as a consequence, lost his position at court.
Scholars have sought to underst而且 why impeachment originated in 1376. 这真是一个了不起的手术, as it allowed the Commons to proceed against those individuals who were the subject of popular grievances. What is important to underst而且 is that the procedure quickly became an established part of the Commons’ parliamentary armoury over the next two decades.
For a number of reasons impeachment fell into disuse after the 1450s 而且 was not rediscovered by parliamentarians until 1621. It was used by the House of Commons in its conflict with the monarch 查理一世 而且 could serve as a way to proceed against the king’s most trusted advisers, 不需要直接起诉国王. 因此, 斯特拉福德伯爵和劳德大主教被弹劾, although this was later ab而且oned in favour of a Bill of Attainder (a legislature declaring a person, 或者一群人, 犯了罪. 弹劾案需要上院审判, whereas a Bill of Attainder – like any other piece of legislation – just required a simple vote to be approved by the Lords. The Act of Attainder was passed 而且 both Strafford 而且 Laud were executed. 弹劾在18世纪继续使用.
上一次弹劾发生在1805年亨利·登达斯, 子爵梅尔维尔, was impeached by the House of Commons on allegations of misappropriating public funds (Illegal use of public funds). 1806年，上议院宣判梅尔维尔无罪. 虽然没有进一步的弹劾, more recently there have been instances when the process has been mooted as a possible way to proceed against those accused of misconduct. Examples of this include Viscount Palmerstone in the 19th century 而且 Tony Blair in the 21st century. In Blair’s case this related to his role in taking Britain to war in Iraq in 2003, 当时联军推翻了执政政权.
总之, impeachment is arguably most associated with the United States of America, but its earliest uses are recorded in English history many centuries earlier. 两阶段过程的想法, with an accusation by the lower house 而且 a trial to determine guilt before the upper house, 就像特朗普政府时期那样. So, 虽然它是英国人的发明, undoubtedly its most powerful legacy lies in its use across the Atlantic.
All views expressed in this blog are the Academic’s own 而且 do not represent the views, policies or opinions of the 新黄金城集团 or any of its partners.
克里斯·莫纳亨 法学系首席讲师是 法学院, 在新黄金城集团. 新黄金城集团提供各种各样的 单一或联合荣誉法学学位 在法学院的范围内. 你可以在推特上关注克里斯 @Chris_JMonaghan