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(釋字第 479 號 )      友善列印PRINT  
Interpretation
J.Y.
Interpretation
NO.479 
Date 1999/4/1
Issue Section 4 of the Regulations for Registration of Social Entities promulgated by the Ministry of the Interior requires that any social organization must be named in accordance with the administrative district where it is located. Does the said Regulation surpass the permissible bounds of the relevant Law's details and technicalities, thus constituting an infringement on the people's freedom of association guaranteed by the Constitution and being null and void?
Holding   Article 14 of the Constitution prescribes that the people shall have the freedom of association. The original intent of the Article is to protect the people's freedom to form any organizations they wish and to participate freely in their activities. Hence, a free choice of organizational name is at the very core of the protection of freedom of association since naming an organization is crucial to the purpose, nature, and identity of members in one's organization, and to its own distinctiveness from those of others. The infringement of the associations' right to their own names, hence, shall not be permitted unless under the circumstances specified by Article 23 of the Constitution and by laws or specifically delegated rules.

  Article 5 of the Civil Organizations Act prescribes that organizational areas of civil associations shall be limited to administrative areas. Article 12 of the same Act, however, does not specify ways that people's organizations shall be named. Rather, it only requires that names and organizational areas of associations be specified in their own charters. In accordance with the prior Interpretations of this Yuan, administrative agencies, based on the mandate of executing laws, may make necessary rules to supplement laws. The administrative rules, however, shall not go beyond the mandate of delegating laws and shall be limited to details and technicalities concerning the executions of laws. Section 4 of the Regulations for Registration of Social Entities, promulgated by the Ministry of the Interior, requiring that civil associations be named in accordance with their administrative areas, goes far beyond the mandate intended by the delegating Act. As a result, this section infringes upon the peoples’ freedom of association guaranteed by the Constitution and shall be declared null and void.
Reasoning   Article 14 of the Constitution that guarantees freedom of association as one of the people's fundamental rights is to empower people by way of freely forming associations to formulate their common wills, pursue their common beliefs, and ultimately realize their common goals. Freedom of association not only includes the people's right to freely determine the purposes and forms of their associations, but also the right to join or not join any associations and related activities. It also guarantees any associations that individuals form and join, along with their creation, maintenance, naming, and promotion of their related activities from any unlawful infringement. With such a protection, associations may freely, in accordance with common consensus reached by a majority principle, decide their own business affairs related to associations including naming and openly express ideas consistent with the purpose of associations. By choosing their own names, associations express their existence as associations and show their own distinctiveness from that of others. Using their own names, associations will be able to, internally, strengthen the identity of their members, and externally, further their business relations as well as promote their activities under said names. Should associations have been deprived of the freedom to choose their own names, the nature of free association, being able to freely determine their own business affairs, would not have been incarnated, and that recruitment and maintenance of their members as well as external expressions of their own wills would have been disadvantaged. Hence, associations' right to choose their own names, at the time of their creation, or the right to change their names afterwards, shall be protected under the right of freedom of association that Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees. The infringement of the associations’ right to choose their own names shall not be permitted unless under the circumstances specified by Article 23 of the Constitution and by laws or specifically delegated rules.

  Article 3 of the Civil Organizations Act assigns agencies to regulate civil associations at the national, provincial, and county levels. Article 5 of the same Act prescribes that organizational areas of civil associations shall be limited to the abovementioned administrative areas. Although Article 12 of the Act requires that names and organizational areas of associations be specified in their own charters, it does not intend to limit associations’ internal or external activities to such administrative areas specified in their own charters. According to the original intent of the Article, the purpose of specifying organizational areas of associations is to assign agencies to regulate the civil associations as well as to determine which courts have jurisdiction with regard to registering matters on their legal person. Names and organizational areas of associations manifest differently such that between them there are no necessary relations. While administrative agencies, based on their mandate of executing laws, may make necessary rules to supplement laws, the administrative rules shall not go beyond the mandate of delegating laws and shall be limited to details and technicalities concerning the execution of related laws. This fundamental principle has been previously upheld in Interpretations Nos. 367, 390, 443 and 454. Hence, Section 4 of the Regulations for Registration of Social Entities, made by the Ministry of the Interior, requiring that civil associations be named in accordance with their administrative areas, infringes upon the peoples’ freedom of association guaranteed by Article 14 of the Constitution and shall be declared null and void. Likewise, based on this Interpretation, the competent authority shall closely examine other sections of the same Regulations and, if necessary, make correspondent revisions in order to be consistent with the rights of associations guaranteed by the Constitution.

' Translated by Jiunn-rong Yeh.
Opinion
(Files)
Chinese only
 

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