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大法官解釋表頭

(釋字第 709 號 )      友善列印PRINT  
Interpretation

J.Y.
Interpretation

NO.709  [ Review and Approval of Urban Renewal Business Summaries and Plans ]

Date

2013/4/26

Issue

Are the Urban Renewal Act’s provisions governing the review and approval of urban renewal business summaries and plans constitutional?

Holding

Article 10, Paragraph 1, of the Urban Renewal Act, as amended on November 11, 2008 (the amendment on January 16, 2008, only changed the punctuation of this Article), which provides the competent authority’s approval procedures for urban renewal business summaries, is inconsistent with the due process in administrative procedures required by the Constitution because it does not establish an appropriate organization to review urban renewal business summaries. It also fails to ensure that interested parties be kept informed of all relevant information or have the opportunity to present their opinions in a timely manner. Paragraph 2 of the same Article (as amended on January 16, 2008, which retained the same proportion of agreement as the prior version), which provides the required proportion of agreement needed for an urban renewal business summary application, is also inconsistent with the due process in administrative procedures required by the Constitution. Article 19, first part of Paragraph 3, of the Urban Renal Act, as amended on January 29, 2003 (the amendment on May 12, 2010, split Paragraph 3 of this Article into two paragraphs and organized them as Paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Article), does not request the competent authority to separately deliver the urban renewal business plan’s relevant information to owners of lands and legal buildings within an area to be renewed other than to the applicants. This provision also fails to require the competent authority to hold hearings in public, which would allow interested parties to attend the hearing, present their statements and conduct oral argument. Nor does this provision ask the competent authority to take the entire records of the hearing into consideration, explain its rationale for accepting or declining the arguments when granting the approval, or deliver approved urban renewal business plans to owners of lands and legal buildings within an area to be renewed, owners of other legal rights, relevant authorities of registration of request or restriction, and persons who may apply for advance notice registration. As a result, this provision does not comply with the due process in administrative procedures required by the Constitution either. All of the aforementioned provisions are in violation of the meaning and purpose of the constitutional guarantee of the people’s rights to property and freedom of residence. The relevant authorities should review and amend the unconstitutional parts of the provisions stated above in accordance with the meaning and purpose of this Interpretation. The said unconstitutional parts of the provisions shall become null and void if they have not been amended within one year from the issuance of this Interpretation.

Article 22, Paragraph 1, of the Urban Renal Act, as amended on January 29, 2003, and January 16, 2008, which provides the required proportion of agreement needed for the application for approval of urban renewal business plans, is not in violation of the principle of proportionality under the Constitution. Neither is there any violation of the due process in administrative procedures required by the Constitution. Nonetheless, the relevant authorities should consider factors such as the situation of practical implementation, general social attitudes, the need for promoting urban renewal, etc., and review and modify relevant provisions from time to time.

The application of Article 22-1 of the Urban Renal Act, as amended on January 29, 2003 (the amendment on June 22, 2005, only corrected the text of this Article), is limited to urban renewal applications in areas designated for renewal due to war, earthquake, fire, flood, storm or other major incidents prescribed in Article 7, Paragraph 1, Item 1, of the Urban Renal Act. This Article is also limited by not changing the differentiated ownership of other buildings and the ownership of the portion of the base lot they own. In this circumstance, this Article is consistent with the constitutional principle of proportionality.

Reasoning

In this case, the statutes applied by the courts in the final judgments (Supreme Administrative Court 100 Pan1905 (2011), Supreme Administrative Court 100 Pan 2004 (2011), Supreme Administrative Court 100 Pan 2092 (2011), and Taipei High Administrative Court 98 Su 2467 (2009)) include Article 10, Paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Urban Renal Act (as amended on November 11, 1998), Article 22, Paragraph 1, and the amended Article 22-1, of the Urban Renewal Act (as amended on January 29, 2003; hereinafter the “former Act”), and Article 22, Paragraph 1, of the Urban Renewal Act (as amended on January 16, 2008; hereinafter the “Act,” including the former Act and the current Urban Renewal Act). In this Interpretation, these statutes all fall under this Court’s scope of review according to Article 5, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 2, of the Constitutional Interpretation Procedure Act. The first part of Article 19, Paragraph 3, of the former Act applied in the final judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court 100 Pan1905 (2011) is not included in the petitions, but it provides procedures that the municipal or county (city) authority should follow before approving urban renewal business summaries. The approval of an urban renewal business summary is a prerequisite for the approval of an urban renewal business plan. The first part of Article 19, Paragraph 3, of the former Act has a substantial relation to the regulatory function of Article 10 of the same Act. Hence, as an initial point, this Court will also review the first part of Article 19, Paragraph 3, of the former Act in this Interpretation.

Article 15 of the Constitution provides that the people’s right to property shall be protected. The purpose of this Article is to guarantee each individual the freedom to exercise his rights to use, profit by, and dispose of his property during the existence of the property, and to prevent infringements by the government or any third party, so as to ensure that a person can realize his freedoms, develop his personality, and maintain his dignity (see Interpretation No. 400). In addition, Article 10 of the Constitution stipulates that people shall have freedom of residence. This Article guarantees people the freedom to choose their residence and to enjoy their life in privacy without intrusion (see Interpretation No. 443). However, in order to advance public welfare, a state may by law impose restrictions on the people’s right to property or freedom of residence pursuant to the principle of proportionality under Article 23 of the Constitution (see Interpretation Nos. 596 and 454).

Urban renewal is a program of urban planning. Urban renewal promotes well-planned urban land redevelopment, revitalizes urban functions, improves the urban living environment, and advances public welfare. The Act was enacted for these purposes. It ensures that people can enjoy an adequate standard of living with safety, peace, and dignity (see Article 11(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights). The Act also serves as the legal basis for imposing restrictions on the people’s rights to property and freedom of residence. The implementation of urban renewal involves concerns of politics, economics, society, physical environment, and residence rights, etc., and is, in essence, a public duty of the state or local autonomous body. Taking into account the actual need to introduce the vitality of private parties (into the implementation of urban renewal), the law can stipulate that people may apply to self-manage the implementation of renewal under certain conditions. Nonetheless, the state or local autonomous body still has to inspect and review the implementation of renewal according to its authority, which is public. According to the Act, the competent authority can implement an urban renewal business by itself, entrust it to an urban renewal business institution, or accept other organizations (institutions) as agents of implementation to undertake the business of urban renewal. In addition, after meeting certain criteria the owners of the lands and legal buildings (of an area that has been designated for implementation of urban renewal) may apply to the municipal, county (city) authority according to law for approval of their urban renewal business summary, and then organize a renewal group to implement the urban renewal business or entrust it to an urban renewal business institution for implementation (see Articles 9, 10 & 11 of the Act). When the owners of the lands and legal buildings organize a renewal group to implement the urban renewal business or entrust it to an urban renewal business institution for implementation, the competent authority’s approval of an urban renewal business summary (including the designation of renewal units—the same shall apply hereinafter) (see Article 10, Paragraph 1, of the Act) and an urban renewal business plan (see Article 19, Paragraph 1, of the Act) drafted by private parties are the competent authority’s exercise of public authority according to legal procedures making an urban renewal business summary or an urban renewal business plan legally binding. The legal essence of these administrative acts is an administrative disposition issued to a specific person concerning a specific matter (see Article 92, Paragraph 1, of the Administrative Procedure Act). An administrative disposition approving an urban renewal business summary defines the scope of the units to be renewed in the area that has been designated for renewal and exerts an influence on the rights and legal interests of all residents (residing) in the units to be renewed. If a resident is unwilling to be included in the units to be renewed, he may seek the judicial relief that is available according to law. An administrative disposition that is rendered by the competent authority and which approves an urban renewal business plan involves critical components of the implementation of the plan, including the layout of the building, sharing of expenses, plans for removal and resettlement, and financial plans. Moreover, the implementation of the approved summary or plan in the following procedures may have varying impact on the owners or other right holders of the lands or legal buildings, or even on the rights of someone residing outside the units to be renewed. In certain circumstances, it could even result in the forfeiture of those people’s rights and a compulsory removal, forcing them to move out of their residences (see Article 21; Article 26, Paragraph 1; Article 31, Paragraph 1; and Article 36, Paragraph 1, of the Act). Therefore, the aforementioned approval of an urban renewal business summary and approval of an urban renewal business plan are both administrative dispositions imposing restrictions upon the people’s rights to property and freedom of residence.

The legislature should formulate the content of the constitutional principle of due process by prescribing the corresponding legal procedures after the legislature takes into consideration the types of fundamental rights involved, the strength and scope of the restrictions, the public interests pursued, the proper function of the determining authority, as well as the existence of alternative procedures and their costs (see Interpretation No. 689). A renewal implementation not only involves the pursuit of an important public interest, but also has significant impact on the property rights and the freedom of residence of owners of various units to be renewed and surrounding lands and legal buildings. Furthermore, the implementation of renewal is prone to disputes due to the complicated interests involved. In order to ensure that the competent authority’s approval of an urban renewal business summary or an urban renewal business plan matches an important public interest and complies with the principle of proportionality and the requirements of relevant laws—and also to pursue a broader acceptance of an approved urban renewal business summary or plan through building a consensus among people by encouraging people to get actively involved—the Act should require the competent authority to establish an impartial, professional, and diverse appropriate organization for the review of urban renewal business summaries and urban renewal business plans. Moreover, the Act should prescribe the due process for administrative procedures in light of the items to be reviewed by the competent authority, the content and effect of an administrative disposition, and the severity of restrictions imposed upon people’s rights. These procedures should include rules ensuring that interested parties be kept informed of all relevant information, and should also provide interested parties with opportunities to present their opinions orally or in writing to the competent authority in a timely manner so as to assert or preserve their rights. The approval of an urban renewal business plan in particular directly and significantly restricts the people’s rights to property and freedom of residence. Therefore, the Act should require the competent authority to conduct hearings in public, allow interested parties to appear and present their statements and arguments orally during the proceedings, and explain their rationale for adopting or declining the arguments after taking into consideration all the records of the hearings. In this fashion the Act can be made consistent with the meaning and purpose of the constitutional guarantee of the people’s rights to property and freedom of residence.

Article 10, Paragraph 1, of the former Act provides, “The owners of the lands and legal buildings of an area that has been designated for renewal may designate the units to be renewed by themselves as units defined by the competent authority, or according to the criteria for designating a unit to be renewed. They may also conduct a public hearing. They may then present a business summary together with the public records of the hearing to the municipal, county (city) authority to apply for approval. Finally, they may organize a renewal group to implement the urban renewal business of that area or entrust it to an urban renewal business institution for implementation” (The amendment of January 16, 2008, only changed the punctuation in this sentence). Although this provision requires applicants or implementing agents to conduct a public hearing, it fails to sufficiently guarantee interested parties the opportunity to present their opinions to the competent authority in order to assert or preserve their rights in a timely manner. This provision and other relevant provisions do not require the competent authority to establish an appropriate organization to review urban renewal business summaries, nor do they ensure that interested parties be kept informed of all relevant information. As a result, this provision is inconsistent with the due process in administrative procedures required by the Constitution and in violation of the meaning and purpose of the constitutional guarantee of the people’s rights to property and freedom of residence.

When people apply to an administrative agency for specific administrative actions, the administrative agency must first review the application to see whether it meets the procedural requirements prescribed by law. An administrative agency will conduct an administrative disposition only when the procedural requirements prescribed by law are met. In view of this, the people’s application is part of the entire administrative procedure. Provisions regulating the people’s application must therefore comply with due process in administrative procedures. Since the Act provides that the owners of lands and legal buildings within an area to be renewed may apply for approval of an urban renewal business summary or an urban renewal business plan, the Act should also properly specify that the application contain a minimum proportion of agreement among the owners of the lands and legal buildings within the area to be renewed in accordance with the state’s constitutional duty to protect the people’s rights to property and freedom of residence. Article 10, Paragraph 2, of the former Act provides, “The application mentioned in the foregoing paragraph should be accepted by more than 10% of the owners of the lands and legal buildings within the area to be renewed, and the total land area and the total floor area of the legal buildings owned should also exceed 10%; . . . ” (After the amendment of January 16, 2008, this provision reads as “The application mentioned in the foregoing paragraph should be accepted by more than 10% of the owners of the private lands and legal private buildings within the area to be renewed, and the total land area and the total floor area of the legal buildings owned should also exceed 10%; . . . “). Under this provision, any application for the approval of an urban renewal business summary is filed in accordance with the law as long as it meets the 10% requirement, regardless of whether the application is filed by more than 10% of owners of the lands and legal buildings within the area to be renewed or by owners who own more than 10% of the total land area and the total floor area of the legal buildings. Therefore, the minority owners of the area to be renewed may easily file an application because the required proportion of agreement prescribed under this provision is very low. However, it is doubtful whether such an application represents the will of all the residents. Moreover, due to insufficient communication conducted prior to the filing of the application, residents are likely to be concerned as to whether their rights will be violated and they also face the dilemma of the conflict of various values and rights. Particularly, in a case where most people are not willing to participate in an urban renewal plan, residents may be forced to participate in the procedure of urban renewal and thus risk their property rights and freedom of residence only because the administrative procedure is undertaken after an application filed by a few people (Article 34, proviso clause, of the Administrative Procedure Act). This provision, allowing such a low proportion of agreement, does not match the spirit of democracy by majority rule or expansion of citizen’s participation, and obviously fails to fulfill the state’s constitutional duty to protect the people’s rights to property and freedom of residence. It is inconsistent with the due process in administrative procedures required by the Constitution, and is also in violation of the meaning and purpose of the constitutional guarantee of the people’s rights to property and freedom of residence.

Article 19, first part of Paragraph 3, of the former Act provides, “After an urban renewal business plan is drafted or revised, and before it is sent to a competent urban renewal review committee at a municipal, county (city) government or township (village, city) for review, the urban renewal business plan should be publicly exhibited for 30 days at each municipal, county (city) government or township (village, city) hall. The date and place of exhibition should be published in the newspaper for the public. A public hearing should be conducted as well. Within the exhibition period, any citizen or group can submit written suggestions with their names or titles and addresses to competent municipal, county (city) government or township (village, city) hall in order to provide reference to the competent urban renewal review committee at a municipal, county (city) government or township (village, city) during review.” (After the amendment of May 12, 2010, this paragraph was split into paragraphs 3 and 4, and reads as “After an urban renewal business plan is drafted or revised, and before it is sent to a competent authority for review, the urban renewal business plan should be publicly exhibited for 30 days at each municipal, county (city) government or township (village, city) hall, and a public hearing should be conducted as well. The date of public exhibit can be shortened to 15 days when the implementing agents have already obtained the consent of all the owners of private lands and private legal buildings within the area to be renewed.” “The date and place of the exhibition and public hearing mentioned in the previous two paragraphs should be published in the newspaper for the public, and people who are party to the business should be notified, including owners of lands and legal buildings within the area to be renewed, owners of other legal rights, relevant authorities of registration of request or restriction, and persons who may apply for advance notice registration. Within the exhibition period, any citizen or group can submit written suggestions with their names or titles and addresses to the competent authority, and the competent authority should review the suggestions.”). The aforementioned provision has expressly prescribed the approval of an urban renewal business plan and requires a public exhibit of an urban renewal business plan and submission of suggestions by any citizen or group within the exhibition period before an urban renewal business plan is sent to an urban renewal committee for review. Nevertheless, the foregoing provision, and other relevant provisions, do not require the competent authority to separately deliver the urban renewal business plan’s relevant information (including a list of owners of private lands and private legal buildings who agree to participate in the urban renewal business plan) to those owners of lands and legal buildings within an area to be renewed other than applicants. Moreover, the conduct of the public hearing and the submission of suggestions by interested parties to the competent authority prescribed under this provision are only for the competent authority’s reference. The provision does not require the competent authority to hold the hearing in public and thus fails to allow interested parties to attend the hearing, present their statements or conduct oral argument. Neither does the provision ask the competent authority to take the entire records of the hearing into consideration, explain its rationale for accepting or declining the arguments when granting its approval, or deliver approved urban renewal business plans to owners of lands and legal buildings within the area to be renewed, owners of other legal rights, relative authorities of registration of request or restriction, and persons who may apply for advance notice registration. All of the above are inconsistent with the due process in administrative procedures required by the Constitution and are also in violation of the meaning and purpose of the constitutional guarantee of the people’s rights to property and freedom of residence.

Relevant authorizes should review and amend the unconstitutional parts of provisions stated in the foregoing paragraphs in accordance with the meaning and purpose of this Interpretation. The unconstitutional parts of provisions shall become null and void if they have not been amended within one year from the issuance of this Interpretation.

Article 22, Paragraph 1, of the former Act stipulates that, “When an implementing agent is drafting or revising urban renewal business plans to submit for approval, the application for approval of urban renewal business plans in accordance with the regulations in Article 10 should obtain sufficient agreement as follows. On the one hand, for an urban renewal area designated in accordance with Article 7, agreement should be reached by more than 50% of the owners of private lands and private legal buildings within a unit to be renewed. Furthermore, the sum of the land area and floor area of the legal buildings should be more than 50% of the total. On the other hand, for other areas, agreement should be reached by more than 60% of the owners of private lands and private legal buildings within a unit to be renewed. Moreover, the sum of the land area and floor area of the legal buildings should be more than two thirds of the total. The application for approval of an urban renewal business in accordance with the regulations in Article 11 should obtain more than two thirds of the owners of private lands and private legal buildings owners within a unit to be renewed. Furthermore, the sum of the land area and floor area of the legal buildings should be more than 75% of the total.” After the amendment of January 16, 2008, this paragraph reads as “When the implanting agent is drafting or revising urban renewal business plans to submit for approval, the application for approval of urban renewal business plans in accordance with the regulations in Article 10 should obtain sufficient agreement as follows. On the one hand, in an urban renewal area designated in accordance with Article 7, agreement should be reached by more than 50% of the owners of private lands and private legal buildings within a unit to be renewed. Furthermore, the sum of the land area and floor area of the legal buildings should be more than 50% of the total. On the other hand, for other areas agreement should be reached by more than 60% of the owners of the owners of private lands and private legal buildings within a unit to be renewed. Moreover, the sum of the land area and floor area of the legal buildings should be more than two thirds of the total. In addition, the application for approval of urban renewal business in accordance with the regulations in Article 11 should obtain agreement from more than two thirds of the owners of private lands and private legal buildings within the unit to be renewed. Furthermore, the sum of the land area and floor area of the legal buildings should be more than 75% of the total . . .” The legislative intent of this provision is as follows: In order to carry out and promote urban renewal, and to protect the rights of the majority wanting to improve their living environment and promote the planned development and reuse of urban lands from being affected by different concerns of the minority group, this provision requires that the application for approval of urban renewal business must be agreed by a certain number of people and a certain area of land (within a unit to be renewed). The required proportion of agreement should not be too low, because the law wants to encourage residents to communicate in advance so as to smoothly implement an urban renewal business plan without too much fighting and struggle. Moreover, considering a disaster area’s need for speedy relief, the provision provides for a different proportion of agreement for applications filed in accordance with Articles 7, 10 or 11 based on whether a unit to be renewed is located in and belongs to a designated renewal area (see Committee Records, Gazette of the Legislative Yuan, vol. 87, no. 4, p. 302-303; Committee Records, Gazette of the Legislative Yuan, vol. 87, no. 12, p. 291-304; Records of Legislative Yuan, Gazette of the Legislative Yuan, vol. 87, no. 42, p. 282-283, 330-331; Committee Records, Gazette of the Legislative Yuan, vol. 92, no. 6, p. 109-110, 149-150; Records of Legislative Yuan, Gazette of the Legislative Yuan, vol. 92, no. 5, p. 77-78, 84-85). The foregoing legislative intent is proper and can be fulfilled by requiring a certain portion of agreement. Moreover, there is no application by the minority because the required proportion of agreement prescribed in all aforementioned provisions goes beyond 50%. The Legislature should have discretion in balancing different interests because urban renewal involves not only the property rights and freedom of residence of those not willing to participate in urban renewal, but also the realization of important public interests: the rights and interests of property and an appropriate living environment for those willing to participate in urban renewal, and the right of interested parties residing near the unit to be renewed. The Legislature should also have discretion in deciding the portion of agreement as long as it is not too low to violate due process in administrative procedures. It is necessary for the Legislature to lay down provisions with the aforementioned portion of agreement after considering its practical implementation, the degree of impact on the public interest, society’s needs and other factors. As the balancing of relevant interests is not inappropriate, there is no violation of the principle of proportionality under the Constitution. Neither is there any violation of the due process in administrative procedures required by the Constitution. Nonetheless, the relevant authorities should consider factors such as practical implementation, general social attitudes, the need for promoting urban renewal, etc., and the need to review and modify relevant provisions from time to time. In addition, under the Act there are three methods of implementing urban renewal, including reconstruction, renovation and maintenance. These three methods have different impacts upon the owners of private lands and private legal buildings, and the degree of the impact varies from one to the other. Accordingly, the law should have different proportions of agreement for relevant applications. Furthermore, in order to ensure that the computation of the proportion of agreement is true and accurate, the following should also be reviewed and improved: (1) whether listing the content of a transfer of rights as one of the items to be approved is necessary when seeking approval for an urban renewal business plan; and (2) whether an implementing agent should seek approval for an approved urban renewal business plan again when the content of the approved urban renewal business plan has been changed.

Article 22-1 of the former Act provides, “When implementing the urban renewal business in an area designated in accordance with Article 7, and if several buildings on the same site have been demolished and are being processed for reconstruction, renovation, or maintenance, they can be computed separately, under the circumstances of not changing the differentiated ownership of other buildings and the ownership of the portion of the base lot they own, the proportion between the number of differentiated owners, the differentiated ownership and the ownership of the portion of the base lot they own.” (The amendment of June 22, 2005 corrected the text of this Article but did not significantly change the core idea of this Article). This Article was amended after referring to Article 17-2 of the Provisional Act Governing 921 Earthquake Post-Disaster Reconstruction. The purpose of this Amendment was to efficiently and effectively resolve the difficult problem of reconstruction by using the demolished portion to compute the proportion of agreement when several buildings on the same site have been demolished due to a disaster (see Records of Legislative Yuan, Gazette of the Legislative Yuan, vol. 89, no. 58, p. 38, 47-48; Committee Records, Gazette of the Legislative Yuan, vol. 92, no. 6, p. 107 & 109; Records of Legislative Yuan, Gazette of the Legislative Yuan, vol. 92, no. 5, p. 75-78, 85). In addition, when there is damage affected by disasters, any step taken to facilitate quick reconstruction of affected buildings certainly serves the public interest as it eliminates expansion of the damage. From this point of view, the legislative intent of this Article is proper and the computation of the proportion of agreement prescribed in this Article should be able to efficiently and effectively fulfil the legislative intent. Moreover, considering the text and the legislative intent of the foregoing Article as a whole, this Article has taken the rights of residents of other buildings into consideration because the application of this Article is limited to urban renewal applications in areas designated for renewal due to war, earthquake, fire, flood, storm or other major incidents prescribed in Article 7, Paragraph 1, Item 1, of the Act, and is conditioned by not changing the differentiated ownership of other buildings or the ownership of the portion of the base lot they own. Furthermore, it is necessary for the aforementioned Article to stipulate that the computation of the proportion of agreement is based on the number of differentiated owners, the differentiated ownership of each building affected, and the ownership of the portion of the base lot they own after taking into account that the affected or collapsed buildings have already endangered people’s rights, including their right to life, bodily safety, property, freedom of residence, etc., and that quick post-disaster reconstruction and elimination of expansion of damage is both necessary and in the public interest. Also, this Article articulates a proper balance of relevant interests at stake and is therefore consistent with the principle of proportionality under the Constitution. However, it is more meaningful for the protection of residents’ rights and the realization of the public interest if all buildings on the same site are developed as a whole and renewed at the same time. Given the foregoing, and in order to avoid possible undesirable outcomes due to separate urban renewal processes, it is better to encourage other buildings on the same site to participate in urban renewal together. Thus, the aforementioned Article inappropriately fails to require residents of affected buildings or the persons entrusted to represent them to check the willingness of residents of other buildings on the same site to participate in urban renewal before submitting the urban renewal business plans for approval. It should be reviewed and amended accordingly.

One of the petitioners argued that Article 22, Paragraph 3, of the former Act (as amended on January 16, 2008), which provides, “If the owners disagree with the urban renewal plan exhibited publicly, they can revoke their agreements by the end of the exhibition”, is unconstitutional based on the final judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court 100 Pan No. 1905 (2011). Nonetheless, the disputed provision is not an object for interpretation because it was not applied in those final judgments. Article 36, first part of Paragraph 1, of the former Act (as amended on May 12, 2010) provides, “Within an area set for a transfer of rights, the implementing agent must publicly announce the land improvements made that require to be removed, and also notify the owners, managers or users to demolish or remove them within 30 days. If the land improvements are not removed before the given time limit, the implementing agent may remove the land improvements for the owners (or managers or users) or request the municipal, county (city) authority to demolish or remove the land improvements on behalf of the implementing agent. The municipal, county (city) authority has the obligation to carry out the removal on behalf of the owners (or managers or users); . . .” (Article 36, first part of Paragraph 1, of the former Act amended on November 11, 1998, and on January 16, 2008, shares the same meaning and purpose). Petitioners contend that this provision is unconstitutional because it authorizes the implementing agent to remove the land improvements for the owners (or managers or users) or request the municipal, county (city) authority to demolish or remove the land improvements on behalf of the implementing agent. However, this disputed provision is also not an object for interpretation because it was not applied in those final judgments either. The aforementioned petitions do not comply with Article 5, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 2, of the Constitutional Interpretation Procedure Act and shall all be dismissed in accordance with Paragraph 3 of the same Article.
Translated by Yen-Chia Chen and Margaret K. Lewis.

Editor's Note

Summary of Facts : (1) Daqing Xinyi Futun (大慶信義福邨) is a five story condominium complex with 90 units on the same site located at Tucheng District of New Taipei City. The 40 units at the front of the complex were damaged during the 921 Earthquake and should have been processed for reconstruction according to the Act. Later the City Government of New Taipei City (hereinafter “New Taipei City Government”) publicly announced the implementation of a transfer of rights affecting the same 40 units. However, some owners of the 40 units were not satisfied with the plan to transfer rights. Moreover, some owners of other units not among the said 40 alleged that they had a right to participate in the plan to transfer rights as agents implementing reconstruction within the unit to be renewed. Accordingly, 52 people jointly filed an administrative suit to challenge New Taipei City Government’s approval of the urban renewal business plan and the plan to transfer rights. The court rejected the challenge and the judgment was final. The parties then petitioned for an interpretation alleging that the relevant provisions of the Urban Renewal Act were unconstitutional. (2) 1. Mr. Wang and two other people own the land and buildings located at Yangming Road in Taipei City. 2. Ms. Chen owns the land and buildings located at Wanlong Road in Taipei City. The City Government of Taipei City (hereinafter “Taipei City Government”) designated the aforementioned lands and buildings for renewal, and approved the urban renewal business plan and plan to transfer rights related to those lands. 3. Mr. Peng owns the land and buildings located at Yongji Road in Taipei City. In order to implement urban renewal, the Taipei City Government approved a revision of the original urban renewal business plan and the original plan to transfer rights. The parties in the three aforementioned cases separately filed administrative lawsuits to challenge the relevant administrative acts of the Taipei City Government. Nevertheless, the court rejected their challenges and the judgments were final. Therefore, the parties petitioned together for interpretation. Upon accepting these two separate petitions, the Constitutional Court reviewed them together because both petitions request interpretation of the same issue.

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