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(釋字第 736 號 )      友善列印PRINT  
Interpretation
J.Y.
Interpretation
NO.736  [ Judicial Remedy for Teachers Whose Rights Are Infringed by the Schools’ Corrective Measures ]
Date 2016/3/18
Issue   Is Article 33 of the Teachers’ Act unconstitutional?
  Is the teacher who claims that his/her rights or legal interests are infringed by the school’s concrete measures entitled to file a lawsuit?
Holding   Based on the mandate that where there is a right, there is a remedy under Article 16 of the Constitution, a teacher who claims that his/her rights or legal interests are infringed by a school’s disposition is entitled to file a lawsuit, either pursuant to the Administrative Litigation Act or to the Code of Civil Procedure.

  Article 33 of the Teachers’ Act: “If the teacher does not wish to appeal nor is not satisfied with the results of the appeal and re-appeal, he/she can file litigation based on its nature according to law, or ask for aid in accordance with the Rules on Administrative Appeal or the Administrative Litigation Law or other related regulations such as protection laws.” merely prescribes the procedures for judicial remedy when a teacher claims his/her rights or legal interests are infringed. It does not restrict the rights of the public school teacher to institute an administrative litigation and thus does not violate the protection of peoples’ right to institute legal proceedings under Article 16 of the Constitution.
Reasoning   Article 16 of the Constitution guaranteeing people the right of instituting legal proceedings means that a person shall have the right to judicial remedies when his/her right or legal interest is infringed. Based on the constitutional principle—where there is a right, there is a remedy, when a person’s right or legal interest is infringed, the state shall provide such a person an opportunity to institute legal proceedings in court, to request a fair trial in accordance with the due process of law, and to obtain timely and effective remedies, which shall not be limited simply because of his/her status or occupations (in reference to J.Y. Interpretations No. 430 & No. 653).

  Article 33 of the Teachers’ Act: “If the teacher does not wish to appeal nor is not satisfied with the results of the appeal and re-appeal, he/she can file litigation based on its nature according to law, or ask for aid in accordance with the Rules on Administrative Appeal or the Administrative Litigation Law or other related regulations such as protection laws.” merely prescribes the procedures for judicial redress when a teacher claims his/her rights or legal interests are infringed. It does not restrict the rights of the public school teacher to institute an administrative litigation and thus does not violate the protection of peoples’ right to institute legal proceedings under Article 16 of the Constitution. Just as ordinary people, a teacher who claims his/her right or legal interest is infringed by the school’s concrete measures (such as “registered record of absence,” “dock pay,” “remaining at the same pay grade according to the annual performance review” and “teaching evaluation”…etc.), is entitled to file a lawsuit for judicial redress either pursuant to the Administrative Litigation Act or the Code of Civil Procedure so as to be in compliance with the constitutional principle—where there is a right, there is a remedy. It is a matter of course that the reviewing court should, to an adequate extent, defer to the judgement of the school based upon their expertise and familiarity with the facts (in reference to J. Y. Interpretation No. 382 & No. 684).

  One of the petitioners also filed a petition for modifying or supplementing J.Y. Interpretation No.382, which is an interpretation dealing with the issue of the judicial remedy for students being sanctioned by the school. The judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court 100-Pan-Tze No. 1127 (2011) quoted this Interpretation simply for clarifying the legal status of public school—an institution established by various levels of governments pursuant to laws and regulations to carry out educational functions and possessing the status of administrative agencies. It did not apply the said Interpretation to decide whether public school teachers can sue against the school’s corrective measures. The petitioner also alleges that Article 2, Paragraph 3, Subparagraph 3 & 6 of the Outlines for Evaluating Teachers of National Cheng Kung University are in conflict with J.Y. Interpretation No. 432 because the phrases “outstanding contribution” and “concrete and distinguished (achievement)” of the requirements for exemption from merit evaluation are so vague as to violate the principle of clarity and definiteness of law. In addition, the evaluation must be reviewed by the faculty evaluation committee of each college and university so that the professional judgment made by the department’s faculty evaluation committee may be overthrown and therefore such a process is inconsistent with the academic freedom and the keynote of J.Y. Interpretation No. 462. However, in view of the petitioner’s arguments, he failed to articulate how the above provisions violate the Constitution specifically. Hence these petitions do not meet the requirements stipulated in Article 5, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 2 of the Constitutional Interpretation Procedure Act and should be dismissed in accordance with Paragraph 3 of the same Article. It is so noted here.
Editor's Note   Petitioner Tsai Man-ting is a teacher at Caota Junior High School in Taoyuan County (now Taoyuan City). He did not ask for leave by complying with the Regulations of Leave-Taking of Teachers so that the school took three measures of “registered record of absence,” “dock pay,” and “remaining at the same pay grade” against him. Objecting to the foregoing measures, the petitioner filed an appeal and a re-appeal in succession and both were denied. Then he instituted an administrative litigation but the Taipei High Administrative Court, in its 99 Su-Tze No. 761 ruling (2010), dismissed the case for lack of legal conformity. He filed a motion to set aside the court ruling and was again denied by the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court 100- Tzai-Tze No. 974 (2011) (hereinafter “the final and binding ruling”). The petitioner claimed that Article 33 of the Teacher’s Act, which the court had applied in the final and binding ruling, is unconstitutional and thereby filed a petition for constitutional interpretation.

  Petitioner Tsai Yao-quan is a professor at National Cheng-Kung University. As his application for exemption from evaluation was rejected, he filed a complaint to the faculty evaluation committee of the University, but the complaint was deemed groundless. He then filed an appeal and a re-appeal pursuant to the Teacher’s Act and both were denied in succession. Afterwards, the petitioner instituted an administrative litigation, but the Kaohsiung High Administrative Court, in its 98 Su-Tze No. 603 judgment (2009), dismissed his claim because of lack of legal grounds. He filed an appeal to the last resort but again was denied by the judgment of Supreme Administrative Court 100 Pan-Tze No. 1127 (2011) (hereinafter “the final and binding judgment”). The petitioner claimed that Article 2, Paragraph 3, Subparagraph 3 & 6 of the Outlines for Evaluating Teachers of National Cheng Kung University, which were applied by the court in the final and binding judgment, are unconstitutional and thereby filed a petition for constitutional interpretation. In addition, the petitioner filed a petition for modifying or supplementing J.Y. Interpretation No. 382, which was also applied in that judgment.
Opinion
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