The Republic of China's present judicial system originated in the later years of the Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1911) when the nation initiated political reforms, and its foundation was laid in the early years of the Republic. In those years, however, the judiciary was far from independent as civil wars erupted one after another and warlords fractured the nation.
In 1928, the success of the Northward Expedition resulted in the unification of the entire nation, and the National Government established a five-power polity in accordance with the teachings of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Republic. The Judicial Yuan was established on November 16 of the same year, marking the start of the nations modernized judicial system. In the years that followed, the Government and the people made great efforts to improve the judiciary and to promote the rule of law. Unequal treaties with foreign powers were rescinded and judicial sovereignty was fully restored to the Republic of China during the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945.
The Constitution of the Republic of China was promulgated and went into effect in 1947. Since then, the strengthening of a constitutional government has been the common goal of the people and many steps have been taken towards realizing this goal. As a result, a new judicial system under the constitutional government gradually evolved, and became the solid foundation on which democracy and the rule of law would later be built. In 1980, the administration of the courts and of the prosecution was separated. High Courts and all of the lower courts have since been placed under the administration of the Judicial Yuan. Hence, there is a clear delineation between the judicial and the executive powers, and the Republic of China's judicial system has made great progressive strides.
In recent years, as the people have become increasingly knowledgeable and society has undergone rapid changes, the demand for higher qualiity performance of the courts and a better overall judicial system has increased. Confronted with the advent of the new epoch and fully aware of its solemn duty, the Judicial Yuan is devoted to developing a sound judicial system, increasing the effectiveness of judicial functions, improving the working conditions for the judiciary, and elevating the quality of judicial decisions. It is hoped that by so doing, the Judicial Yuan will soon be regarded in anew and favorable light.