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*III. Structure and Functions of the Judicial Yuan


The Judicial Yuan has a President and a Vice President, each of whom is nominated and, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan, appointed by the President of the Republic. The President of the Judicial Yuan is in charge of the administrative affairs of the Yuan and supervises its subordinate organs. In the event that the President is unable to attend to office for any reason, the Vice President shall act for the President.

According to Articles 77 and 78 of the Constitution of the Republic of China, Article 5 of the Amended Constitution, Articles 30, 43, and 75 of the Local Government Systems Act, the major functions of the Judicial Yuan are as follows:

(1) To interpret the Constitution and to unify the interpretation of laws and orders;

(2) To impeach the president and the Vice President of the Republic and to adjudicate cases concerning the dissolution of political parties that violate the Constitution;

(3) To adjudicate civil and criminal cases;

(4) To adjudicate administrative cases;

(5) To adjudicate cases concerning disciplinary measures with respect to public functionaries; and

(6) To interpret whether local self-government ordinances and matters conflict with national laws or the Constitution.

(7) Judicial Administrative Power of the Constitutional Court.

1. Justices

The Judicial Yuan has fifteen Justices (including the President and Vice President of the Judicial Yuan) forming the Constitutional Court who are nominated and, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan, appointed by the President of the Republic.

Beginning in the year 2003, the Justices serve eight-year terms and may not be reappointed for consecutive terms. However, the justices who are concurrently serving as the President and the Vice President of the Judicial Yuan do not have the same protection for their terms. Among the fifteen Justices nominated by the President in the year 2003, eight, including the President and the Vice President of the Judicial Yuan, serve four-year terms, while the others are serving eight-year terms. The Justices sitting en bloc interpret the Constitution and unify the interpretation of laws and orders in the way of conference presided by the President of the Yuan. They also form the Constitutional Court, sitting en bloc , to adjudicate cases concerning the impeachment of the President and the Vice President of the Republic, and the dissolution of political parties violating the Constitution.

To be eligible for appointment as a Justice of the Constitutional Court, a candidate must be qualified in at least one of the following ways:

(1) Has served with a distinguished record as a judge of the Supreme Court for more than ten years;

(2) Has served with distinguished contributions as a Member of the Legislative Yuan for more than nine years;

(3) Has been a professor of a major law subject at an university for more than ten years and has been published in a specialized field;

(4) Has served as a judge of the International Court of Justice, or has had an authoritative work on public or comparative law published;

(5) Or be highly reputed in the field of legal research and have political experience.

The number of Justices having any one of the foregoing categories of qualifications shall not exceed one-third of the total number of Justices.

The Justices shall interpret the Constitution with respect to the following matters:

(1) Uncertainties regarding the application of the Constitution;

(2) The constitutionality of laws or orders; and

(3) Other matters to be interpreted by the Judicial Yuan as prescribed by law.

A petition for an interpretation of the Constitution shall be filed in the following circumstances:

(1) Where a central or local government agency is uncertain regarding the application of the Constitution while exercising its powers, or, if the agency, while exercising its powers, has disputes with another agency regarding the application of the Constitution, or if the agency is uncertain of the constitutionality of a particular law or order when applying the same;

(2) Where an individual, a juristic person, or a political party, alleges that his or its constitutional right has been infringed and who has exhausted all judicial remedies provided by law, questions the constitutionality of the law or order applied by the court of last resort in its final decision;

(3) Where the Members of the Legislative Yuan, in exercising their powers, are uncertain regarding the application of the Constitution or with regard to the constitutionality of a particular law when applying the same, and at least one-third of the total number of the Members of the Legislative Yuan have filed a petition; or

(4) Where any court believes that a particular law, which it is applying to a case pending with it, is in conflict with the Constitution.

An interpretation of the Constitution may be made only with the concurrence of two-thirds of the Justices present at a meeting having a quorum of two-thirds of the total number of the Justices; provided that an interpretation declaring the unconstitutionality of an order may be made with the concurrence of a simple majority of the Justices present at a meeting having a quorum of a simple majority of the total number of Justices.

A petition for an unified interpretation of laws or orders shall be made in one of the following circumstances:

(1) Where a central or local government agency, in exercising its powers, applies laws or orders and has an interpretation of the law or order that differs from an interpretation previously made by another agency or the same agency, unless the previous interpretation is by law binding or the agency with a different interpretation has the authority to revise the previous interpretation; or

(2) Where an individual, a juristic person, or a political party, which or who alleges that his or its right has been infringed, believes that the final decision of the court of last resort adopted an opinion in construing the applicable law or order that differed from that opinion previously adopted by another court in a final decision, unless the petitioner has not yet exhausted all judicial remedies or the later decision effectively has altered the opinion of the earlier decision.

The Justices meet three times each week, and provisional meetings may be held, if necessary. The Justices vote by raising their hands or by calling roll.

In considering an interpretation, the Justices consult materials concerning legislative history of the Constitution and the enactment of statutes. They may, upon request or ex officio , summon the petitioner, the persons concerned, or the agencies concerned, to attend the meetings and present opinions, or conduct investigations. Oral proceedings may be held whenever necessary.The text of interpretations and the reasons, together with any concurring and dissenting opinions are published by the Judicial Yuan and notice is sent to the petitioner and the persons concerned.

According to Articls 5 of the Amendment of the Constitution, the Constitutional Court has the authority to handle cases concerning the impeachment of the President and the Vice President of the Republic, the dissolution of a political party violating the Constitution.

If the objectives of a particular political party or its activities endanger either the continuing existence of the Republic of China or the Republic's free and democratic constitutional order, the agency-in-charge (Ministry of the Interior) may petition the Constitutional Court for a judgment of that party's dissolution. The most senior Justice, or the eldest of any Justices of the same seniority, presides over the Court. The Court shall decide the case based on oral proceedings, but oral proceedings are not required in case of dismissal. Each party may not retain more than three counsels. The counsel shall be either a practicing lawyer or a law professor with prior approval of the Court.

The Constitutional Court conducts oral proceedings only with the presence of three-fourths or more of the total number of the Justices. A judgment to dissolve a political party may only be rendered with the concurrence of two-thirds of the Justices present at the oral proceedings. In cases where the foregoing concurrence is not reached, a judgment of non-dissolution is entered. In addition, a procedural ruling may be made with the concurrence of a simple majority of the Justices present at a meeting having a quorum of three-fourths of the number of Justices.

If the Constitutional Court considers a petition to have merit, a judgment pronouncing dissolution of the unconstitutional political party will be entered. If the Court considers that a petition is without merit, it will dismiss the petition by a judgment. For cases utilizing oral proceedings, judgments are pronounced on a designated date within one month after the conclusion of the oral proceedings.

Constitutional Court judgments, in addition to being pronounced and served on the parties, are published together with any concurring and dissenting opinions.

2. Secretary-General

The Judicial Yuan has a Secretary-General who is of the special appointment rank. Under the direction of the President of the Judicial Yuan, the Secretary- General administers the affairs of the Yuan, directs and supervises the Yuan's staff members, and attends meetings of the Justices with no voting right. The Judicial Yuan also has a Deputy Secretary-General, of the 14th grade of the selected appointment rank, who, under the direction of the President of the Judicial Yuan, assists the Secretary-General.

3. Staff-Units

The Judicial Yuan has the following staff-units:

(1) Secretariat V In charge of administrative planning, safekeeping of official seals, preparation for various judicial meetings, and general affairs.

(2) Department of Clerks for the Justices of the Constitutional Court V In charge of legal, and administrative affairs relevant to the functions of the Justices.

(3) Civil Department V In charge of administrative and management matters relating to civil adjudication, noncontentious matters, notarization, lodgment, bankruptcy, and civil compulsory execution.

(4) Criminal Department V In charge of administrative matters relating to criminal adjudication, traffic cases, cases associated with the rehabilitation of delinquents, cases regarding violations of the Statute for the Maintenance of Social Order, and management of the public defense.

(5) Department of Administrative Litigation and Discipline V In charge of administrative matters relating to administrative adjudication and adjudication of cases concerning disciplinary measures with respect to public functionaries.

(6) Juvenile and Family Department V In charge of administrative matters relating to juvenile and family cases.

(7) Department of Judicial Administration V In charge of matters relating to judicial systems, court organization, research and development, inspection of court business, legal assistance. Mainland China's legal system, academic exchanges, studies of laws and regulations relevant to judicial organs, and pre-commencement of Jadiciary Museum.

(8) Department of Information Management V In charge of planning, development, promotion, and maintenance of judicial computerization.

(9) Department of Civil Service Ethics V In charge of matters relating to judicial morals and integrity, prevention of corruption, maintenance of official confidentiality, prevention of the jeopardization or destruction of office buildings, and judicial officials property reports.

In addition, the Judicial Yuan has an Office of Counselors, and Departments for Personnel, Accounting and Statistics, which are in charge of drafting and reviewing laws and regulations, personnel, accounting, and statistical affairs, respectively.

The above-said units are staffed by the following personnel: Director- Generals, Deputy Director-Generals, Counselors, Accountant-General, Deputy Accountant-General, Statistician-General, Deputy Statistician- General, Secretaries, Senior Compilers, Senior Executive officals. Section Chiefs, Compilers, Executive officials. Senior Officials, Stenographers, Clerks, Associate Clerk, High-level administrators, analysts, administrators, designers and assistant designers.

Organic Chart of the Judicial Yuan

Organic Chart of the Judicial Yuan

Intellectual Property Count Organization Act was promulgated by the President on Mar. 28, 2007. The preparatory works are respectively underway.




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