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Open Letter

▍Open Letter from the President of the Judicial Yuan in Regards to the
  Newly Amended Judiciary Law

Creating an Introspective Judiciary, Rebuilding Social Trust in the Judiciary

Written after the Amendment of the Judiciary Law had Passed the Legislative Yuan

Last Friday, Taiwan's judicial reform has achieved an important milestone that was accomplished between the Ministry of Justice, legislators, and us through the unified hard work of passing the highly anticipated Judiciary Law that would completely change the supervision and termination process of the judiciary.

After this amendment, the supervision and termination process will become more effective. For example, parties of the cases and victims will no longer need intermediaries for them to directly request for evaluation; the Judicial Evaluation Committee will no longer need to transfer cases to the Control Yuan for impeachment and can directly report to the Judicial Yuan so that the cases can then be sent to the Court of the Judiciary for proceedings. Besides that, this amendment increased the ability for the system to correct it wrong. For example, the Evaluation Committee will have more external scholars and social advocates, while the Court of the Judiciary in the court of first instance will also have two non-judicial participants so that there will be more impartiality and diverse perspective in the judicial supervision and termination process in effort to prevent external misunderstandings that the judiciary will always protect one of its own. In addition to this, we have newly added punishments that include stripping a person of their retirement funds and pension or requesting that a suspended judge that took bribes to return the salary that he was paid during his suspension. Through these different reforms, I am optimistic in my expectation that we will be more effective in exposing the unqualified judges that are harming the judicial integrity in the future.

The Judicial Yuan was actively involved with the drafting and amendment process of the Judiciary Law, which is a breakthrough piece of legislation. This is because we know clearly that the judiciary should not only be passively waiting for reform, and only a judiciary that is willing to be introspective and change in order to resolve the issues will regain the trust of all the people. Therefore, we will support and seek to establish a more effective supervision and termination system that could correct the wrongs. The judiciary should not be afraid of being examined or being criticized, nor should the judiciary attempt to cover up its shortcomings. It should allow the few judges remiss in their duties to get the punishment that they deserve because only through their punishment will the minority not wipe out the hard work of the incorruptible, honest, and diligent judges that are in the majority.

However, I do want to reiterate the fact that most of the judges treat their jobs with great reverence, and this heightened honor and purpose does not come by easily. Therefore, we should not let people who are intentionally increasing the amounts of litigations to influence the normal life of a judge or their dignity. The Judicial Yuan will be the solid foundation by which these judges will be able to rely on, holding firm on the core values of a trial so that it would not be interfered, implementing a case evaluation mechanism that would prevent an overuse of the evaluation system, and use the supervision and termination system on the few cases that needs to be dealt with.

To give a minority of judges their fair punishment is to repossess the honest incorruptible symbol of the judiciary so that the work of the majority judges would not be easily negated and could be seen. When the society sees a judiciary that is introspective and willing to shoulder its responsibility while also sensing that a majority of the judges are passionate and hardworking, the judiciary will most certainly gradually gain the faith of all of the people. I believe that in advancing with the amendment to the Judiciary Law, we are also trying to build a foundation based on maintaining judicial independence and protecting judicial dignity that will recreate a judicial culture that is willing to be introspective. I believe that this will be a brand new starting point of rebuilding social trust. I also sincerely hope that this starting point will also be the point where the Taiwan society would reacquaint themselves with the judiciary and be willing to give their trust to the judiciary again. 

Tzong-Li Hsu

July 1, 2019

  • Release Date : 2019-07-01
  • Update : 2019-11-01