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【The Taiwan Constitutional Court in a New Era】

The amended Constitutional Court Procedure Act (CCPA) is scheduled to take effect on January 4, 2022. This amended CCPA will expand the jurisdiction of the TCC, revise its organization and administration, and initiate a new designation and format for the decisions of the TCC, among other major changes. The CCPA of 2022 adds a new type of litigation, i.e., constitutional complaint against the final court decisions, to the jurisdiction of the Taiwan Constitutional Court (TCC), and enables the TCC to exercise a power of concrete review on top of its abstract review powers. It is expected that the caseload of the TCC will increase significantly in the first several years after 2022. Meanwhile, the CCPA of 2022 will establish a new Chamber system, each consisting of three Justices, to dismiss a petition without the deliberation of the full house. The decisions of the TCC will also change their designation from the current “Interpretation” to “Judgment” for those decisions on the merit, and from “Resolution” to “Order” for a dismissal. Accordingly, the TCC will issue its Judgments or Orders along the format of the decisions adopted by other courts in Taiwan.

The History of the CCPA

History of the Constitutional Court Procedure Act 

Soon after its establishment in 1948, the Council of the Grand Justices, Judicial Yuan, adopted the “Rules of the Council of Grand Justices” as its first rules of procedure. In 1958, the Legislative Yuan (the Parliament) adopted a new stature, the Council of Grand Justices Act, to replace the said Rules. In 1993, the Legislative Yuan amended and renamed the said Act to be the “Constitutional Court Procedure Act.” This amended Act, among other revisions, added a new jurisdiction regarding the dissolution of unconstitutional political parties and mandated the holding of public hearings and the issuance of judgments in the name and format of a Constitutional Court, on such cases. In 2019 the Legislative Yuan overhauled the said Act of 1993 into a new “Constitutional Court Procedure Act,” which is scheduled to take effect in January 2022.

Key Changes in the New CCPA

The amended Constitutional Court Procedure Act (CCPA) will take effect on January 4, 2022, including the following features:

  1. Structural Changes: The official title of the Court used to be called the “Council of Grand Justices” of the Judicial Yuan, though it has been functioning as Constitutional Court in practice since 1948. This title change will erase the confusion arising from the old title and bring the name to be more corresponding to the real functions of the Court. Besides, the Court will hold more oral arguments and adopt related new measures in order to enhance the transparency and fairness in its adjudication process. The name (called “Interpretation”) of the Court’s decisions will also be changed into “Judgment” with a new format similar to that of the ordinary court decisions.
  2. Jurisdictions: The Court’s jurisdiction will expand to include “the constitutional review of the final court decisions,” along with the existing abstract review of the constitutionality of law and regulations.
  3. Procedural Transparency: The amended CCPA introduces the “Amicus Curiae,” modelled after the practice of the Supreme Court of the United States, so that the third parties, including individuals, competent authorities or organisations, can present their professional opinions or relevant information for the reference of the Court. Besides, the Court will release the Petition Briefs and Reply Briefs to the public on its official website, after a petition is granted review by the Court. Any party will be allowed to apply for reading, transcribing, or photocopying the documents in the court dossier.
  4. Decisions: Any judgment rendered by the Court will indicate the name of the Justice who authors the majority opinion, along with the names of those Justices who join the majority opinion and of those Justices who dissent. The Court will continue its long practice to release each concurring or dissenting opinion together with the judgment.  
  5. Presidential Impeachment Proceeding: The amended CCPA will provide for the formal proceedings regarding the impeachment against the President and/or the Vice President, which was added to the jurisdiction of the Court in the Additional Articles of the Constitution in 2005.

Table of Contents of the New CCPA

Chapter I. General Principles

Chapter II. General Procedural Provisions

Chapter III. Petitions Concerning Constitutionality of Laws and Constitutional Complaints

Chapter IV. Disputes between Constitutional Organs

Chapter V. Impeachment against the President and/or the Vice President

Chapter VI. Dissolution of Unconstitutional Political Parties

Chapter VII. Local Self-Government

Chapter VIII. Uniform Interpretation of Statues and Regulations

Chapter IX. Miscellaneous Provisions

Jurisdiction and Types of Proceedings

 Features of the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court

Comparisons between the Old and New CCPA

Comparisons between the Old and New Constitutional Court Procedure Act(part 1)

Comparisons between the Old and New Constitutional Court Procedure Act(part 2)

  • Release Date : 2019-01-04
  • Update : 2021-07-14