This altered definition was clearly tailor-made to fit Chen. As a result of this unlawful and unconstitutional distortion of the law, Chen was convicted and sentenced to a lengthy prison term.
Considering that this interpretation clearly violates the principle of legality, it would not normally be used by anyone in the legal profession.
Lin’s case is in need of a thorough review. It should be clarified that, since Lin was vested with legally defined powers, there is no need to drag in the highly dubious notion of “actual influence.”
The Supreme Court should cease misinterpreting and misusing the notion of actual influence, and instead return to the interpretation that had previously stood unchanged for 50 years and that complies with the 2006 amendment to the Criminal Code.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court should get back in line with judicial normality by righting the injustice done to Chen.
Jerry Cheng is a lawyer.
Translated by Julian Clegg