Mon, Mar 19, 2018 - Page 6 News List

[ LETTER ]

Case highlights reform need

Former Taipei High Administrative Court judge Chen Hung-pin (陳鴻斌) was convicted of sexually harassing a female assistant by the Court of the Judiciary in 2016 and the court ruled that he should be dismissed.

However, following an appeal by Chen, the same court this month overturned its earlier ruling and instead fined Chen NT$2.16 million (US$73,894) — roughly equal to his annual salary — and allowed Chen to continue serving as a judge.

The pressure group Judges for Judicial Reform has issued a stinging attack of the court’s second ruling, pointing out that since Chen’s monthly pension has increased from NT$60,000 to NT$180,000, this means that he will be able to pay off the fine within 18 months.

It is absolutely absurd that a high court judge who has knowingly broken the law, which he was tasked with upholding, has been let off with a fine instead of being punished severely.

Clearly, Taiwan’s rotten judiciary is in desperate need of reform and should be included within the government’s transitional justice process.

Judges have been convicted of sexual harassment, taking bribes and helping the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) persecute its political enemies:

Is it any wonder that the 2017 Taiwanese Social Trust Survey, released in May last year, revealed that trust in the nation’s judges ranked second from the bottom, with only 32 percent of respondents expressing trust in judges and prosecutors, only slightly above journalists.

A study by National Chung Cheng University in 2016 also found that distrust in judges and prosecutors had risen to 84.6 percent of the population and that 76.5 percent of respondents felt that they were not impartial.

Teng Hung-yuan

New Taipei City

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