Sun, Sep 02, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Victim relief falls short of UN level

By Hsiao I-min 蕭逸民

The scope of judicial victims includes the victims’ lineal or dependent relatives, as well as individuals or groups that suffer from helping a victim or stopping a crime. All these are excluded from the draft amendments proposed by the Judicial Yuan.

The Judicial Yuan is only willing to take responsibility for financial compensation, passing responsibility for other social compensation mechanisms to the Executive Yuan. This not only violates the state obligation of judicial accountability, but also hurts the image of judicial independence.

The biggest disappointment is that the Judicial Yuan has failed to respond to the national conference’s resolution on establishing a research center for wrongful cases. Judicial accountability should be about learning from cases to avoid repeating mistakes.

In Chen’s case, in addition to exempting illegal gaming arcade operators from prosecution, she instructed operators to wrongly accuse police officers of misconduct so that police investigation would be obstructed.

During her more than two decades as a prosecutor, she also blocked notoriously mishandled cases from being overturned.

Surely there should be a research center that could look into her corruption and negative effect on mishandled cases.

The judiciary can sometimes harm people. In addition to the victims who suffer wrongful imprisonment, the people hurt by a judiciary member’s abuse of power deserve to be addressed.

The Judicial Yuan should use the review meeting to gain a better understanding of the international standards for judicial accountability, and to severely punish judicial personnel who conceal corruption.

It should resubmit amendments to the Compensation for Wrongful Detentions and Executions Act that are both daring and in line with international trends, while at the same time building an effective protective mechanism for victims of the judiciary to demonstrate the government’s determination to fight corruption.

Hsiao I-min is a former director of the Judicial Reform Foundation’s judicial complaint center.

Translated by Eddy Chang

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