Sun, Dec 04, 2011 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Presidential candidates cross swords

HEAD TO HEAD:The following is a transcription of the third part of yesterday’s televised presidential debate, in which each candidate posed two questions to each opponent

Transcribed by Loa Iok-sin, Lee I-chia and Jake Chung  /  Staff Reporters

Ma: Chairman Soong’s question is a good one. When I was running for president I also mentioned my proposal for judicial reform. Over the past three years, my administration has passed the Fair and Speedy Criminal Trials Act (刑事妥速審判法). There are three prime reasons why the laws have been criticized, mainly the implementation of the Judges Act (法官法), administrative efficacy and the quality of rulings.

One the issue of conduct, my administration actively investigated and targeted corruption in the judiciary. We also appointed Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), who has a reputation as a “tough guy,” as state public prosecutor-general.

A series of investigation into judges and prosecutors also achieved a great deal in this respect.

On the issue of administrative efficiency, only those in the know are aware whether the system is efficient or not. What we would like to do is have the Control Yuan promote a jury system, so that people can participate directly in the legal process, which will also introduce judges to popular opinions on certain issues. I believe feel that this would be a very important step in terms of judicial reform.

However, reform does not end there. In terms of the “unsuitable judges” Chairman Soong was referring to, whether the issue is character or professionalism, we have also proposed that the Judges’ Act, should allow outside organizations participate [in passing judgment on judges].

There have been calls for a Judges’ Act for decades, but it was only passed during my presidency. My countrymen, I am a president who is familiar with the entire litigation process and I am very much aware of those areas where there are real problems.

I introduced a few minor reforms when I first became president, including the addition of a live-feed recording how the court clerk takes notes during a court session and prosecutor’s questions. It is now very rare for modern courts To need to verify the veracity of the written court proceedings.

We have done our best to promote judicial reform and I have pushed for these reforms in on a variety of occasions, so they are not just limited intervening in individual cases.

In conclusion, I think you are mistaken, Chairperson Tsai.

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