Secretary-General of the Presidential Office Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) has commended the nation's political parties for acting "above political interests" and not making any recommendations about which candidates should be nominated as grand justices.
The Presidential Office is undertaking nominations for the Council of Grand Justices, whose main mission is interpreting the Constitution and unifying the interpretation of laws and ordinances. Fifteen new grand justices are scheduled to take office in October.
"We believe that each and every political party has understood that grand justices must be above politics and therefore none of them have made any recommendations," said Chu, spokesman for the nomination evaluation task force convened by Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).
The task force, convened to recommend and screen possible candidates, also includes Judicial Yuan President Weng Yueh-sheng (翁岳生), Control Yuan President Fredrick Chien (錢復), senior presidential advisers Clement Chang (張建邦) and retired National Taiwan University law professor Lee Hung-hsi (李鴻禧) and Chu.
According to Chiou, 30 candidates had been selected in the first round yesterday. Those 30 candidates, chosen from a pool of 80 recommended by various judicial associations and education groups, are slated to undergo the second round of the nomination process next week before a list of candidates is submitted to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for final approval, said Chiou.
According to the revised Additional Articles of the Constitution, the grand justices -- ?as well as the president and vice president of the Judicial Yuan -- ?are all nominated and appointed by the president, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan.
Under revised constitutional provisions, the Council of Grand Justices must have 15 members. The president and vice president of the Judicial Yuan must be chosen from among those members.