Fri, Jul 18, 2003 - Page 3 News List

KMT asked to eschew bias when reviewing justices


A senior attorney yesterday urged pan-blue lawmakers to complete the review of 15 grand justice nominees with righteousness.

"The general public commonly perceived that the delay to the legislative confirmation of the 15 grand justice nominees was the result of the KMT's boycott," said Kuo Lin-yung (郭林勇), director general of the Taiwan Bar Association (律師公會全國聯合會).

"The largest opposition party, therefore, should carry out the legislative review impartially and earn public respect by completing the review without political bias," Kuo said.

Kuo was one of several legal experts invited to a seminar held by members of the KMT ad hoc committee to review the nominees.

"The 15 grand justices will be the center of the country's judicial structure once the Legislative Yuan gives the go-ahead to amendments to the Organic Law of the Judicial Yuan (司法院組織法) in October, and this increases the significance of the legislative confirmation," Kuo said.

A grand justice should be considered based on his professional experience and behavior, Kuo said. The best candidates, in this view, would be experienced as prosecutors and judges.

Chen Ying-chin (陳盈錦), a representative of the Prosecutor Reform Association (檢察官改革協會), agreed.

"The nomination of new grand justices revealed an imbalance in legal experience, as we found that only one candidate was picked from the prosecuting field while the rest were experts in public law," Chen said.

He said he hoped that lawmakers would scrutinize the nominees' overall qualifications and avoid problems resulting from the imbalance.

Another guest at yesterday's discussion reminded the lawmakers that the Legislative Yuan must acknowledge the presidential power of nomination.

Respect for the president's jurisdiction and wisdom in nominating grand justices is needed, while the legislative power of confirmation should verify the nominees' qualifications as a final step, said Hsu Wen-pin (許文彬), head of the ROC National Publications Appraisal Council.

"Concern for human rights and democracy top the criteria for new grand justices," said Chai Sung-lin (柴松林), an adviser to the president.

One of the most important criteria, therefore, should be whether the nominees had updated their ideas about human rights and democracy and will not interpret constitutional petitions with outdated values, Chai said.

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