Wed, Sep 17, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Legal experts relieved nominations confirmed

GRAND JUSTICE NOMINEES An association monitoring the confirmation process rated legislators on their performance and said that generally they did alright


Legal professionals monitoring the confirmation of 15 grand justice nominees breathed a sigh of relief that the process ended smoothly and without confrontation.

"The legislative performance in confirming the 15 grand justice nominees alleviated the anxiety generated by the lawmakers' annoying boycott last year of confirmation votes for Control Yuan members, a grand justice nominee and leaders of the Examination Yuan," said Ku Chung-hwa (顧忠華), convener of the Association Monitoring the Nomination of Grand Justices (民間監督大法官人選聯盟).

"Lawmakers, on average, acted moderately in wielding their legislative power to examine these nominees during the weeklong interpellation," Ku said after the confirmation vote concluded last night.

Ku's association, comprising six prominent legal, academic and women's rights groups, sent delegates to monitor each day of the legislative confirmation process.

The delegates observing the interpellation completed an assessment of the legislators based on the questions they asked.

People First Party (PFP) Legislator Shen Chih-hui (沈智慧) was graded by the association members as the worst examiner because of her argumentative style.

Last Thursday, Shen asked 40 oversimplified true or false questions of six nominees, the association said in describing her performance as "low class."

Lee Yuan-deh (李元德), an association delegate and legal practitioner, said Shen's attempt to characterize legal issues as black or white was inappropriate.

"It is extremely dangerous to treat constitutional debates as a matter of yes or no," Lee said, adding that the oversimplification was helpful neither for judging the competence of the nominees nor examining potential Constitutional disputes.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Cheng Kuei-lien (鄭貴蓮) was judged the second worst among the legislative inquisitors.

"Her interpellation centered on criticism of Hualien District Chief Prosecutor Yang Ta-chih (楊大智), which was awful. She apparently targeted the chief prosecutor because of her husband, Interior Minister Yu Cheng-hsien (余政憲), who had been crossed by the prosecutor during the commissioner election in Hualien County," the assessment said.

The association regretted seeing Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Yi-wen's (江綺雯) interpellation that was based on her personal bias regarding abortion.

"It is improper to force the examinees to answer questions according to the lawmaker's personnel preferences," the assessment said.

Other lawmakers judged by the association as performing poorly were Lee Ching-hua (李慶華), Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁), Chung Shao-ho (鍾紹和), Sheu Yuan-kuo (許淵國), Chao Liang-yen (趙良燕) and Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) of the PFP, Chang Tsai-mei (張蔡美) and Hsu Shu-po (許舒博) of the KMT and Hou Shui-sheng (侯水盛) of the DPP.

"Even though Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Chen Chien-min (陳建銘) was not listed in the top 10 poorest on the assessment, his questions, such as demanding the Judicial Yuan president and vice president identify a pop singer or know the ticket fare for the MRT, were challenged by the association delegates as well," Ku said.

The association said that DPP Legislator You Ching (尤清) did the best job in quizzing the nominees.

"You fully respected his examinees as he gave them enough time to respond to his questions," the association said.

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