The national police chief yesterday said that his fellow police officers will not have to worry about violating human rights while carrying out their duties in the future because of a new law that will take effect on Dec. 1.
"This is a milestone," said Chang Si-liang (張四良), director-general of the National Police Administration (NPA).
"This new law will protect both human rights and the police themselves," he said.
The new law, the "Police Duties Enforcement Act" (警察職權行使法), clearly sets out the regulations that apply to police officers when they are on duty.
"[The new law] is actually the result of a request made on Dec. 14, 2001 by the grand justices of the Judicial Yuan, according to the Interpretation Article 535 to the Constitution," Chang said.
"They requested that a new law be drafted to regulate police officers' duties and said that the new law should be passed within two years. Now here it is."
The NPA had actually begun drafting a new law in 1998 but progress was extremely slow until the judicial request was made two years ago.
The Legislative Yuan passed the bill on June 5 this year and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) announced the law on June 25.
Chang explained that officials decided to make the law effective on Dec. 1, about six months after it was announced, because the government needed time to train police officers and to make the public aware of the new law.
"Police officers now have a bible to help them carry out their duties, so they will not jeopardize innocent people's human rights," Chang said.