Thu, Apr 19, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Judiciary mulls moving out of current building

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Judicial Yuan said yesterday it was considering constructing a new building to allow it to move out of its current location, a building that is listed as a national monument.

The Judicial Yuan's current home is a work by a well-known Japanese architect, Ide Kaoru, who designed the building in 1934 under the colonial Japanese government.

The Ministry of Interior declared the building a national monument in 1998, meaning that it must be protected and restored when necessary.

The secretary-general of the Judicial Yuan, Fan Kuang-chun (范光群), told a press conference yesterday that the Council of Cultural Affairs had recently finished a review of the building and recommended that the Judicial Yuan raze the fourth floor, which was added in 1974.

The fourth floor, which is made of reinforced concrete, is pressing down on the original structure and risks damaging it, Fan said.

The council recommended that the Judicial Yuan restore the building's original architecture and said the council had the authority to fine the Judicial Yuan if it refused to do so.

Fan said the Judicial Yuan valued the protection of national monuments and was considering moving out of the building.

He also said that the Judicial Yuan must find an appropriate parcel of land before it makes a decision on constructing a new building.

ADDED SYMBOLISM

Fan said moving out of the office, which is next to the building housing the Presidential Office, would also have the added significance of symbolizing the independence of the judiciary.

The Judicial Yuan building with its tall tower looks very similar to the the Presidential Office building.

In addition to the Judicial Yuan, the building also houses the offices of Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office on its first floor.

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