Former Judicial Yuan vice president Cheng Chung-mo (
Cheng made the remarks in a speech titled "A detailed review of the judicial reform for the past eight years" at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. The event was hosted by the Taiwan Law and Policy Research Foundation.
"I worked for justice for more than 30 years and was vice president of the Judicial Yuan between 1999 and 2006," he told the audience."I think I am qualified to criticize [the reform program] and point out where the problems are because I was involved in the process and I saw things first-hand."
Cheng first complained about the new mechanism used in court rulings.
He said that for civil court cases, judges would come up with a verdict after reviewing the arguments presented by the plaintiffs and defendants themselves.
"Usually, the arguments to be reviewed by judges are prepared by lawyers. However, about 80 percent of plaintiffs and defendants do not hire or cannot afford lawyers. As a result, the arguments presented in court are of little value. Is this fair?" he said.
Under the old system, only one judge would preside a criminal case at the district-court level. Since the new system came into force, three judges are now required to render a verdict.
"This can only waste judges' time and results in them having more cases pending at the same time," Cheng said.
Cheng said that when, in the late 1990s, then president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) asked Judicial Yuan president Shih Chi-yang (施啟揚) to initiate judicial reform, the latter did not immediately carry out the project because he failed to hold the "necessary brainstorming meetings."
It was only after Weng succeeded Shih in 1999 that the judicial reform program was launched.
"[But] nobody was ready for that at the time," Cheng said.
With Weng scheduled to retire this fall, Cheng said he hopes the new Judicial Yuan president will organize more brainstorming meetings to fill the remaining blanks in the the judicial reform program.
Cheng resigned from his post in April after a report in the Chinese-language Apple Daily alleged he spent 70 minutes in a motel room with Wang Mei-hsin (
Cheng denied the alleged relationship with Wang.