Tue, Aug 03, 2010 - Page 3 News List

KMT lawmaker calls for new bill on judicial reform

REGULATIONChiu Yi said the Judicial Yuan should stop dragging its feet and present a new version of the judges act for lawmakers to ratify

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The Judicial Yuan should submit to the legislature a new bill governing judges as soon as possible to ensure better regulation and restore the credibility of the battered judiciary, a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker said on Sunday.

“The recent spate of corruption scandals involving judges has proved that self-discipline is not enough to ensure judicial rectitude,” KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) said. “Strict legislation and more outside supervision are badly needed.”

Chiu said the Judicial Yuan has not come up with a new version since its previous bill on judges was rejected by the legislature.

“As the top supervisory body of courts and judges, the Judicial Yuan is obligated to present a new version of the judges bill for ratification by the legislature,” Chiu said, adding that the Judicial Yuan should stop dragging its feet on the issue.

Without a Judicial Yuan-drafted bill, the legislature can do nothing to respond to the public demand for stricter regulation of the judiciary, Chiu said.

Asked about an appeal by Taiwan High Court Judge Chen Heng-kuan (陳恆寬) for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to call a national meeting on judicial reform, Chiu said that what matters was action and mettle.

Chen, one of three judges who presided over the trial of former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Chen Che-nan (陳哲男) at the Taiwan High Court, resigned on Thursday to protest the lenient sentence handed down to Chen Che-nan. However, he said on Saturday he had changed his mind and withdrew his resignation.

“My conscience told me to stay on and continue the fight for judicial reform,” Chen Heng-kuan said, adding that he hoped Ma would call a national meeting on judicial reform to win back public trust in the judiciary.

However, Chiu said that holding such a meeting might only generate some media coverage, while achieving nothing substantive. He said that both the administrative and judicial branches should show resolve by decisive action rather than mere lip service.

Chiu said the problems in the judicial system were mainly the result of the judiciary's bureaucratic mentality, under which individual judges mind only their own business or even cover up each other's illicit or corrupt activities.

He said this kind of judicial culture had left conscientious and incorruptible judges busy and corrupt judges “rich and famous.”

Chiu said joint efforts from within and without the ranks of the judiciary were needed to stop this cycle of evil.

KMT Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) said he supported Chen Heng-kuan's call for a national conference to pool wisdom to map out a judicial reform package.

Saying judicial reform needed the collaboration of police, investigators, prosecutors, judges and lawyers, Lu called on Ma to play a leading role in integrating resources in all these sectors to promote reform.

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