President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday reaffirmed his pledge to work for judicial reform and said the legal community supported him in the endeavor, while he dismissed opposition by former Supreme Court president Yang Jen-shou (楊仁壽) about making the case-assignment process more transparent.
Assigning cases to judges in a transparent manner has been adopted in district courts and there have been no difficulties in carrying out the measure, Ma said.
“Making the judicial system more transparent is key to judicial reforms, and it would boost the people’s confidence on the system,” Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) quoted Ma as saying.
Ma’s reiteration came in response to Yang’s criticism of the plan during a ceremony yesterday morning where he handed over authority to Yang Ting-chang (楊鼎章), former Taiwan High Court chief judge.
Speaking at the ceremony, Yang Jen-shou critcized Ma for a plan he said risked damaging the independence of the system.
Yang Jen-shou urged both his successor and Judicial Yuan President Rai Hau-min (賴浩敏) to keep the case-assigning process confidential.
“President Ma, enticed by young judges, agreed to interfere with the confidential system on the courts’ case-assigning process. This seriously damages judicial independence,” Yang Jen-shou said.
In response, Yang Ting-chang said he would do the right thing during his term.
Earlier this month, during a meeting of the Action Alliance of Justices to Elect the Supreme Court Chief Justice, Ma promised to move forward steadily with judicial reform and agreed with the alliance’s call for more transparency in assigning cases to judges.
Fan Chiang yesterday said that the president has been promoting judicial reform over the past four years, and he would continue with the reforms during his second term, so that the nation’s judicial system meets public expectations.