The Cabinet yesterday approved an amendment to the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法) that could replace the need to obtain police permission to hold protests or rallies with a mandatory registration system.
Under the current system, those staging a protest or assembly must file an application six days in advance.
The amendment stipulates that organizers would be required to register a protest or assembly with the precinct that has jurisdiction over the protest area no less than three days prior to the date of the event.
In cases of protests or assemblies held in response to unforeseen emergencies, registration would have to be made no later than 24 hours beforehand.
The amendment suggested eliminating the imposition of criminal liability currently stipulated in Article 29, under which violators could be subject to imprisonment for a maximum term of two years or detained when they continue the assembly or parade after an order to disperse is given by the police.
It also suggested the removal of Article 4, which prohibits people from advocating communism or secessionism during street protests.
The Cabinet meeting also approved an amendment to the Physician’s Act (醫師法) setting more stringent controls on Taiwanese doctors who study abroad before they can obtain a license to practice in Taiwan.
The amendment was proposed to address concerns that have run high since an increasing number of Taiwanese students began attending medical schools in Eastern Europe two years ago, mainly Poland, where the quality of medical education was questioned because Polish medical schools do not require practicums as Taiwanese schools do.
Under the amendment, people who attend medical school in a foreign country would have to complete an internship at a Taiwanese hospital, perform satisfactorily during the internship and pass a separate verification of their foreign degrees before they could take licensing examinations in Taiwan.
Currently, those who study abroad can take licensing examinations as long as they pass a verification of their foreign degrees conducted by the Ministry of Education.
If the amendment passes the legislature, students who have enrolled in schools before Jan. 1, 2010, will be exempt from the requirement of verifying their foreign degrees, the amendment stipulated.
Also approved by the Cabinet meeting was a draft bill to establish a pilot program to allow limited public participation in the judicial process.
Under the pilot program, members of the public will form juries to offer opinions to judges during major criminal cases, such as murder, but will not decide the innocence or guilt of the accused as juries do in other countries.
The Cabinet also approved an amendment to the Detention Act (羈押法) to overhaul detention regulations, some of which have been ruled unconstitutional for failing to protect the rights of detained peopl and not upholding the principle of presumed innocence.