Sat, Apr 27, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Urban Renewal Act partly unconstitutional: ruling

By Hsiang Cheng-chen and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Council of Grand Justices yesterday ruled that parts of the Urban Renewal Act (都市更新條例) were unconstitutional and demanded that the relevant agencies rectify mistakes in those parts within a year or the act will be abolished.

However, the verdicts in four related controversial cases, including one concerning the forced demolition of houses in the Wenlin Yuan (文林苑) area of Taipei’s Shilin District (士林), will not be affected, as the grand justices did not order an immediate termination of the controversial articles that they deemed unconstitutional.

According to Constitutional Interpretation No. 709, handed down yesterday, Article 10, Section 1 of the act did not set up a proper body to review cases. It also did not guarantee that individuals involved in cases had access to relevant information and had the opportunity to voice their opinions.

The grand justices singled out Article 13, Section 3 of the act and said that it did not demand the authorities deliver all relevant information to all legal property owners involved in cases, or demand that a public hearing be held where all parties involved can state their opinions.

The grand justices said that Section 3 also did not require relevant authorities to send a finalized version of all the pros and cons for urban renewal projects to all legal owners of land and buildings.

The grand justices ruled that all the sections under the two articles did not comply with the constitutional requirement of legally sanctioned administrative procedure.

Meanwhile, the grand justices denied a request to review the legality of the Taipei City Government’s forced demolition of the Wang (王) family house in the Wenlin Yuan area, saying that because the case was still being heard at the Taipei High Administrative Court, they could not accede to the request.

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