Sat, Sep 14, 2013 - Page 3 News List

MA-WANG SHOWDOWN: Independent legislature key to democracy: legal expert

ACADEMIC PERSPECTIVE:A law professor said the notion that legislators-at-large are dependent upon their parties, not voters, for their positions was not correct

By Chen Hui-ping and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The first step toward democratization for Taiwan was the general election of legislators in 1991, he said.

Although the Legislative Yuan was not without its faults, it is still the most important bastion of democracy in Taiwan, just as congressional bodies across the world are the bulwark of their respective nations’ democracies, he said.

If we cannot even maintain the independence of the legislative body, it would be a regression of democracy in Taiwan, Yen said.

Yen pointed out that the grand justice’s interpretations were not set in stone and could be amended or overruled entirely.

He said that in drafting Interpretation No. 261, which was issued in 1981, the grand justices noted that they were overruling Interpretation No. 31.

There is still room for amendments for the grand justice’s Interpretation No. 331, and the legislature should appeal to the council for a clarification, he said.

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