Sun, Jun 05, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Ex-official urges Judicial Yuan closure

’DIFFICULT TASK’:Cheng Chung-mo recommended the establishment of a ‘pyramid structure’ for the justice system, with the base being the local lower district courts

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Former Judicial Yuan vice president Cheng Chung-mo (城仲模) urged the government to initiate reforms to the justice system by abolishing the Judicial Yuan and bolstering lower courts by assigning more judges to district level courts.

He made the remarks at a seminar focused on “new concepts for judicial reform” organized by the Taiwan Law and Policy Research Foundation.

Cheng, chairman of the foundation, said that the Judicial Yuan must be abolished as a priority, as its role — of overseeing the entire courts system and judiciary officials — is superseded by the agency immediately below it, the Supreme Court.

“It is difficult for foreigners to fathom that our nation’s Supreme Court is under the jurisdiction of the Judicial Yuan. If it is called the Supreme Court, then why is there another judicial body above it?” Cheng said.

Following the transfer of power on May 20, Democratic Progressive Party and New Power Party lawmakers have been demanding the resignation of Judicial Yuan President Rai Hau-min (賴浩敏) and his deputy Su Yeong-chin (蘇永欽), but they have resisted calls and have not resigned so new appointments could be made by the government.

Cheng also recommended that the government create a “pyramid structure” for the justice system, with the base being the local lower district courts.

Cheng said that doing away with the Judicial Yuan would free more resources and more judges could be assigned to lower courts, giving them the ability to handle the bulk of people’s judiciary needs and clear a backlog of lawsuits.

“Judicial reform is a difficult task. Most previous government leaders and heads of the judiciary did not want to open up this ‘Pandora’s box,’ so reform has been very slow going. Any work done only scratched the surface, with very little real change made to the system,” Cheng said.

Cheng said that surveys showed that 84 percent of people do not trust judges and 76 percent of people do not trust prosecutors, which he said indicated that only 20 to 30 percent of the public have faith in the nation’s justice system.

He blamed Taiwan’s examination culture for this, saying that most judiciary officials and judges entered the system by passing an entrance examination that mandates years of arduous studying at cram schools, which made them out of touch with society, because they might not have workplace experience or much experience in the outside world.

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