Tue, Oct 04, 2016 - Page 3 News List

NPP lawmakers to grill grand justice nominees

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

New Power Party legislators yesterday announce their proposed questions for nominees for the Council of Grand Justices nominees at a news conference at Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Council of Grand Justices nominees should be required to explain their positions on constitutional issues, New Power Party (NPP) lawmakers said yesterday, promising to question the nominees about same-sex marriage, gender equality and other topics.

“In the past, the review of grand justice nominees has often been reduced to a formality, but we feel that the new legislature should do things differently,” NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said, laying out a detailed questionnaire covering topics such as same-sex marriage, Aboriginal rights, gender equality and religion.

The party’s questionnaires for the nominees for president and vice president of the Judicial Yuan — who are also grand justices — also include issues such as evaluating and replacing judges, the necessity of a special labor court and the legal separation of judges and public prosecutors.

“Future members of the Council of Grand Justices are extremely important because there are many important political and social reforms that could end up in their hands,” NPP caucus convener Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said. “This is not just a test — we hope it will highlight their values.”

Huang said that the nature of the constitutional review system should stop the nominees avoiding questions about their values.

“In Taiwan, we have adopted a system of constitutional review which focuses on abstract questions about specific laws, not the details of specific legal cases, because laws and regulations are crystal clear, there is no point in reviewing if the nominees are incapable or unwilling to express their constitutional values and beliefs,” he said. “Can we honestly accept nominees only being required to pledge that they support human rights and the separation of powers?”

“We’ve proposed this questionnaire because as soon as the Judicial Yuan president, vice president and other members of the Council of Grand Justices win approval, we will not have another opportunity to hold them accountable,” he added.

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