Thu, Oct 13, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Tsai’s choices to head up legal bodies scrutinized

STAYING TRUE:The NPP chairman said that if the entire slate was approved, they must lead the way in making reforms and not renege on their promises

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominees to head up the Judicial Yuan and the Council of Grand Justices were put under the scrutiny of lawmakers and legal experts yesterday.

Probing questions and requests to clarify their stances on legal issues were posed to the nominees at a public hearing of the legislature yesterday.

Although the seven nominees did not attend yesterday’s hearing, the session as conducted by lawmakers and legal experts was part of the process for which the legislature will either confirm or reject the whole slate or some of the nominated names.

Tsai’s nominations were the former grand justice Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) for president of the Judicial Yuan, and Taiwan High Court judge Tsai Chung-tun (蔡?燉) for vice president of the body. The five nominees for the Council of Grand Justices were: National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Law Dean Jan Sheng-lin (詹森林), NTU law professor Hwang Jau-yuan (黃昭元), National Chiayi University professor Hsu Chih-hsiung (許志雄), attorney at law firm Baker & McKenzie Remington Huang (黃瑞明), and former high court judge and Judicial Yuan secretary-general Chang Chiung-wen (張瓊文).

By law, the Judicial Yuan president and vice president serve ex officio on the Council of Grand Justices.

New Power Party chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said his party would support Hsu Tzong-li and Tsai Chung-tun to head up the Judicial Yuan, since the two men have promised to push for judicial reform, and have agreed in principle to institute some sort of mechanism to review the judiciary performance and conduct of judges and grand justices, but each man has a different approach.

Huang Kuo-Chang said that if this entire slate of nominees were to be approved and confirmed by the legislature, they must not renege on their promises and must lead the way in undertaking reforms, and make the justice system more responsive to the needs of the public.

“We have heard about the demands for judicial reform, and many recommendations have been touted in past years. However, there has been no action to follow, or else the lawmakers would made some noise, but no implementation of the reform policies. Therefore we hope that when the Judicial Yuan’s new president and vice president take up their posts, they can fulfil the expectations for change and reform by most of society,” Huang Kuo-Chang said.

At the hearing, law professor Lin Chia-ho (林佳和) said the public and lawmakers must closely scrutinize the incoming grand justices on their stances toward key legal issues, because Taiwan must not go back to its old ways of “conservative” interpretation of the law, which led critics to question whether bias was involved in constitutional rulings.

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