Mon, Nov 13, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Judiciary to tackle high case loads

HEALTH CONCERNS:The Judicial Yuan has proposed streamlining the format of judgements and the civil case process to save on the bulk of district judges’ time

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The judiciary yesterday said it would reduce work loads at district courts, after a judge in Changhua County had a stroke while presiding over a hearing.

Judge Pao Hui-chung (鮑慧忠), 45, on Friday was presiding over a drug trafficking trial at the Changhua District Court when bailiffs saw him tremble, grow pale and collapse.

Doctors at a local hospital performed a life-saving operation after finding that Pao had a stroke caused by a cerebral hemorrhage.

Pao yesterday regained consciousness and was in stable condition, doctors said.

After the incident, officials revealed statistics showing that district court judges must handle 1.57 million cases per year, averaging to 60.85 criminal prosecution cases and 66.37 civil cases per month per judge.

Changhua District Court chief Wang Yi-min (王義閔) said he would inquire whether Pao became exhausted due to a high case load, but added that the judge was known to have high blood pressure.

Pao’s colleagues said he is dedicated to his job and is often found working late into the night.

Pao in 2009 was honored as one of the nation’s top judges for quality of work and performance, his colleagues said, adding that the stroke was likely brought on by fatigue and stress from the demands of his job.

Judicial Yuan Secretary-General Lu Tai-lang (呂太郎) agreed that the case load for judges at district courts is high, with most having to rule on an average of 60 cases and 180 reviews each month.

“Although the case load had not increased, the public has higher expectations and is more scrutinizing these days,” Lu said.

“Since most time is spent writing judgements, we will propose to amend the law for a reduced and simplified format for rulings. We will also propose to streamline the civil case process and push for an arbitration mechanism to help reach settlements,” Lu said.

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