Fri, Dec 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Legislative Yuan to address bills on transitional justice

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday announced that draft bills to promote transitional justice would be addressed during a plenary session on Tuesday after cross-caucus negotiations broke down again yesterday.

The four legislative caucuses have been at loggerheads since the bills were tendered last year.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that a major difference between the DPP’s and the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) proposals is the KMT seeks to redress the rights of victims of injustice from the Dutch period about 400 years ago, while the DPP’s version limits the time frame to the authoritarian era from 1945, when the Republic of China (ROC) government retreated to Taiwan, to 1992, when the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion (動員戡亂時期) ended.

The DPP had said that the period covered by the KMT’s bill is too extensive and would cause difficulties when the transitional justice act is enforced.

He asked the KMT caucus to clarify what it meant by proposing a draft article saying that efforts should be made to “fully preserve, maintain and promote authoritarian symbols.”

A source of contention between the DPP and the New Power Party (NPP) are that the DPP believes a transitional justice promotion committee should be designated as a tier-two agency overseen by the Cabinet, while the NPP believes such an agency should be directly overseen by the Presidential Office, Ker said.

The NPP has also proposed that the law be titled the Act on Attaining Transitional Justice (實踐轉型正義條例) rather than the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例), as proposed by the DPP.

KMT caucus secretary-general Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said not all authoritarian symbols should be removed, as they can often serve as cautionary reminders about the violations of human rights in the past, citing as an example, the prisons on the Green Island that were used to jail political dissidents.

KMT Legislator Sra Kacaw (鄭天財) said the ROC government inherited from the Taiwan Governor’s Office large areas of Aboriginal territories that have yet to be returned to Aborigines, which was unconstitutional and constitute violations of their freedom and human rights.

This act of injustice is not included in the DPP’s bill, he said.

NPP Legislator Kawlo Iyun Pacidal, an Amis, said that unless the DPP is just “putting on a show,” Ker should support the NPP’s proposal to set up a “transitional justice attainment committee” that would be directly overseen by the president.

Independent Legislator May Chin (高金素梅), speaking on behalf of her alliance with the People First Party, blasted the DPP for not having drafted legislation on returning Aboriginal territories.

The DPP agreed to create the Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee because it operates free of legal oversight, but when it is urged to initiate legislation that would require it to return Aboriginal territories, it resorts to foot-dragging, she said.

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