Judges and prosecutors who have been charged with corruption or who lack the moral disposition to practice law should not be allowed to become attorneys, the Control Yuan’s Committee on Judicial and Prison Administration Affairs said in a report published late last month.
The Tainan Bar Association on Oct. 12 appealed to the Supreme Court after the Tainan District Court and the Tainan branch of the Taiwan High Court ruled against the association in a lawsuit over whether former Nantou District Prosecutor Wang Chao-chen (王朝震), who has been convicted of corruption, should be given membership and be allowed to practice law.
According to Article 4 of the Attorney Regulation Act (律師法), “any person having been convicted of a crime and been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of greater than one year, said conviction involving a crime of moral turpitude affecting their moral fitness to practice law and for that reason having been disbarred by the Attorney Disciplinary Committee” is disqualified from practicing law, with the exception of people who have received a suspended sentence.
According to the high court and district court’s legal interpretation, although the first item of the article states that people who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to a term of imprisonment of greater than one year cannot practice law, they do not unequivocally lose their qualification.
The Attorney Disciplinary Committee must maintain that the charges have affected people’s moral fitness to practice law and remove their qualification to meet the requirements of the act, the interpretation said.
The disciplinary committee has not removed the former prosecutor’s qualification, the interpretation said.
The association urged the government to amend the act.
If the law allows judges or prosecutors who have violated the core ethics of the law to become attorneys, this deviates from people’s expectations of the law, said Control Yuan member Lin Ya-feng (林雅鋒), who filed the case for investigation.
The loophole in the law should be reviewed and closed, Lin said, adding that the judiciary should complete the amendment as soon as possible.
The judicial committee also requested that the judiciary make amendments to the act in accordance with the Constitution, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.
According to Article 5 of the Constitution, people’s right of existence and right to work should be guaranteed, Lin said.
However, if the work is closely related to the public interest, within the limits of the principle of proportionality in Article 23 of the Constitution, Article 15 can be restricted by law, Lin said.
The legal profession has distinctive characteristics, Lin said.
The guarantee of lawyers’ right to work should not be in conflict with the right to a fair trial, which constitutes the public interest; that is, the members of the courtroom should at a minimum be in accordance with formal justice, Lin said.
From the standpoint of the public’s relationship with the law, if people doubt the fairness of the attorney, judge or prosecutor upon first sight, this will erode the core of legal logic, Lin added.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung