Tue, Jan 30, 2018 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: Chen eyes fair fight against ‘dinosaur judges’

Newly sworn in Control Yuan member Chen Shih-meng, who reported for duty yesterday, in an interview on Friday told Chinese-language ‘Liberty Times’ (the sister newspaper of the ‘Taipei Times’) staff reporter Chung Li-hua that he would focus on three types of ‘dinosaur judges,’ namely those who bend the law to punish pan-green camp politicians, shield pan-blue camp members and protect the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) illegally acquired assets

All those measures keep the worst excesses of judges in check. Obviously, a three-branch government is not enough to address Taiwan’s present situation.

I look forward to the day when the Control Yuan can make an exit from our national scene, but the necessary conditions for this have not been met.

For Taiwan’s justice system to become truly independent, the system needs a rub-down. The “dinosaur judges” have to go. As long as vermin and cancerous cells remain in our judiciary system, there will be endless trouble regardless of what judicial reform scheme we try.

LT: You have previously mentioned that you would gather a group of legal consultants. Who would this group consist of?

Chen: I have invited a group of friends who are legal professionals to form such a group. They include lawyers, judges, grand justices and legal academics, among others. I plan to meet with them once every two weeks, to ask them about things that are on my mind.

There are three kinds of “dinosaur judges” in Taiwan. The first kind bends the law to punish pan-green camp politicians, the second protects pan-blue camp members and the third protects KMT assets. My duty is to deal with these three kinds of “dinosaurs.”

I will bring up these questions with the group of consultants.

After I launch an investigation I will need to write an investigation report. These things need to be done thoroughly. I will be attentive and cautious in exercising my authority. I will seek the advice of the consultants even with regard to how I carry out the investigations.

LT: What type of internal reform is needed in the Control Yuan?

Chen: In a book that was published last month I wrote that the Control Yuan needs to be comprehensively reformed. This should include the establishment of a committee to investigate the facts of historical injustices and enact their redress, and to focus on high-level political justice cases and take the initiative in prioritizing their investigation.

At the same time, this should see the reorganization of the Presidential Office’s Human Rights Consultative Committee. I suggest that instead of its members being appointed by the Control Yuan president, the rules be changed so that Control Yuan members can also make suggestions regarding the appointments.

Also, when public servants are accused of misconduct, their cases are sent to the Judicial Yuan’s Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission, but the commission is largely made up of judges. Facing the [prevalence of] “dinosaur judges,” it is hard to avoid a situation in which officials cover up for each other and administer lenient punishments.

In 1977, then-Control Yuan member Tao Pai-chuan (陶百川) proposed that the president, the Control Yuan and the Judicial Yuan each appoint three members of the commission. Only in this way can you avoid “people investigating their own people.”

Furthermore, under current regulations, allegations of misconduct are brought up by two Control Yuan members. Cases are investigated by another nine members, and the two members that brought up the case are not permitted to be involved in investigations or voting on the case. This is strange and not very rational.

I have read the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文) carefully and they do not stipulate any such rules.

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