Thu, May 10, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Judicial Yuan poll shows over 80% support lay judges

By Wu Cheng-feng and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The results of a poll released by the Judicial Yuan yesterday said that its “citizen judge” system is supported by 82.6 percent of the public, in direct opposition with claims made at the Promote Jury System Alliance rally on Saturday that the public wants a jury system.

The poll found that 53.4 percent of respondents agreed that the public has the wherewithal to participate in court procedures.

Seventy-two percent of respondents felt that citizen participants would be more inclined to state their thoughts if a judge were in the room, while 56.5 percent said the presence of a judge would help citizens understand more about the case.

It is evident that the majority of people expect not only full participation, but also in-depth interaction with judges, the Judicial Yuan said, adding that the citizen judge system meets such expectations.

The exact terms “jury system” and “citizen judge system” were not used in the questionnaire, it said in response to reporters’ questions.

The spirit of each system was conveyed with different phrases, such as “decided by the public” in lieu of jury system, and “joint decision of the judge and the people” for the citizen judge system, it added.

The Judicial Yuan denied that it had timed the release of the poll to target the alliance.

The alliance was also dissatisfied with Judicial Yuan President Hsu Tzong-li’s (許宗力) response when he was petitioned to slow down the push for the citizen judge system.

Hsu said he was excited for the lay judges system and that “changes could be made if it falls short of expectations,” the alliance said, criticizing Hsu for adopting a flippant attitude.

The poll was commissioned by the Judicial Yuan and conducted between Dec. 25 and Dec. 30 last year. It had 1,296 valid samples, a confidence level of 95 percent and a 2.7 percentage point margin of error.

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