Reformers urge jury system

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Sep 04, 2013 - Page 3

Introducing a jury system would be a vital judicial reform that will eliminate corrupt and incompetent judges, judicial reform advocates said yesterday.

Citing the example of Hu -Ch--ing-pin (胡景彬), a judge at the Taichung branch of the High Court who was recently accused of asking for a bribe of NT$4.5 million (US$150,000) from a defendant in a case he handled, the Jury Promotion Alliance (JPA) and the Taiwan Forever Association told a news conference that the current judge review mechanism has been malfunctioning and it was time to push for a thorough judicial reform.

“We believe that a jury system would better reflect the public’s expectations of the judiciary and social justice because jurors randomly selected from civilians would be free from bribery and political interference,” JPA convener and lawyer Cheng Wen-lung (鄭文龍) told a press conference.

Civilian participation in the judicial system would eliminate the so-called “dinosaur judges” who handed out unbelievable rulings that ran against all common sense, he said.

Taiwan has adopted the legal system of civilian law, originating in Europe, rather than the common law system of the US and the UK.

The current review mechanism and the Judges Act (法官法) were unable to fight corruption and eliminate bad judges, which was why civilian participation in the system would be “the only way,” said Wu Ching-chin (吳景欽), an associate professor of law at Aletheia University and a member of the TFA’s standing committee.