Shih Hsin University’s Lifelong Education Center signed a letter of commitment that it would not promote “one China, one Taiwan,” “two Chinas” or Taiwanese independence.
This letter, which amounts to supporting the “one China” policy, contradicts Article 11 of the Republic of China Constitution, which says: “[T]he people shall have freedom of speech, teaching, writing and publication.”
The letter is unconstitutional and has no binding power over lecturers or students.
According to the Council of Grand Justices’ Constitutional Interpretation No. 380: “The provision regarding the freedom of teaching provided in Article 11 of the Constitution is an institutional protection mechanism for academic freedom. Such provision shall encompass the freedom of research, instruction and study, etc, in the field of college education.”
The Constitution guarantees academic freedom, including the right of professors to teach and conduct research freely, as well as the right of students to study freely.
The letter of commitment signed by Shih Hsin University restricts the content of lecturers’ instruction and students’ study direction, which violates the guarantees expressed by the Council of Grand Justices, and therefore should be declared unconstitutional and null and void.
If Shih Hsin University professors have any academic conscience and strength of character, they would sue the university for violating their constitutional right to freedom of instruction if the school interferes because their instruction touches upon “one China, one Taiwan,” “two Chinas” or Taiwanese independence.
This is clearly stated in Constitutional Interpretation No. 736, which concerns the right of school teachers and university lecturers to judicial remedy.
Of course, if the school in violation of the Constitution interferes with students who express the opinion that there is not “one China,” the students could also sue the university for violating their constitutionally protected right of instruction and freedom of expression in accordance with Constitutional Interpretation No. 684, which states that: “When a university makes administrative decisions or other public authority measures for realizing educational purposes of seeking academic truth and cultivating talents... if the decisions or measures infringe the student’s right to education or other constitutional rights, even if the decisions or measures are not expulsions or similar decisions, based on the mandate that where there is a right, there is a remedy under Article 16 of the Constitution, the student whose right has been infringed shall be allowed to bring administrative appeal and litigation and there is no need to place special restrictions.”
Huang Di-ying is a lawyer.
Translated by Perry Svensson
Election seasons expose societal divisions and contrasting visions about the future of Taiwan. They also offer opportunities for leaders to forge unity around practical ideas for strengthening Taiwan’s resilience. Beijing has in the past sought to exacerbate divisions within Taiwan. For Beijing, a divided Taiwan is less likely to pursue permanent separation. It also is more manipulatable than a united Taiwan. A divided polity has lower trust in government institutions and diminished capacity to solve societal challenges. As my co-authors Richard Bush, Bonnie Glaser, and I recently wrote in our book US-Taiwan Relations: Will China’s Challenge Lead to a Crisis?, “Beijing wants
Taiwan has never had a president who is not from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) or the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Could next year’s presidential election put a third-party candidate in office? The contenders who have thrown their hats into the ring are Vice President William Lai (賴清德) of the DPP, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). A monthly poll released by my-formosa.com on Monday showed support for Hou nosediving from 26 percent to 18.3 percent, the lowest among the three presidential hopefuls. It was a surprising
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has nominated New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) as its candidate for next year’s presidential election. The selection process was replete with controversy, mainly because the KMT has never stipulated a set of protocols for its presidential nominations. Yet, viewed from a historical perspective, the KMT has improved to some extent. There are two fundamental differences between the KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP): First, the DPP believes that the Republic of China on Taiwan is a sovereign country with independent autonomy, meaning that Taiwan and China are two different entities. The KMT, on the
The presidential election is to be held concurrently with the legislative elections in January next year. While former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration was fraught with challenges, as he never commanded a legislative majority, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) did not have this problem. In her two terms in office, she has been able to carry out her vision and policies and thereby bear full responsibility for her performance. As a result, the public is not only waiting on tenterhooks to see the results of the presidential election, but also whether the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will be able to hold