Amendments to the Regulations of Audio Recording in Court and Their Use and Preservation (法庭錄音及其利用保存辦法) are aimed at protecting the rights of defendants, Judicial Yuan senior officials said.
The amendments ensure that video footage, audio recordings and written court transcripts of cases where prosecutors are seeking the death penalty or life imprisonment are stored permanently and that such material is made available to defendants on request, officials said.
Under the amendments such material is to come under the purview of the Archives Act (檔案法), Article 11 of which states: “Permanent records shall be transferred to the central archives authority-in-charge. The regulation governing such transfers shall be drafted by the central archives authority-in-charge and to be approved by the Executive Yuan.”
The amendments would enhance transparency of the judiciary system, improve the quality and efficacy of court proceedings, increase public trust in legal institutions, and also protect the rights of defendants and lawyers, officials said.
A senior judge, speaking on request of anonymity, said the new measures would allow more access to court audio and video recordings, because presiding judges in the past have mostly denied the requests of defendants’ legal teams to inspect this kind of material.
He said this led many people to believe that judges were trying to evade public scrutiny of court proceedings.
The judges’ refusal to allow access to recordings was due to a genuine concern that opening up court documents would lead to the leaking of personal information, he said.
The judge said he believed the potential for such event to occur would reduced following the amendments, as anyone who distributes audio or video recordings taken in court, or uses them in illicit ways, can be punished with a maximum of three months in jail, or a fine of NT$30,000.
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of