Civil groups yesterday joined the Taiwan Jury Association and the New Power Party (NPP) in opposing the Judicial Yuan’s proposed “lay judge system” bill, instead calling for a jury system, which they said would curtail corruption, so-called “dinosaur judges” and political interference.
Attorney Jerry Cheng (鄭文龍), former association director, criticized the Judicial Yuan and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party for promoting a bill for the lay judge system, which the Executive Yuan approved last month, and could become law after a third reading and legislative vote later this year.
If passed, it would be scheduled for implementation by 2023.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Cheng called the bill “fake judicial reform,” saying that it made a false promise to allow citizen participation in the judicial system.
“The jury system allows true citizen participation in the courts. It is the primary system for justice worldwide, and is used in 52 nations, including the US and the UK. Hong Kong has used it for more than 160 years, and South Korea adopted it in 2008,” Cheng said.
The Judicial Yuan’s version of the bill allows citizens to serve as lay judges and work alongside professional judges in criminal trials, but Cheng said that this kind of modified framework has only been adopted for use in Japan.
The new system is akin to “assembling wolves and rabbits together, and what will happen is that the wolves will eat the rabbits... Therefore the opinions and viewpoints of ordinary citizens would disappear in such a setting,” Cheng said.
“The lay judge system is full of deficiencies, and if the bill is passed, it would harm Taiwan’s justice system,” he said, adding that the jury system “has proven its worth, has supporting mechanisms, and jury trials have been shown to be more effective and fair.”
NPP caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chi (邱顯智), Taiwan Society chairman Chang Yeh-sen (張葉森), Northern Taiwan Society chairman Li Chuan-hsin (李川信) and association deputy chairman Chang Ching (張靜) also spoke at the event.
In a statement, the association said that the justice system is afflicted with “major diseases,” including corruption and “dinosaur judges,” referring to judges that are out of touch with society.
“That is why the public hopes to see real judicial reform, but the lay judge system would permit the judges to hold on to their power,” it said.
“If the Judicial Yuan forces through the bill, then the judiciary and criminal prosecution system would face a severe crisis in the future,” it added.
SCANDAL: There are still discussions over whether a ban from being coaches, referees or agents should be imposed on the players, the association said The Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA), Taiwan’s basketball governing body, on Tuesday said that it has handed lifetime bans to 10 players accused of game-fixing and breaches of betting rules. In a statement on Tuesday, the CTBA said it has revoked the registration of nine former players from the semi-professional Super Basketball League’s (SBL) Yulon Lexgen Dinos and one from the Taiwan Beer Leopards of the professional T1 League. The nine former Dinos players are Ko Min-hao (柯旻豪), Chiu Chung-po (邱忠博), Chen Pin-chuan (陳品銓), Huang Hsuan-min (黃鉉閔), Wu Yu-jen (吳祐任), Chou Wei-chen (周暐宸), Yen Wen-tso (顏聞佐), Lee Chi-en (李其恩), and Senegalese center
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