A request has been issued to withdraw a proposal by the Control Yuan’s National Human Rights Commission regarding members’ powers on grounds that it goes against previous Legislative Yuan decisions and is unconstitutional, sources said on Friday.
The commission was established following passage of the Organic Act of the Control Yuan National Human Rights Commission (監察院國家人權委員會組織法) on Dec. 10 last year.
The Control Yuan in September tendered the bill for review by the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.
Photo: Hsieh Chun-lin, Taipei Times
The proposal was that the commission, following a Control Yuan resolution, would be able to apply to the Judicial Yuan for a constitutional interpretation should it find laws that are unconstitutional because they severely infringe on human rights.
At a committee meeting last month, Judicial Yuan Deputy Secretary-General Yeh Li-hsia (葉麗霞) said that the bill would grant the commission powers to ask for constitutional interpretations, an expansion of the Control Yuan’s powers that directly contravenes its role and might itself be unconstitutional.
The bill stipulated that the commission would be able to impeach or denounce individuals who refuse to comply with its investigations, and fine individuals, companies or groups up to NT$500,000 for each failure to comply.
Commission members late last month met with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus members to explain the bill.
DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) told the meeting that he believes clauses of the bill risk breaching human rights and being unconstitutional, sources said.
Later on Friday, Ker told reporters that the request to withdraw the draft stemmed from a Legislative Yuan addendum during the passage of the organic act that to properly grant commission members such powers, the Control Yuan should amend the Control Act (監察法).
The addendum was adhered to by then-Control Yuan president Chang Po-ya (張博雅), but ignored by Chen Chu (陳菊), who assumed the post in June, which made the request to withdraw the bill necessary, Ker said.
The Constitution has delineated the powers of Control Yuan members — issuing corrective notices, and impeaching or recalling officials — which does not include the draft’s request for the ability to seek constitutional interpretations, he said.
An opinion piece in yesterday’s edition of the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) said it was unsurprising that the proposal was rebuked.
The draft ignored the legislature’s clear addendum to regulate the commission’s powers via the Control Act, the author wrote.
The power to apply for constitutional interpretations would give commission members a direct channel to the Council of Grand Justices, an ability that could easily be abused, they wrote.
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