Final Meeting of the National Congress on Judicial Reform Concluded: Judicial Yuan will Promote Reforms

After six meetings and 40 sessions on specific aspects of reform were held by a preparatory committee, President Tsai Ing-wen eventually presided over the final meeting of the National Congress on Judicial Reform on 12 August 2017.

President Tsai stated that the courtroom must become more transparent through various means. The process for selecting competent judges and prosecutors and for weeding out incompetence must be improved. The professionalism and political neutrality of the judiciary must be enhanced. Also suggested was that a system for civic participation in trials be instituted. Reforms will be unsuccessful if they are not communicated to the public, regardless of their professional merits, Tsai said. The Judicial Yuan is drafting a plan for a trial system that will be suitable for Taiwan, and which will promote public participation in the judicial process. In addition, courtroom transparency must also to be improved, she said.

Tsai also opined that the training and selection of judges, prosecutors, and lawyers should be streamlined by implementing a single bar examination rather than holding separate certification exams for each. Additionally, the training of judges and prosecutors can be extended to five years.

Other focuses of reform include opening prosecutorial appointments and administration to democratic oversight, making the court structure less top-heavy, establishing specialized courts for cases that require professional knowledge, and procedural changes for the Council of Grand Justices.

Ultimately, Judicial Yuan president Hsu Tzong-Li emphasized that,“although the final meeting is concluded, this is only a pause, and the Judicial Yuan will unwaveringly continue to promote a wide range of judicial reforms”.
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