2021-10-04

Stalking and Harassment Control Act Expected to Pass this Year

Earlier this in May, Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan passed the preliminary review of the draft “Stalking and Harassment Control Act” (“Bill”).  As legislators from different parties have substantially reached a consensus, it is expected that the Bill will be passed into law this year.
 
Based on the Bill, anyone who stalks or harasses and is convicted of the crime shall be sentenced to a maximum of three years imprisonment, or short-term imprisonment and a maximum fine of NTD 300,000 may be imposed.  If anyone commits the aforesaid crime while carrying a weapon, he or she shall be sentenced to a maximum of five years imprisonment, or short-term imprisonment and a maximum fine of NTD 500,000 may be imposed.
 
The Bill also includes a provision for preventive detention.  According to Article 21 of the Bill, after being examined by a judge, if the accused is strongly suspected of having committed aforesaid crime or of violating a protection order, and there is sufficient evidence to believe that the accused may repeatedly commit the same offense, the said accused may be detained.  However, as this provision raises controversial issues regarding the possibility of human rights violations, further consultation among the parties is still necessary to determine whether such mechanism should be retained in the Bill.
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