New System Administrative Litigation in Taiwan Will Take Effect from Next Year

Taiwan's Legislative Yuan recently passed amendments to the Administrative Litigation Act (行政訴訟法), the Enforcement Act of the Administrative Litigation Act (行政訴訟法施行法), the Administrative Court Organization Act (行政法院組織法), the Court Organization Act (法院組織法) and the Judges Act (法官法) on May 31, 2022. These amendments, which were promulgated by Presidential Order on June 22, 2022, will take effect from August 15, 2023.
One of the focuses of the amendments is to establish a “district administrative litigation division (地方行政訴訟庭)” in each Administrative High Court (the “District Administrative Litigation Division”). The District Administrative Litigation Division will replace the current "District Court administrative litigation division (地方法院行政訴訟庭)", in which the first instance of administrative litigation is tried locally at one of Taiwan's 21 District Courts. In other words, Taiwan's Administrative High Courts will have jurisdiction over first instance trials in administrative litigation starting next August.
This means that, on the one hand, first instance administrative litigation will be more centralized because there are only three Administrative High Courts (located in Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung). On the other hand, the new system has three new innovations to facilitate access for plaintiffs regardless of where they are in Taiwan: circuit courts (巡迴法庭), online litigation (線上起訴) and remote proceedings (遠距審理)”. These features are intended to balance the centralization of administrative litigation with more convenience for private parties.
The new system also expands the jurisdiction of the District Administrative Litigation Divisions in first instance, to include: (1) tax litigation  where the amount in dispute is not more than NT$1,500,000, (2) litigation seeking relief from an administrative fine imposed by a government agency where the amount of the fine is not more than NT$1,500,000, and (3) other litigation with regard to proprietary rights under public law where the price or claim value is not more than NT$1,500,000.
The overarching purpose of the new system is to ensure the substantiveness of the first instance trial in administrative litigation. It is intended that the new District Administrative Litigation Division in each Administrative High Court will be the primary trier of fact with the Administrative High Court serving as the main appellate court. In turn, the new system will allow the Administrative Supreme Court free to focus on interpretation of law, appeals of Administrative High Court judgments based solely on questions of law, and unified interpretations of statutory law for the lower courts to follow.
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