Judicial Reform Foundation
 

 WHAT'S NEW

 

 PRESS RELEASE and ANNOUNCEMENT

 

 OUR ACHIEVEMENT

20112010200920082007
20062005200420032002
20012000199919981997


 PROJECTS

Judges Act
Ferret Out Malicious Prosecutors
The Public's Participation in Trials
Evaluation of Judges
Courtroom Observation
New Revision of 2002 Criminal Procedure Amendment
Law of Compensation for
Wrongful Detentions and Executions

Constitutional Interpretation Working Group
Partnerships

 

 CASES

HsiChih Trio Case
Hsu Tzu-chiang Case
Chiou Ho-shun Case
Chiang Kuo-ching Case

 

 CONTACT US

 

 DONATION

 

 CHINESE VERSION

 

 LINKS

Taiwan Legal Aid Foundation
Taipei Bar Association
The Taiwan Law Blog
Taiwan Association for Human Rights
Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty
Amnesty International Taiwan


 

 OUR ACHIEVEMENT


 

2011 to now

to be updated...;)

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2010

■ Formulated legislation to evaluate judges and prosecutors

  1. Extracted the sections dealing with the evaluation of judges from a more comprehensive Judges Act draft to pursue as stand-alone legislation providing for the evaluation of judges and prosecutors.
  2. In conjunction with the Taipei Bar Association, reviewed prosecutors' performance and conduct, focusing on derelict prosecutors.

■ Reform of the judicial system

  • Researched jury systems in the U.S., U.K., Japan and other countries in order to assess whether and how such a system might work in Taiwan.

Reform of the prosecutorial system

  • Established an inquiry team to investigate malicious prosecutors and studied Supreme Court “not guilty” verdicts in order to find prosecutors who abused their power and used illegal investigation methods.

■ Revision of the Code of Criminal Procedure

  1. Published a manual, jointly written by more than ten scholars and attorneys, with the Taipei Bar Association to aid defense attorneys in advising suspects during police interrogations.
  2. Strongly objected to the passage of the Speedy Criminal Trials Act in 2009 by issuing a public declaration of disapproval, mobilizing civil society organizations, and creating an alternative civil society draft.
  3. In April of 2009, appealed to Control Yuan expressing disapproval regarding the High Court's use of Code of Criminal Procedure 34-1 as a reason for refusing to hear cases. In January of 2010, the Control Yuan issued a report finding that the High Court's practice violated the public's right of appeal and ordering the High Courts to cease with the practice.
  4. Visited Speaker of Legislative Yuan with civil society NGOs to express opinions and offer suggestions on the nomination and confirmation process for the Prosecutor General.

■ Courtroom Observation

  1. Recruited volunteers to observe Taipei High Administrative Court proceedings and analyze the court's judgments.
  2. Continued recruitment of college students nationwide to observe Taiwan courts as part of their internship curriculum.

■ Specialized Case Work

  1. The HsiChih Trio case, still pending retrial at the Taiwan High Court, reached its 20-year mark.
  2. The sixth retrial of the Hsu case began at the Taiwan High Court.
  3. The Control Yuan officially admonished the relevant governmental agencies in the Chiang Kuo-Ching case and ordered the Ministry of Defense to file an extraordinary appeal with the Supreme Prosecutor's Office to overturn Chiang's wrongful conviction. Chiang had been found guilty and executed by the military courts in 1996 for the rape and murder of a young girl, which he confessed to after being tortured.

■ Reform of the lawyers system

  • Completed the civil society draft of a Lawyers Act with plans to propose it to the Legislative Yuan.

■ General Case Work

  1. Continued to accept the public’s case petitions, and arranged for lawyers to provide assistance.
  2. With regard to the Chiou Ho-shun case, Chiou has been in custody pending a verdict for over 22 years. JRF organized a team of lawyers to assist in his defense and invited academics to write an investigatory report on human rights with regard to indefinite detention and other human rights violations.

■ Constitutional Interpretation Working Group

  • After JRF applied on behalf of the client whose story is detailed in “Languishing in the Court System for 30 Years” for a constitutional interpretation, the Grand Justices issued J.Y. Interpretation No. 670. The Constitutional Interpretation Working Group used this as a basis to re-apply for Wrongful Conviction compensation, but because the expiration date announced in J.Y. Interpretation No. 670 had yet to pass, the reapplication was dismissed yet again.

■ Publications

  1. Published《大法官給個說法3》(Mr. Grand Justice, Give an Explanation 3), and《搶救被告--律師在警局教戰手冊》(Saving Criminal Defendants: a handbook for lawyers at police stations).
  2. Contributed weekly to media forums, expressing JRF’s perspective on significant issues in judicial reform in order to promote judicial reform.

■ Recruitment

  1. Continued to organize student summer camps to cultivate new generations for judicial reform.
  2. Organized a Judicial Reform Pioneers Club, expanding recruitment of volunteer staff.
  3. Regularly hosted visits from new lawyers in training, sharing with them the most recent judicial reform developments and cultivating a core support group.

■ Center for Civic and Law-Related Education

  1. Published a large-print children’s edition of 「民主基礎系列」(The Basis of Democracy series) in collaboration with Su-Tien Tsai Education Foundation.
  2. Established an editorial team in preparation for the publishing of “Project Citizen”.

■ Center for Legal Ethics Education

  • Translated U.S., German, and Japanese books on legal ethics in collaboration with the Soochow University School of Law and Sharing Culture Enterprise, with a nine-volume “Judicial Reform Foundation Series on Legal Ethics” to be published in the near future.

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2009

■ Formulated the Judges and Prosecutors Evaluation Act

  1. Extracted the most urgently-required section of the Judges Act, which provides for the evaluation of judges, to pursue as independent legislation, and established a Working Group for the Judges and Prosecutors Evaluation Project to conduct lobbying efforts.
  2. Collaborated with the Taipei Bar Association to organize an evaluation of prosecutors in the Greater Taipei Area.
  3. Together with other civil society organizations, met with the President of the Judicial Yuan in order to point out the issue of incompetent judges. Afterward, in continuing to expand the movement targeting lack of judicial professionalism, these NGOs and the JRF established the Coalition for a More Professional Judiciary to lobby for the establishment of specialized courts and expansion of judges' professionalism and ability to address a wide array of issues, including the rights of women, aboriginese, workers, people with disabilities, foreign spouses, and migrant labor, as well as environmental issues.

■ Reform of the Prosecutorial System

  1. Completed the civil society draft of a Prosecutors Act.
  2. Jointly launched the Police and Prosecutorial Violation of the Confidentiality of Ongoing Investigations Project with the Taiwan Bar Association. The Project regularly collected news items with improper or illegal content regarding ongoing investigations, and held a “What Confidentiality in Ongoing Investigations?” press conference. Relevant data and evidence was also delivered to the Ministry of Justice, the National Police Agency, and the Coast Guard with requests to investigate and discipline those responsible for the violations.

■ Revision of the Code of Criminal Procedure

  1. The Grand Justices issued J.Y. Interpretation No. 653 and 654 regarding detainee and prisoner rights to which the JRF responded by drafting corresponding legislation.
  2. On April 28, amendments to the Detention Act passed, giving detainees the right to refuse court proceedings at night.
  3. JRF protested judicial abuse of discretion in dismissing criminal appeals where courts would make use of the newly amended Rule 361(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure which stipulated that there must be clear reasons for appeal.

■ Specialized Case Work

  1. The HsiChih Trio documentary, “Formosa Murder Chronicle 3: The Sweet Taste of Freedom”, was completed. The movement to overturn the convictions actively promoted screenings of the documentary across the nation. The HsiChih trial is still ongoing.
  2. With regard to the Chiou Ho-shun case, where Chiou has been in custody pending a verdict for over 22 years, JRF, in collaboration with the Taiwan Human Rights Foundation, Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty, Amnesty International Taiwan, the Humanistic Education Foundation, the Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association and other related NGOs to invite academics to write an investigatory report on human rights with regard to indefinite detention and other human rights violations.

■ General Case Work

  1. Collaborated with a professor from Tsinghua University’s Institute of Law for Science and Technology to teach a course about the JRF’s case work.
  2. Continued to accept the public’s case petitions and arranged for volunteer lawyers to assist them.

■ Working Group for Constitutional Interpretation

  • The application for wrongful conviction compensation of a criminal suspect who had languished in the court system for over 30 years was dismissed by the courts. JRF applied to the Constitutional Court for an interpretation on the grounds that the wrongful conviction act, as it stood, was unconstitutional.

■ Coalition to Revise Unjust Assembly and Association Law

  1. After people protesting Chen Yunlin’s visit were arrested and reportedly beaten by police under the Assembly and Association Law, JRF assembled a team of lawyers along with the Taipei Bar Association to bring claims against the police.
  2. Students, calling themselves the Wild Strawberries Movement, held a sit-in to protest Chen’s visit. JRF organized numerous rallies in support of the movement and called for the government to abolish the excessively restrictive Assembly and Association Law.
  3. During the rallies, two professors who gave speeches were arrested by the police. In order to show support, JRF held a press conference and arranged for more than 50 lawyers and scholars who had participated in the rallies to surrender en masse to the police.

■ Oversight of the National Assembly

  • Participated in the Alliance for Civil Oversight of the National Assembly, calling for the advent of a civilized, open, public-minded, transparent, and efficient National Assembly.

■ Publications

  1. Regularly published the Judicial Reform Magazine, raising important judicial reform issues and engaging in critical analysis.
  2. Officially released 《大法官給個說法2:人與制度的戰爭》(Mr. Grand Justice, Give an Explanation 2: Conflict between the People and the System).

■ Center for Civic and Law-Related Education

  1. The “Basis of Democracy” series in the first quarter of 2008. In November of the same year, it received the National Institute for Compilation and Translation’s 2008 Human Rights Publication Award.
  2. Established a “Students’ Rights Handbook” Working Group and launched a Students’ Rights Handbook online forum.

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2008

■ Lobbied for the Judges Act

  1. Established the Coalition for the Promotion of the Judges Act with organizations across civil society. Held a press conference with the Taipei City Jinan Church every Monday afternoon from September to October 2007, and organized a march around the Legislative Yuan to urge the passing of the Judges Act.
  2. On October 27, 2007, the Coalition for the Promotion of the Judges Act organized an “I Want a Judges Act” parade with the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and bar associations from across the nation.
  3. October 30, 2007, the Legislative Yuan completed the first reading of the Judges Act. Due to the opposition of the KMT, however, the law failed to pass before the end of the year.

■ Reform of the Prosecutorial System

  1. Lobbied to formulate a Prosecutors Act.
  2. Supported the drafting of an impeachment mechanism for the Prosecutor-General.

■ Revision of the Code of Criminal Procedure

  1. Continued to lobby for mandatory attorney presence during police and prosecutor interrogations and custody requests.
  2. Completed the civil society/alternative draft of criminal procedure amendments, and, together with ten other NGOs, formed the “Coalition to Promote Laws for the Protection of the Rights of Criminal Defendants” in order to continue lobbying for legislation.

■ Case Work

  1. Provided assistance to Hsu Tzu-chiang’s team of pro bono lawyers for his retrial at the High Court.
  2. The HsiChih Trio were again sentenced to death, reinvigorating a movement to overturn the convictions.

■ Card Debt Project

  • Assisted in lobbying for the Consumer Debt Clearance Act, which created a reasonable mechanism for credit and cash card debt clearance.

■ Oversight of the National Assembly

  • Participated in the Alliance for Civil Oversight of the National Assembly, calling for the advent of a civilized, open, public-minded, transparent, and efficient National Assembly.

■ Rule of Law Education

  • Published the newly-revised 2008 edition of “Teachers, You Can Do This As Well”.

■ Legal Ethics Education

  • Translated U.S., German, and Japanese books on legal ethics in collaboration with the Soochow University School of Law and Sharing Culture Enterprise , with plans to publish a nine-volume “Judicial Reform Foundation Series on Legal Ethics” as a foundation for the promotion of legal ethics education in Taiwan.

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2007

■ Oversight of New Grand Justice Candidates

  1. Re-established the Alliance for Public Oversight of Grand Justice Candidates.
  2. Issued an evaluation report on the candidates nominated for appointment to the Constitutional Court as a Grand Justice.
  3. Dispatched a delegation to the Legislative Yuan in order to audit the confirmation proceedings.

■ Revision of the Code of Criminal Procedure

  1. Lobbied for mandatory counsel presence during interrogations or custody requests by the police or prosecutor.
  2. Urged the Judicial Yuan to fulfill their promise of implementing system where the prosecutor submits only an indictment to the judge prior to trial(起訴狀一本主義)in order to prevent abuse of judicial discretion.

■ Courtroom Observation

  1. Expanded the observation project to include the conduct of public prosecutors during trial as the basis for determining whether the new Criminal Procedure amendments were being properly implemented and practiced.
  2. Added the performance and conduct of court interpreters as an observation element in order to assess and audit the practical implementation of the new system.

■ Case Work

  1. Provided assistance to Hsu Tzu-chiang’s team of pro bono lawyers for his retrial at the High Court.
  2. The HsiChih Trio were again sentenced to death, reinvigorating a movement to overturn the conviction.

■ Education

  1. Revised “Teachers, You Can Do This As Well”.
  2. The “Basis of Democracy” series received the National Institute for Compilation and Translation’s 2006 Human Rights Publication Award.

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2006

  1. Completed civil society/alternative version of draft revisions to the Criminal Proceedings Compensation Act.
  2. Collaborated with the Action Coalition to Oppose the Deprivation of the People’s Right to Appeal to announce the 2006 Taiwanese Public Opinion Survey on the 2002 Amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  3. Promoted police reform, held press conference on police name tags and Principal of Confidentiality of Ongoing Investigations.
  4. Promote accessibility of the judiciary, held press conference on the current state of reform of the court interpreters system.
  5. Held press conference on improper automotive accident investigation procedure and related issues.
  6. Completed revision of and held press conference for Communications Security and Monitoring Act.
  7. Held press conference entitled “Judges have no self-respect, the people cannot trust them - the Judges Act can no longer wait!” in response to Judge Fang A-Sheng and other members of the High Court accepting bribes.
  8. Published 《司改十年論文集》 (A dissertation on ten years of judicial reform)、《校園性別人權》 (Gender and Sexuality Human Rights on the Campus)、《學生權利守則》 (Student Rights Handbook), and an updated second edition of 《老師你也可以這樣做》(Teacher, you can do it too).

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2005

  1. Completed a national survey on public satisfaction with the judicial system, and an evaluation of Taipei legal professionals including judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.
  2. Hosted a “Ten Years of Judicial Reform” conference.
  3. Held a press conference to lobby for greater accessibility of the judiciary, focusing on the reform of court interpreters system.
  4. Lobbied for police reform, holding a press conference on the principle of confidentiality within ongoing investigations.
  5. Established the Constitutional Interpretation Working Group, participating in the Alliance for the Right to Refuse Fingerprinting and prompting the Grand Justices to release J.Y. Interpretation No. 599 (declaring a temporary injunction enjoining the practice of mandatory fingerprinting when renewing citizen ID cards) and J.Y. Interpretation No. 603 (declaring the practice unconstitutional).
  6. Published 《理與力》(Reason and Force) and 《小市民權益保護 99 招:刑事法律手冊》(99 Tips to Protect Citizens’ Rights: Criminal Law Handbook). 《老師,你也可以這樣做》(Teachers, You Can Do This As Well) received the National Institute for Compilation and Translation’s Human Rights Education Award.
  7. Launched the Action Coalition to Oppose the Deprivation of the People’s Right to Appeal, joined the Anti-Corruption Action Coalition, the 21st-Century Constitutional Reform Coalition, the Alliance for Citizen Participation in Media Reform, and the Action Coalition for a Referendum on Fair Taxation.

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2004

  1. Successfully lobbied to create the Legal Aid Foundation, which was established on July 1.
  2. Completed an empirical study of judicial statistics (judges’ evaluation of evidence in sentencing theft/larceny crimes).
  3. Established a Legal Professionals Ethics Reading Group to study Taiwanese legal ethics.
  4. Participated in the first televised presidential election debate to raise issues regarding judicial reform.
  5. Announced the results of the Public Opinion Survey on Consolidation of Trial Dates in Civil Cases and the Public Opinion Survey on the First Anniversary of the 2002 Code of Criminal Procedure Amendments.
  6. Participated in the “Civil Society Alliance for Prosecutorial Reform”, the “Alliance for Police Reform”, “Pan-Purple Alliance”, and the “Alliance for Oversight of the Truth-finding Commission”.
  7. Published “Teachers, You Can Do This As Well”.

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2003

  1. Created the Alliance for the Promotion of the Three Statutory Pillars of Judicial Reform in order to accelerate passage of the Court Organization Act, Legal Aid Act, and Judges Act.
  2. Asked scholars to undertake the Empirical Study of Judicial Statistics project in order to generate a research report on sentencing for larceny crimes.
  3. Joined the Alliance for Oversight of Grand Justices, Alliance for Change in Legislative Actions, Alliance for the Promotion of Death Penalty Alternatives, Alliance for the Promotion of the Three Statutory Pillars of Judicial Reform, Fair and Just Taxation Coalition, and the Alliance for the Revision of Domestic Violence Laws among other coalitions.
  4. Revised plan for Evaluation of Legal Professionals, including expansion of mutual evaluation by prosecutors, judges, and attorneys within the Taipei area the following year.
  5. Completed nation-wide Courtroom Observation and District Prosecutors Observation activities.
  6. Published 《大法官給個說法》 (Give an explanation, Mr. Grand Justice) and 《傷害我的是最親密的人》 (The person who hurt me is the one who is closest to me). Completed revisions to 《司法現形鏡》 (Mirror of Justice).

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2002

■ Core projects

  1. The year’s core project revolved around Reform of Police and Prosecutors’ Crime Prevention and Investigation.
  2. The Police Authority Act passed the first reading in the Legislative Yuan.

■Oversight and Evaluation

  1. Hosted the third annual National Forum on Judicial Reform, and announced an examination report on the progress of the National Committee on Judicial Reform on their third anniversary.
  2. Evaluation of judges: In cooperation with the Bar Associations of Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, and Kaohsiung, JRF expanded the judges evaluation project to include judges of eleven courts.
  3. Evaluation of attorneys: Organized the first Evaluation of Attorneys in collaboration with the Hsinchu Bar Association and Hsinchu District Court.
  4. Courtroom observation: Observed seventeen courts across Taiwan, focusing on software and hardware facilities.

■ Case Work

  1. Assisted the families of Hsu Tzu-chiang and Lu Zheng file extraordinary appeals for their respective cases.
  2. Assisted Li Ying-hung, Lu Zheng’s family, Chiang Kuo-ching’s family, and Attorney Chang Je-wen (Foreigners Detention case) petition the Control Yuan.

■ Education

  1. Hosted the 2002 award conference recognizing the excellence of a graduate thesis related to judicial reform.
  2. Published “Mirror of Justice” and “Learning Law through Cinema”.

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2001

■ Policy Oversight

  1. Lobbied for confidentiality of ongoing investigations, requested an end to police press conferences where suspects are forced to be videotaped and other similar practices.
  2. Lobbied for elimination of restrictions on courtroom observation.

■ Evaluation of Judges

  1. Collaborated with Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung Bar Associations to conduct evaluations of High Court judges in Kaohsiung, Tainan, and Taipei.
  2. Announced the Seventh Courtroom Observation Report.

■ Cases

  1. Assisted victims of the RCA case with their compensation claim. Also requested aid from the Council of Labor Affairs and other relevant administrative offices.
  2. Provided assistance for Su Bing-kun, Lu Zheng, Zhang Fang-tian, Zhang Zhi-hui, and Wu Ru-yue cases.

■ Education

  1. Organized legal lectures for the public.
  2. Presented the first award recognizing excellence of a graduate thesis related to judicial reform.

■ Publications

  1. Published 《司法現形鏡》 (“Mirror of Justice”) (originally the plain language version of the Judicial Reform Blueprint).
  2. Continued publication of the Judicial Reform Magazine and transitioned to subscription based model.

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2000

  • Announced the results of the fifth session of courtroom observations.
  • Announced the results of the fourth session of the evaluation and investigation of judges.
  • Announced the “2000 Report on Taiwan’s Judicial System and Human Rights”.
  • Voted 2000’s Top Ten Judicial News Items.
  • Succeeded in re-opening the capital punishment case of Su Chien-ho (蘇建和), Chuang Lin-hsun (莊林勳) and Liu Bin-lang (劉秉郎) despite a prior confirmation of their death sentences. This was Taiwan’s first case to ever have been re-opened after a confirmation of capital punishment sentence.
  • Held the first media camp for Judicial Reform Magazine correspondents.

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1999

■ Promotion of Draft Legislation

  1. Completed the Judges Act and a draft of the Prosecutors Act.
  2. Drafted a Lawyers Act, Police Act, and Legal Aid Act.
  3. Lobbied for constitutional amendment to include the rights of criminal defendants.
  4. Lobbied for the imposition and exercise of capital punishment to conform more strictly with legal standards.
  5. Lobbied to improve the legal procedures and standards for sexual assault.
  6. Lobbied for the abolition of excessive punishment for theft and robbery.
  7. Successfully lobbied the National Assembly to block a constitutional amendment that would increase the time police and prosecutors are allowed to detain a suspect without charging him from 24 to 48 hours.

■ Oversight

  1. United legal academics and practitioners to organize a Civil Society National Conference on Judicial Reform.
  2. Announced the 1999 Courtroom Observation Report.
  3. Announced the 1999 Judges Evaluation Report as well as a list of incompetent judges. The list prompted a defamation litigation against the JRF by the named judges, which eventually resulted in a not guilty verdict.
  4. Organized evaluation of prosecutors.

■ Education

  1. Organized the first JRF camp for new legal professionals.
  2. Organized the third summer camp for university students.
  3. Established the Working Group for Legal Education, targeted at discussing and analyzing middle school legal teaching materials, and held a seminar on legal teaching materials.
  4. Announced, in cooperation with the Taiwan Media Watch, Taiwan Journalist Association, and Taiwan Association for Human Rights, a Report on Human Rights and the Media.

■ Publications

  1. Published a plain language version and a legal professional version of the JRF’s Judicial Reform Blueprint.
  2. Published a collection of essays from the National Civil Society Conference on Judicial Reform.
  3. The Judicial Reform Magazine celebrates its fourth anniversary.
  4. Renovated the JRF website and conducted a survey on public trust in the judiciary.

■ Service

  1. Provided legal assistance to victims of the 921 earthquake.
  2. Established the 921 volunteer lawyers team to provide legal consultation to Dali City, Taichung County.
  3. Provided legal drafting services to victims of the earthquake in order to attach construction companies’ assets while litigation for shoddy construction was pending.
  4. Completed the “921 Post-earthquake Legal Protection Manual”, distributing them free of charge to each affected area.

 

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1998

  • Completed draft of Judges Act, reached first reading in the Legislative Yuan.
  • Completed draft of Prosecutors Act, reached first reading in the Legislative Yuan.
  • Promoted laws related to administrative claims (including the Administrative Court Organization Act, Administrative Proceedings Act, Petition Act), which passed third reading in the Legislative Yuan.
  • Joined with Taipei Bar Association and Taiwan Association for Human Rights to collectively establish the Legal Aid Act Drafting Group.
  • Lobbied Ministry of Justice to set Standards for the Exercise of Capital Punishment, to address issues in the exercise of capital punishment.
  • Published blueprint for judicial reform.
  • Established Judicial Reform Foundation website.
  • Began circulation of Judicial Reform Foundation digital newsletter.
  • Completed 1998 evaluation of judges, announced findings on November 14.
  • Completed 1998 courtroom observation, announced findings on December 18.

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1997

  • Successfully lobbied for the inclusion of financial independence of the judiciary within the Constitution.
  • Lobbied for prosecutor to attend court hearings: the Ministry of Justice announced to all prosecutor’s offices that they must attend court hearings for the most significant cases. Prior to this declaration, prosecutors were not obliged to attend court and were often absent during trials.
  • Lobbied for non-interference with the judiciary: the Judicial Yun announced a plan to regularly publish a list of those who illegally or improperly attempted to influence a judge, calling for judges to “please report the names of those who try to illegally or improperly influence judicial decision making”.
  • Requested a national conference on the matter of judicial reform.
  • Organized a “Walk for Judicial Revival” parade on October 19.
  • Requested that verdicts be made available to the public online; the Judicial Yuan committed to completing the request by January 1, 1998.
  • The Appeals Clinic accepted approximately 300 appeals cases.

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