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Tsai leading judicial reform will be risky: judges

2016/08/16 19:38:32

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) Following an announcement by the Presidential Office that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) plans to set up a judicial reform committee in the office and lead it herself, judges described the decision Tuesday as "hot-headed and naive."

Some judges said that if resolutions passed by the committee are later found to be problematic, Tsai will have difficulty dealing with them and taking responsibility, according to a report in the United Daily News.

A judge at the Taipei District Court said the president leading judicial reform will infringe on the independence of the judiciary and combine the executive and judiciary powers, which will make it "no different from an imperial institution," according to the report.

Some prosecutors said that once Tsai is in charge, no one will dare to express opposing views, according to the report.

Prosecutor Eric Chen (陳瑞仁) a day earlier suggested that Tsai should stop her plan to hold a national conference on judicial reform and turn the whole issue over to deliberation by the Legislature.

Tsai vowed in her May 20 inauguration address to hold the national conference in October.

The committee will be established as soon as late September or early October, an official said.

Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津), a legislator of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said the president is the supreme leader of the state, and that as such, there is nothing wrong with her displaying the state's determination to reform the judiciary.

The key is not who leads the committee, but how to make the judiciary body meet citizens' expectations and allow citizens to participate, so that it is not just an exclusive game for lawyers, judges and prosecutors, as Tsai said in her inauguration address, said Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀), deputy whip of the opposition Kuomintang caucus in the Legislature.

The main issues and topics of the national conference for judicial reform should be coordinated and set up before its first meeting, otherwise the judicial reform will be no more than empty talk, said Lee.

Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔), a legislator of the opposition People First Party, said Tsai's decision to lead the committee is suspiciously like the executive intervening in the judiciary, which is unwise and not proper.

(By Wang Cheng-chung, Chen Chun-hua and Kuo Chung-han)