Taipei, May 5 (CNA) Former Judicial Yuan president Shih Chi-yang (施啟揚), praised as "Mr. Independent" for his contribution to judicial reform in Taiwan, died of multiple organ failure at the age of 84 on Sunday in New Taipei.
Shih passed away at around 3 p.m. at his home in Sanxia District, New Taipei. A former staff member confirmed Shih's death to CNA, revealing that today was also his birthday.
Born in 1935 in Lukang Township, Changhua County, Shih received his doctorate in law from Heidelberg University in Germany, and was a law professor at National Taiwan University.
He served as vice premier, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, secretary-general of the National Security Council and president of the Judicial Yuan.
As Judicial Yuan president, amid Taiwan's transition from dictatorship to a democracy, Shih introduced major judicial reforms by pushing for independence in judicial budgets and personnel appointments.
As a result, he was given the nickname "Mr. Independent."
Shih retired from the Judicial Yuan post in 1999 and was invited to chair a truth finding committee on the March 19 shooting incident in 2004, when then-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was shot during a rally on the eve of the presidential election.
In June 2013, then President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) awarded Shih the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon in Taipei.