Adultery as criminal offense ruled unconstitutional

05/29/2020 04:38 PM
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Taipei, May 29 (CNA) Provisions in Taiwan's laws that treat adultery as a criminal offense have been ruled unconstitutional, Constitutional Court Chief Justice Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) announced Friday.

Interpretation No. 791 was made after 15 grand justices heard arguments on the case and reviewed the provisions in the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure that came under scrutiny.

Article 239 of the Criminal Code stipulates that a married person who commits adultery and the other party to the adultery shall be sentenced to prison for less than one year, but there can be no trial without a complaint from the alleged victim.

In the Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 239 stipulates that in the case of offenses specified in Article 239 of the Criminal Code, the withdrawal of a complaint against a spouse shall not be considered to be a withdrawal of a complaint against the other adulterer.

Eighteen judges and a male who was convicted of adultery have asked the Constitutional Court in recent years to overturn Interpretation 554, which determined that Article 239 was constitutional.

(By Elizabeth Hsu)

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