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With Adultery Being Decriminalized, Civil Suits for Damages May Still Be Brought


With Adultery Being Decriminalized, Civil Suits for Damages May Still Be Brought


Source: UDN

May 30, 2020

On May 29, the Council of Grand Justices handed down Constitutional Interpretation No. 791 pertaining to the decriminalization of adultery, ruling that the article governing adultery in the Criminal Code was unconstitutional, and thus becoming immediately invalid. To this matter, Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) expressed regrets, indicating that whether adultery should be punished by the Criminal Code was under the purview of the legislature rather than within the scope of judicial interpretation, adding that however, he respected the decision made by the Council of Grand Justices. Tsai also emphasized that those who committed adultery or engaged in other behaviors that might harm someone’s family or marriage would still be responsible for the civil damages pursuant to the Civil Code.


Tseng Hsien-ying (曾獻瑩), president of the Coalition for the Happiness of Our Next Generation, criticized the constitutional interpretation in question as not conforming to the public’s expectations, indicating that the interpretation would allow the extramarital affairs to become rampant. However, several women’s groups responded positively by stating that the interpretation allowed people to use better ways to deal with emotional losses and marital relations.


[Editor’s Note: In Anglo-American law countries, adultery has been decriminalized, but may be cited as ground for divorce if the aggrieved spouse so desires.]

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