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Administrative Courts Are Surprisingly More Faithful to Independence of the Judiciary than Grand Justices



Administrative Courts Are Surprisingly More Faithful to Independence of the Judiciary than Grand Justices


United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan)


July 14, 2020

 Translation of an Excerpt



In April this year, the Ministry of the Interior rescinded the accreditation of the National Women’s League and over forty other political groups on the grounds that they had not been transformed into political parties in accordance with the “Political Party Act”, and required all their assets to be liquidated and confiscated. The National Women’s League petitioned to the Taipei High Administrative Court for a preliminary injunction to stop its enforcement; the Taipei High Administrative Court last May granted the petition. The Ministry of the Interior filed an interlocutory appeal; the Taipei Supreme Administrative Court recently rejected the appeal. The reason is that the Constitution guarantees people’s rights to assembly and association; laws authorizing the government to restrict civic groups cannot override the Constitution.


To put it bluntly, so many Administrative Court judges hesitate about the government confiscating so-called party assets or private assets at will. The main crux lies in this: the DPP's rough legislative tactics are not commensurate with the transformational justice it proclaims to pursue. Not only that, among the laws the DPP cavalierly enacted, quite a few provisions are filled with objectives of tools or politics, violating specific Constitutional stipulations clearly guaranteeing freedom or property rights. This is what many law graduates cannot agree to based on their personal democratic convictions or legal education.


Outside circles seem to be full of reservations about the fact whether the appointment and character of the Grand Justices can hand down rulings both defending the Constitution and being independent of politics. In fact, everyone has already seen a democratic paradox in Taiwan: our administrative court judges are more faithful to independence of the Judiciary than the Grand Justices. How ironic it is!

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