Go To Content
:::

Nationalist Government Era (1995~2008)

  • Publication Date:
  • Last updated:2021-01-08
  • View count:151

Implementation of human rights protection
Since the implementation of the prosecutorial system in Taiwan, the prosecutor has always had the authority to detain the defendant in the investigation. Although this is a convenient tool for pursuing criminals, it also raises questions about the inadequacy of human rights protection. In 1991, the prosecutor Hsu Ah-gui investigated the Hualon case and detained important people in the financial and economic circles, which led to the proposal of the legislators to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to abolish the detention right of the prosecutor. At the same time, there was also a proposal of constitutional interpretation in Justices of Constitutional Court meeting on whether the prosecutor’s right of custody was unconstitutional. On July 13, 1995, the last day of the session, the Legislative Yuan suddenly passed the second reading that detention made during investigation can only be decided by the chief prosecutor or his substitute instead of decided by the prosecutors, triggering the concern and discussion of the community. In late July, legislator Chang Jun-hsiang and former judge of the Taichung District Court Gao Shih-da successively requested the relevant interpretation of the constitution. The Justices of Constitutional Court meeting therefore combined the related interpretation cases over the years and accelerated their review.

 

 Year  Date Events 
1995 10.19 Minister of Justice Ma Ying-jeou personally led his staff and reported his opinion to the Constitutional Court on whether the prosecutor’s right to detain was unconstitutional. (This was the first time that the Constitutional Court opened a debate, and it was also the first Minister of Justice who went to the Constitutional Court to state his opinion.)
  10.20 The President promulgated some of the amendments to Articles 253 and 376 of The Code of Criminal Procedure to expand the scope of prosecutor's power to not prosecute.
  12.22  Justices of Constitutional Court of Judicial Yuan made an interpretation No. 392, proclaiming that the prosecutor’s exercising of the detention right was unconstitutional and such right should be removed within two years. Also, it confirmed that while prosecutor is not a judge, but the "prosecution organ" is still a “judiciary."
1996 6.10 Liao Cheng-hao was appointed as the Ministry of Justice.
  6.24 The Ministry of Justice has issued the "Prosecutor Code".
  7.1 In order to review the prosecutor personnel case and establish a fair and just personnel system, the Ministry of Justice set up the "Prosecutors' Personnel Review Committee" to review the appointment, promotion, post transfer, major rewards and punishments, and appeals, as well as reviews of case documents of the prosecutors.
  7.15 The Ministry of Justice promulgated and implemented the “Prosecutor Assessment Measures” and “Rules of evaluating prosecutors”.
  8.10 According to statistics, as of September 1, the district prosecutors have investigated a total number of 72 suspects including Bamboo Union, Four Seas Gang, Tien Dao Meng, Shadi Gang and 15 Shenhu Gang and their members, 36 of whom were detained according to law.
1997 5.5 Lu Ren-fa was appointed as the Prosecutor General of Supreme Prosecutors Office.
  12.19 The President promulgated some of the amended provisions of Articles 91 to 93 and 100 to 103 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the right of detention was exercised (decided) by the court.
  12.21 From 0:00 that day, the right of detention in the investigation was exercised (decided) by the court. (Prosecutors in Taiwan had the right of detention for almost a century since 1901) 
1998 1.6 In order to fully exert the procuratorial functions and establish the collaborative case handling in the principle of Unity of Prosecutorial Organ, the Ministry of Justice developed the “Rules for the Implementation of Collaborative Cases Handling by Prosecutors of District Prosecutors Offices”, which was implemented on the January 6th.
  5.16 When the 10 prosecutors including Liu Wei-chiong and Chen Rui-ren participated in the "First and second instances prosecutor business forum" in Hsinchu City, they initiated the "Prosecutor Reform Association" at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, igniting the grassroots reform movement of the procuratorial system. 
  7.15 Cheng Chung-mo was appointed as the Minister of Justice.
  11.20 The Ministry of Justice promulgated the "Unity of Prosecutorial Organ System Transparency Implementation Plan" to clarify the boundaries between taking orders from the supervisors and the command rights under principle of the Unity of Prosecutorial Organ and establish the principle of issuing instructions in writing.
1999 1.12 The Legislative Yuan passed the amendment of "Court Organization Act" and added prosecuting investigators to assist the prosecutors in handling the case. Within the procuratorial system, it is known as the "Wang Chao Ma Han Clause", adding new forces to the prosecutors in handling cases.
  2.1 Yeh Chin-fong was appointed as the Minister of Justice.
  2.3 The President promulgated the amended provisions of Articles 66-2 to 66-4 of the "Court Organization Act", stipulating the prosecutors offices may set prosecuting investigators. 
  3.31 The Ministry of Justice announced the "Prosecutorial Reform White Book", using the "People's Judicature" as the core and hoping to establish a new image of just, objective, efficient, integrity, friendly and discipline to the prosecutors. They proposed eight procuratorial reform directions.
  7.6-7.8 The "National Judicial Reform Conference" organized by Judicial Yuan was held at the Taipei International Convention Center. In the meeting, it was confirmed that the refined adversary system will be adopted in criminal litigation.
2000 5.20

Party alternated and the new government took office.

Chen Ding-nan was appointed as the Minister of Justice.

  6.1 The Ministry of Justice selected 100 prosecuting investigators and officially distributed them to the district prosecutors office to ease the prosecutor loads and improve the efficiency and quality of investigation.
  6.1 The Ministry of Justice selected the Taiwan Shihlin District Prosecutors Office and the Taiwan Miaoli District Prosecutors Office to set up the "trial group", implementing the "prosecutor specific court-participation system" to participate in the trial, so as to prepare for the new system of criminal proceedings.
  6.1 Taiwan High Prosecutors Office established the "Criminal Profiteering Crimes Investigation Action Center", setting up Special Investigation Divisions in four second-instance prosecutors offices in Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung to handle major criminal profiteering crime cases.
  7.1 The Ministry of Justice proposed the "Anti-Criminal Profiteering Crimes Action Project", combining prosecutors of the first and second instances and investigators, polices, military polices and related professionals to carry out the work of active search, immediate action, and team operations.
  7.6 Established the "Rules for the Selection of the Chief Prosecutor in Prosecutors Selection Advisory Committee of the First and Second Instances of the Ministry of Justice", and established the consultation system for candidates before the appointment of the prosecutor general.
  8.16 The prosecutors of Taiwan Tainan District Prosecutors Office who investigated the Chimei fake stock case searched the office and dormitory of legislator Liao Fu-ben, raised high concern of the Legislative Yuan.
  10.3 Taiwan Taipei District Court prosecutors office investigated the confidential information leakages case of Liu kuan-chun, the former director of Cashier Section of National Security Bureau. In order to trace the source of transcripts of the three key persons posted in the China Times Express, the homes of Song ○○, the director of News Center of China Times Express, and Liao ○○, the director of Society News Unit of China Times Express, were searched. It triggered protests from the newspaper companies and discussions from public about the boundaries between press freedom and search and investigation by prosecutors.
2001 1.1 Judicial Yuan and Ministry of Justice informed courts and prosecutors offices at all levels to improve court facilities and set up identification rooms to enhance protections of witnesses and victims.
  1.3 The Legislative Yuan passed amendments of some provisions related to search rights in the "Code of Criminal Procedure", which was announced by the President on the January 12th. The search warrant during investigation is to be issued by the court instead.
  1.16 The Ministry of Justice established the "Improvement Program for the Handling of False Property Crimes by the Prosecutorial Organ of Ministry of Justice" to reduce the burden of prosecutors in handling false property crimes.
  4.11 Prosecutors of Taiwan Tainan District Prosecutors Office commanded the police to search the student dormitory of National Cheng Kung University and seized 14 personal computers used for unauthorized downloads of copyrighted pop music of Taiwan, shocking the whole campus. 
  10.22 The Ministry of Justice established "Rules of Remote Visitation for the Prisons and Detection Centers under the Ministry of Justice", so that the public can use the remote video chat to access the prisoners in the prisons and detention centers of the Ministry of Justice.
  11.14 "Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters" was signed by Mr. Cheng Jian-ren, the representative of Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, and Richard C. Bush, the chairman of AIT.
  11.21 The Executive Yuan meeting resolved and passed the draft of "Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office and the American Institute in Taiwan" and sent it to the Legislative Yuan for review.
2002 2.8 The President promulgated some of the amendments to Articles 161, 163 and 253-1 to 253-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to establish the direction of the refined adversary system. The prosecutor should bear the burden of substantive proof, the investigation duty of the judges should be changed to a supplementary nature, and the system of deferred prosecution should be added to expand the discretionary power of the prosecutor. In addition, the right to search without warrant of prosecutor was further reduced and restricted.
 

3.26

(North American Eastern Time Zone)

In Washington, USA, our representative signed the “Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office and the American Institute in Taiwan” with the U.S. government.
  8.27 After the Ministry of Justice and the United States completed the "Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters", the first major cross-border money laundering and fraud case that US Department of Justice requested Taiwan to help investigate was completed; the suspect was detained by the US court.
  11.20 The Ministry of Justice filed the first mutual legal assistance case with the US and informed the US that Taiwan would assign prosecutors to the US to interrogate witnesses of the "Hijack case of Su’ao Hsinlon fishing vessel" in order to clarify the truth.
2003 2.26 The President promulgated some amendments to Chapter 12 of "The Code of Criminal Procedure" regarding the evidence section and established rules of evidence such as the cross-examination system and hearsay rules.
  9.1 The new system of Code of Criminal Procedure was implemented, in which the prosecutor was requested to fully participate in the trials. From there on, the prosecutors went back to the trial court, taking on the burden of substantive proof, and a new look of the court activities had begun.
2004 3.19 President Chen Shui-bian and Vice-President Annette Lu were also shot at 1:45 pm on that day during a street canvassing in Tainan City. Taiwan Tainan District Prosecutors Office’s prosecutors immediately launched an investigation.  On August 17, 2005, Supreme Prosecutors Office announced the report of shooting, and the Taiwan Tainan District prosecutors office found Chen Yi-hsiang involved in the case, but ruled not to prosecute because he was dead.
 

3.26

Supreme Prosecutors Office established the "319 forensic investigation team", which was convened by Prosecutor General Lu Ren-fa. The team consisted of forensic expert Dr. Henry Chang-Yu Lee and others.
  4.7 The President promulgated the additional provisions regarding bargaining procedure to "The Code of Criminal Procedure" to update the provisions of the consultation procedure of Section 7 of the 1st, introducing the bargaining procedure initiated by the prosecutor in the trial.
  8.24 The Ministry of Justice released a press statement for the Legislative Yuan’s passing of the "Ordinance for 319 shooting incident Truth Investigation Special Committee." In addition to express their opposition to that Ordinance, which seriously violated the judicial investigation power, obviously violated the constitutional due process of law and the principle of separation of powers, they reiterated their position of "supporting investigation and opposing unconstitutionality."
  9.1 Wu Ing-chou was appointed as the Prosecutor General of the Supreme Prosecutors Office.
  9.27 Chen Ding-nan, the Minister of Justice, led Lin Hui-huang, director of the Ministry of Justice's Judicial Officer Training Institute, to the Constitutional Court to state their legal opinion on the interpretation of the "3-19 shooting incident".
  10.16 The inaugural meeting for the "Prosecutors Association, ROC (Taiwan)", formed by prosecutors, was held. The Association is the first prosecutor association formally registered with the aim of pursuing prosecutor's independent exercise of powers, promoting judicial reform, and strengthening international judicial exchanges.
  12.1 Prosecutor Li Tzi-chun of Taiwan Hualien District Prosecutors office prosecuted Yu Ying-lon for the suspicion of using special allowance funds for bribery in election without receiving the approval from the chief prosecutor, shocking the prosecution community. The Hualien District Court found that the procedure was legal and the prosecution was valid, and Yu Ying-lon was acquitted on November 3rd, 2005.
2005 1.7 The Legislative Yuan passed the draft amendment to the "Criminal Code of the Republic of China" and "Implementation Act of Criminal Code of the Republic of China". The main direction of this amendment is to implement the "criminal policy of both strict and kind”, and it was the biggest amendment to the Criminal Code in the past 70 years.
  2.1 Shih Mau-lin was appointed as the Ministry of Justice.
  2.2 The President promulgated the amendment to the "Criminal Code of the Republic of China" and the "Implementation Act of Criminal Code of the Republic of China".
  11.15 To celebrate the implementation of the prosecutorial system for one century, the Ministry of Justice held a conference on "Prosecutor: the guardian of the rule of law - a century review and outlook of prosecution,” hoping that prosecutors can insist on the missions of prosecuting crimes and protecting innocence.
2006 2.3 The President promulgated the revised provisions of the "Court Organization Act". Its Article 66 stipulated that the Prosecutor General of Supreme Prosecutors Office shall be nominated by the President and appointed by the Legislative Yuan for a term of four years and shall not be re-elected. Article 63-1 stipulates that Supreme Prosecutors Office shall establish a Special Investigation Division to be responsible for investigating corruption cases that involve the President, Vice President, presidents of the five Yuans, Ministers or Generals. It should also investigate the fraud cases that the election authorities, parties or candidates in presidential or legislator election, as well as special and major corruptions and financial crimes that may disturb the social order, or cases specified by the Prosecutor General of Supreme Prosecutors office.
  3.29 In the morning, the prosecutors of Taiwan Penghu District Prosecutors Office utilized the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. Through video chat, the first cross-country video-conference investigation in the Republic of China's judicial history was conducted in the US Department of Justice's investigation room on the key witnesses of China Airlines' crash in the outer sea of Penghu in 2002.
  4.3 The Ministry of Justice issued the "Rules of Ministry of Justice appointing prosecutors to station in the FSC of the Executive Yuan for case handling”, so as to strengthen the communication and coordination between the prosecutorial organ and the supervision operation of FSC to enhance the effectiveness of investigating for major financial crimes.
  4.11 The Prosecutor General nominee Tse Wen-ding was boycotted by oppositng parties in Legislative Yuan and therefore was not appointed. Afterward, Tse Wen-ding immediately issued a statement to express his insistence that the prosecutor should not bend under political pressure.
  6.5 The Ministry of Justice held the "Inheritance of History, Sail to the Future – An Exhibition on a Century of Prosecution Cultural Items" from June 5th to 28th.
  7.10 Taiwan Taipei District prosecutors office investigated the highly-watched Taiwan Land Development Corporation case. Chao Chien-ming, the son-in-law of President Chen Shui-bian, his father Chao Yu-chu and several other defendants were prosecuted for violating the Securities and Exchange Act for insider trading, Criminal Code for embezzlement and breach of trust among other crimes, seriously undermining the domestic financial order. It triggered a series of anti-corruption trends in the society, which led to political instability. (The first time a President’s son-in-law and his father were prosecuted in the Republic of China’s judicial history.)
  8.12-8.19 The Prosecutors Association, ROC (Taiwan) visited the local prosecutorial organs in Beijing, Tianjin, Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Xiamen and other places from August 12 to 19, 2006. It opened the first cross-strait prosecutorial exchange and had historical significance. (The first cross-strait prosecutorial exchange.)
  11.3 The investigation of State Affairs Fund case was completed. After careful investigation by prosecutor Chen Rui-ren of Criminal Profiteering Crimes Investigation Center under the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office together with the prosecutors of the Taiwan Taipei District Court and the Taipei City Investigation Office of Ministry of Justice, first lady Wu Shu-chen was indicted for joint corruption and forgery, sending a shock wave to the domestic political circle. It also triggered a constitutional dispute over the exercising of power of investigation against the president. (The first time that the first lady was prosecuted in the Republic of China’s judicial history.)
2007 1.18 The Legislative Yuan agreed to appoint Chen Chong-ming, nominated by the President, as the Prosecutor General. (The first Prosecutor General in the history of the Republic of China to be nominated by the President and appointed by the Legislative Yuan.)
  1.24 Prosecutor General Chen Chong-ming took office.
  2.13 Ma Ying-jeou, Chairman of the Kuomintang, was prosecuted by prosecutor Hao Kwan-ren of Criminal Profiteering Crimes Investigation Center under the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office together with the prosecutors of the Taiwan Taipei District Prosecutors Office for corruption due to his use of Special allowance funds during his term of Taipei Mayor, shocking the political circle. On July 31, the argument in Taiwan Taipei District Court ended, and Ma Ying-jeou was indicted with the addition crime of breach of trust on the public officials. On August 14th, the Taiwan Taipei District Court concluded that the "special allowance funds has a substantial subsidizing nature" and therefore found Ma Ying-jeou not guilty. The court also concluded that the provisions used for the prosecution were misused. On August 17, the Taiwan Taipei District Prosecutors Office filed an appeal. On December 28, the Taiwan High Court declared that the "special allowance funds has a substantial subsidizing nature and the use thereof should not be questioned”, therefore finding Ma Ying-jeou not guilty. On January 19, 2008, the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office refused to accept the second-instance acquittal ruling and listed four reasons to appeal to the Supreme Court. It also stated that the purpose of the appeal was to allow the Supreme Court to assume the status of the Court of Final Appeal and to make a unified opinion on the special allowance funds of the government executives.  The appeal was overruled by the Supreme Court on April 24, 2008, and Ma Ying-jeou was acquitted.
  3.12 The Taiwan Tainan District Prosecutors Office investigated the special allowance funds case of Tainan mayor Hsu Tien-cai and decided not to prosecute. The fact that Taiwan Tainan District Prosecutors Office and Taiwan Taipei District Prosecutors Office had different legal opinions on the use of the special allowance funds caused public to question loudly and call for the Supreme Court to offer a unified opinion.
  3.29 In the nation-wide personnel transfer of chief prosecutors, nine voted Prosecutorial Personnel Review Committee members questioned the transfer to have political interference and called for reconvening the consultation meeting. However, they then refused to attend the meeting. The Ministry of Justice therefore announced the list of transferred personnel in the evening. The Prosecutor Association and the Prosecutor Reform Association issued a statement requesting explanation of the reasons for the transfer. In order to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding, the Ministry of Justice convened another review meeting on April 4 to listen to the opinions of nine committee members and complete the consultation process. (The Article 59(1) of the Court Organization Act stipulates that prior to the appointment of chief prosecutors by the Minister of Justice, the Prosecutorial Personnel Review Committee should propose twice the number of candidates of the vacancies for the Minister of Justice to choose from. The transfer of prosecutors should be sent to the Prosecutors' Personnel Review Committee for review and comments.)
  4.2

The Special Investigation Division of Supreme Prosecutors Office was opened, and the Criminal Profiteering Crimes Investigation Center of Taiwan High Court Prosecutors Office closed down.

The names passed by the Prosecutorial Personnel Review Committee were head prosecutor Chen Yu-nan, Chu Chao-liang, Chou Chih-long, Shen Ming-lun, Wu Wen-chong, Yue Fang-ru, Hou Kwan-ren, Chou Shi-yu, Li Hai-long and Lin Zhe-hui.

  5.8 Prosecutor General Chen Chong-ming convened a national meeting of chief procurators to discuss the legal opinion on investigation of special allowance funds. It was concluded in the meeting that the special allowance funds cases were already being tried in the court, so it is not appropriate to discuss the legal issue thereof at that moment. As a result, there was no unified opinion on the investigation of the special allowance funds cases. This conclusion was criticized by all sides publicly because “Unity of Prosecutorial Organ” was no longer the case here, causing people not to trust justice.
  5.16 For the first time, Prosecutor General Chen Chong-ming went to the Legislative Yuan to answer interpellation in accordance with Article 66 of the Court Organization Act, which was amended on February 3, 2006.
  6.14 After years of negotiation between the Affaire military procurement investigation team under the Supreme Prosecutors Office and the Swiss judicial authorities, through the mutual legal assistance procedure, Switzerland returned US$35 million (about NT$1.158 billion) of commission of the Affaire military procurement case frozen at the Swiss bank to the government of the Republic of China. It was the most fruitful result that our mutual legal assistance had enjoyed in many years.
  6.15 The Legislative Yuan passed the amendments to the "The Communication Security and Surveillance Act". The prosecutors will file requests to the judge for communication surveillance instead. It was announced by the President on July 11 and implemented five months after the announcement.
  9.21 The Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office completed their investigation on the special allowance funds case of the four moguls of the Democratic Progressive Party, Indicting vice president Annette Lu, DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun, and the Secretary-General to the President Chen Tan-sun for corruption and forgery. DPP presidential candidate Hsieh Chang-ting and vice presidential candidate Su Tseng-chang were not prosecuted.
2008 2.5 Judicial Yuan announced the amendment to the "Rules for the Court Seat Arrangement of Court", changing the “intern judicial officer seat” to “intern judge and prosecutor seat”.

 

Go Top