Judicial Reform Foundation

Human Rights and Democracy Reinforcement
Unite the strength of the people, continue to push for legal reform, achieve equality, justice, and laws worth believing in

The Judicial Reform Foundation: From Darkness to Light

In 1987, during Taiwan's martial period, the tide of democratization swept away everything. But legal rights continued to be controlled by executive power, while judges and prosecutors proved corrupt, sloppy in their implementation of the law, and they breached the laws themselves many times. This led to public distrust in and dissatisfaction with the legal system.

In 1989, the "Literature School Alliance" won the election of the Taipei Bar Association and integrated the Comparative Law Society, the National Policy Research Information Center, and the National Taiwan University Law Foundation to form the "Judicial Reform Movement Alliance".

In 1994, the government set up the Judicial Reform Committee, with civil society winning four seats. The Taiwan Bar Association (TBA) set up a working group to provide suggestions. However, the official committee did not do much apart from holding meetings without substantive action, much less any bold reforms. As such, such actions on the part of the government led to disappointment, leading to the view that reform must come from outside of the government and be bottom-up. As such, the TBA in October set up another organization, with Chen Chuan-yue serving as the convener, and Joseph Lin as the deputy convener. This was the start of the Judicial Reform Foundation.

In November 1995, the Judicial Reform Foundation formally opened its preparatory office. Two years later, it accomplished registration as a legal body, and began gathering comrades who were passionate about legal reform, including lawyers, scholars, elected politicians, and others.

The work of the Judicial Reform Foundation includes legislative research, oversight assessments, education, and investigating specific cases. Such work is carried out by several working groups, concerning various aspects of this work, though this is all for the sake of legal reform. We believe firmly that legal reform work must be national, action-based, and continue so that one day we can establish a system of laws that the people believe in. Only then can we achieve the ideals of justice that a legal system should implement. As such, since our formation until today, we invite those who love this land to join our work!

Record book
"Walk For Legal Reform" 1019 Major Rally

In 1997, lawyers, scholars, workers, women, the disabled, and other groups formed the National Judicial Reform Alliance. On October 19th, the "Walk for Legal Reform" march reflecting Taiwanese society's strong demand for legal reform was held. The march demanded an end to corruption, an end to special privileges, an end to discrimination, and an end to negligent implementation of the law. This would be making the law socialized, specialized, and according to regular people. This was not the first time that Taiwanese lawyers had taken to the streets and played a role aimed at awakening the Taiwanese people.

Evaluating Judges

In 1998, the Judicial Reform Foundation issued the results of its evaluation of judges. This was not the first time that judges were evaluated but was the first time that the names of the judges that failed this evaluation were publicized. Outside of shocking many in society, this led the Judicial Reform Foundation's then-chair and Chief Executive Office to be sued and become entangled in a legal case that went on for three years.

This led to Constitutional Interpretation No. 509, allowing for a step forward for freedom of expression. In the end, the Taipei District Court threw out the case. This first act led to greater attention from the public, and made the Judicial Reform Foundation more determined than ever to conduct oversight, and continue this role of providing oversight. A center for filing complaints was set up, to assist people facing judges or prosecutors guilty of wrongdoing to file complaints.

Promoting Judicial Reform

The Judicial Reform Foundation has advocated regarding many laws in need of reform, whether the Judges Act, the Legal Aid Act, the Judicial Yuan Organization Act, and others, many of which have now been integrated into the legal system and become a key component of the judicial system.

Assisting Cases of Miscarriages of Justice

The Judicial Reform Foundation assists cases in which individuals face miscarriages of justice, to help them seek legal redress. This includes the Chiang Guo-qin case, Su Chien-ho case, Hsu Tzu-Chiang case, Chiou Ho-shun case, and others. With the hard work of the Judicial Foundation, these cases were able to win redress, and the victims were able to receive compensation.

Legal Education

Through talks, conferences, academic conferences, and other activities, the Judicial Reform Foundation promotes legal education, to try to raise the understanding of the law by the public and their participation in it. This includes taking members of the public to observe legal proceedings, holding campus mock trials to allow students to understand the basic principles of compliance for trials, and the importance of oversight in the system to allow for due process and impartial neutrality to be implemented in the legal system.

Associated Events
Mobile Exhibition in School
Press Conference about Chiou Ho-shun case
National Judges Mooting
"Walk For Legal Reform" 1019 Major Rally