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Striking Success on Judicial Cooperation Taiwan and Germany signed Mutual Legal Assistance Arrangement in Criminal Matters

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The Ministry of Justice hosted a signing ceremony earlier today(23 March) for the Arrangement on the Cooperation in the Area of Judicial Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. Ambassador Dr. Jhy-Wey SHIEH from the Taipei Representative Office in the Federal Republic of Germany and Director General Dr. Jörg POLSTER from the German Institute Taipei attended the ceremony and signed the Arrangement, witnessed by the Minister of Justice, Ching-Hsiang TSAI, and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chung-Kwang TIEN. It is the seventh judicial arrangement/agreement Taiwan has signed with European countries, demonstrating the efforts that Taiwan has dedicated to justice for the global community.

“Taiwan and Germany are like-minded partners who work closely and share the same values by pursuing democracy and freedom based on the rule of law. The two have accomplished 7 transfer cases since the signing of the Arrangement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and Cooperation in the Enforcement of Penal Sentences in 2013.” Minister TSAI illustrated some of the great successes in his remarks. “With the Arrangement signed today in place, we will further reinforce the cooperation between Taiwan and Germany”, Minister TSAI said, “The world is now facing various kinds of challenges. Wars, diseases, cross-border crimes, and among others. The only way we can get over these difficulties is through global cooperation. The establishment of this Arrangement offers us the best instrument to fight against crimes alongside.”

The negotiation of the Arrangement started in 2017, and the challenges brought by the pandemic and the diplomatic circumstances Taiwan has been facing did not stop the two from collaborating in this matter. Minister TSAI also urged the team members to work even more closely with counterparts after he took office in 2018. With the constant efforts of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Taipei Representative Office in the Federal Republic of Germany, and the German Institute Taipei, the Arrangement was finally established today.

According to the Arrangement, the Department of International and Cross-Strait Legal Affairs of Ministry of Justice and the German Federal Office of Justice are the Central Authorities responsible for the practical implementation; requests for mutual legal assistance can be submitted additionally between the Central Authorities in writing and electronically in advance In order to speed up the procedure. It contains versatile and practical instruments for international cooperation and combating crimes, including joint investigation teams, assets freezing and sharing, and hearing by video conference; the processing of personal data would have to be in full compliance with EU data protection legislation, which will facilitate further judicial cooperation between Taiwan and the EU.

Minister TSAI emphasizes the importance and value of building partnerships with the world. Ever since he took office, Taiwan has successfully signed treaties, agreements, arrangements, and memorandum of cooperation regarding judicial cooperation with Poland, Nauru, Belize, Slovakia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Palau, South Korea, Japan, and Germany, showing that Taiwan is determined to fight against cross-border crimes with the world. The Ministry of Justice will not be stopped by the borders and will continue dedicating itself to expanding the width and depth of judicial collaboration in the future.

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