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Implementation of the judicial reform
The Ministry of Justice will continue to promote the implementation of various reform measures, and include the views of all sectors, with specific items in three major aspects: transparent supervision, warmth and friendliness, and protection of human rights:
- Transparent supervision with public participation:
- Promote the "Citizen Prosecutorial Review Board" system: The draft of the "Citizens' Participation in Non-Prosecution Review Act" has been prepared, and the views of the Judicial Yuan and other sectors have been widely solicited.
- Reform of the evaluation and dismissal system of prosecutors: In response to the implementation of the amended evaluation system of the Judges Act, the Ministry of Justice has completed the amendment of the relevant sub-regulations to enable case parties to request the evaluation of their cases directly from the Prosecutor Evaluation Committee.
- Establish an external supervision mechanism for prisons: In accordance with the amendments of the Detention Act and the Prison Act, establish an independent "external inspection team" for prisons and detention centers. Establish a permanent external supervision mechanism, select experts and scholars in related fields to improve the quality of operation of correctional institutions and, access to available resources.
- Citizens participation in trials: The "Citizen Judges Act" was approved by the Legislative Yuan on July 22, 2020, and promulgated on August 12, 2020. The Ministry of Justice then set up the "Citizen Judges Act Response Team" to plan the education and training courses concerning the new law, draft the mock court strategy, and construct various software and hardware devices for the new system, and to fully assist and continuously supervise the prosecutorial agencies in making adequate preparations.
- Warm and friendly victim protection.
- Integrate with various social safety nets: Invite relevant units to hold inter-agency meetings, refine the investigation process of significant child abuse cases, and strengthen the lateral connection between the police, prosecutorial agencies, social workers, and medical institutions.
- Establish the "Victims' Information Platform for Criminal Proceedings": The trial implementation began in January 2021, in the public prosecutor's office, thus allowing victims and their families to learn about the progress of case investigations, trials, and the status of defendants, both in and out of prison.
- Improving the victims’ participation experience in litigation: In response to the Judicial Yuan's amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure regarding the system of victims’ participation and the protection in litigation, the Executive Yuan has approved the "Program to Enhance the Victims Protection." This program explicitly stipulates the implementation of procedures of protecting the privacy of victims, their rights to be heard, and the right to be accompanied in court appearances.
- Treatment of Defendants and Litigants under the Protection of Human Rights.
- Establish a supervision and custody system for evidence: The Executive Yuan convened the "Conference on Researching and Improving the Evidence Custody System", which orients towards the direction of establishing a multi-level legal structure to address the issue and sets the goal of formulating consistent regulations. The Ministry of Justice has also completed a commissioned study on the legal regulation issues concerning evidence custody, which will serve as a reference for the refinement of the regulation.
- Adopt a versatile intervention approach to drug use: The newly amended "Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act" came into effect on July 15, 2020. Provide appropriate and versatile treatment for drug users, and increase the frequency of addiction treatments, with the aim of offering correctional treatment rather than pure punishment, so that users can be completely free from the dangers of drugs.
- Judicial accessibility for the public: The Ministry of Justice has produced multi-lingual videos to disseminate judicial access rights such as defendants’ rights and witnesses' rights regarding giving a testimony. The Prosecutors Offices are also required to provide information to the case parties of their rights concerning various prosecutorial documents and their rights in implementation procedures, so as to protect the rights and interests of disadvantaged groups when participating in the litigation.
- To gather and integrate external opinions of the public in order to seek consensus, the Executive Yuan has drafted "The Executive Yuan's Program on the Promotion of Civil Partners' Participation in the Implementation of Judicial Reform Resolutions", which specifies that, as judicial reform resolutions mandate law amendments, a liaison authority for the judicial reform partner meeting shall be assigned, during the drafting and planning stages of the judicial reform resolution and prior to the amendment and implementation of critical administrative measures, so that civil partners may have a precise mechanism and a known contact to aid their participation in the implementation of judicial resolutions. From May through October 2020, the Ministry of Justice held five "Judicial Reform-related Resolutions Consultation Meetings,", inviting members of the National Conference on Judicial Reform and representatives of the Civil Sector Coalition for the Implementation of the National Conference on Judicial Reform to participate in the discussions in order to include a wide-range of opinions on judicial reform.