President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) nominations for the president and vice president of the Judicial Yuan on July 12 are the wrong first step in her goal to reform the judiciary, the chairperson of the Taiwan Association for Truth and Reconciliation (TATR) wrote in an op-ed in the Apple Daily on July 20.

In line with the backlash in the legal field over the nominations, Huang Cheng-yi (黃丞儀) wrote that President Tsai had probably nominated Shieh Wen-ting (謝文定) and Lin Chin-fang (林錦芳), who both have more than 10 years of experience in the judicial system, because they have reputations for "complying with supervisors without question."

Huang said this might imply an unwritten rule: “Obey your supervisors and you will get a promotion.”

Consequently, it will be difficult for the government to keep a balance between respecting the independence of the judicial system and overseeing judicial reform, Huang wrote, adding that the key to successful reform of the judiciary lies in the government pressuring top judicial officials to make changes, without intervening itself.

However, Tsai is not stopping political powers from interfering with the judicial system, Huang wrote.

In addition, in the review of the two nominees, Shieh has not said what role the judicial system should play in a democratic country, Huang wrote. The omission, he said, is a “profanity to Taiwan’s constitutional democracy.”

Huang called on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party not to betray the people’s trust. He said the Legislative Yuan should ask for more information on the nominees before accepting the nominations, or they should dismiss the nominations.

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: Edward White