Saturday, September 10, 2005

Judicial Corruption in Taiwan

ESWN had reminded me of this crucial topic last week, and today the China Post has an editorial on the issue. Cleaning-up the mess left by the KMT in Taiwan is a critical issue for the DPP..... Corruption is deeply entrenched in the judicial system...

In a show of its continued efforts to discipline unscrupulous judicial personnel, the ministry announced that it had placed 42 such people, including 31 prosecutors and 11 judges, on the watch list for their suspected unlawful behavior. The same announcement also revealed that a total of 70 prosecutors were disciplined for various offenses last year, double the combined number of prosecutors punished in the previous four years.

This latter figure is quite alarming, as it in a way indicates a rapid deterioration in moral standards among a crucial profession of ours. Why this has been the case deserves deep thinking by the ruling authorities. For now, it can be said for sure that those alarming figures have meant a grave setback for President Chen Shui-bian's long-established anti-corruption policy.

Fighting government corruption and eliminating black gold (money) politics was a central theme raised by Chen in his campaign for both his first and second terms. But five years after he came to power, he apparently is still unable to get the judicial house in order. Without first establishing a clean and efficient judicial system, Chen may never be able to rid the government of corrupt practices.


Quite true -- and the political cost will be great. The Post has spun the facts somewhat -- an increase in double of the number of cases of corruption could be the result of many things, including increased enforcement. It would be nice if there was a more robust analysis of this important issue.

I catch myself saying that a lot these days...

3 comments:

Taiwan's Other Side said...

Yeah, I wonder where that moral deterioration came from. I'm sure you're right: It's a purely a KMT issue. It's not the natural result of a judicial system in a Chinese society with poor anti-corruption practices.

It couldn't possibly come from the high standards set by the DPP for the legal industry, could it? Not with such well-thought out and respectable bar
exam questions
?

Just blaming the KMT and sidestepping the actual problems will only work for so long...

Michael Turton said...

"Japan's great contribution to Formosa was the introduction of a rule of law and order. Police rule was often harsh, and the application of law often unfair when Formosan interests clashed with the interests of the ruling Japanese, but nevertheless the legal system provided an essential foundation for economic and social advance. This was understood...If a Formosan challenged a Japanese in court (or even in an argument at the local street-corner police-box), the scales of Justice were often out of balance, but in normal village life every individual enjoyed protection of the law. After the [ROC took over Taiwan] these safeguards vanished."

George Kerr, Formosa Betrayed

David said...

Here's a question: who is responsible for investigating and censuring members of the Judicary? Would that be the ... er ... Control Yuan?

I know. I know. I must sound like a broken record. But corruption is arguably the biggest problem facing the government at the moment - and it is the Control Yuan which is *supposed* to be responsible for sorting that out. That the Control Yuan is wholly anonymous whenever anyone talks about rooting out corruption implies a) that the constitution does need a work-over (probably to remove the Control Yuan completely), and b) the legislative deadlock is a major reason for the lack of progress on corruption.