Thursday, April 27, 2017

Tsai Packs the Courts?

You can fish, but there are some rules....

President Tsai's office was forced to distance itself from the decisions of its judicial reform committee this week when it turned out the "reform" actually made things less democratic. The President's office dodged by saying that the Committee had made its decisions without informing the president...
During a meeting of the committee on Monday a consensus was reached that the top level of the judiciary should be reduced by cutting the combined number of Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court judges from 94 to 21, and granting the president the power to make final selection of the judges without going through legislative approval.
The excuse was that this was how it is done in other countries. For once I found myself in agreement with former President  Ma Ying-jeou, who warned that simply copying other countries is not necessarily a good idea.

The irony was that the President had selected the committee in the first place. The KMT and its affiliates had complained about the President's personal intervention in the process as judicial interference. You have to admit, if there is something the KMT knows a lot about, it's judicial interference.

A member of the committee quit the other day, claiming that the process is flawed and a sham... this is a comment I have heard from people I know who have worked on the project...
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