Saturday, January 18, 2014

Military Justice Reform in Taiwan

On January 13, Amnesty International released this statement on implementation of last year's legislation to reform the Taiwanese military justice system. The legislation took effect on January 13, having been enacted at warp speed as a result of public outrage over the July 4, 2013 exhaustion death of Army Cpl. Hung Chung-chiu in a military disciplinary detention facility: it was passed on August 6 and signed into law on August 13. According to the China Post, the new law subjects military personnel to the civilian justice system in peacetime. Cases involving abuse of subordinates, illegal punishment, murder, sexual assault, robbery and drugs were transferred immediately to civilian prosecutors and courts. Transfer of other cases was deferred for five months. In November, the Supreme Military Court and Northern District Military Court filed a challenge to the constitutionality of the legislation with the Council of Grand Justices, Taiwan's Constitutional Court. Readers in Taiwan: please let us know when the Grand Justices decide the case.

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