Monday, November 28, 2016

Reform proposed in Taiwan

The Taipei Times reports here on a proposal that would permit persons convicted by military courts during Taiwan's martial law era to obtain review or a new trial in the civilian courts. Excerpt:
Unless certain conditions are met, current regulations deny people convicted by a military court over national security issues the right to appeal or request a retrial, which deprives people who might have been persecuted or wrongly convicted of the right to restore their reputation and demand accountability for the government’s abuse of power, the [New Power Party] said. 
Those conditions include scenarios where new evidence is presented by defendants — which would allow them to request a retrial — and when a legal interpretation is required because different courts handed down conflicting rulings — which demands an extraordinary appeal, NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang told a news conference in Taipei.
These restrictions are outdated and unconstitutional, hampering efforts to promote transitional justice, Huang said. 
During the Martial Law era, the government controlled all information making it difficult for some people to prove their innocence, he said. 
If passed, the amendment would grant defendants the right to directly ask high courts — which have now taken over cases adjudicated by military courts — for a retrial within five years of its ratification, according to the NPP draft amendment.

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