Bill on lay participation in justice system to be completed soon

Taipei--A draft law on lay participation in Taiwan's judicial system is expected to be completed at the end of this year, when it will be presented to the public for discussion, a Judicial Yuan official said Saturday.

The bill will be forwarded to the Legislative Yuan for review after it is approved by the Judicial Yuan in the first half of next year, Judicial Yuan Secretary-General Lu Tai-lang said during a national conference on judicial reform held at the Presidential Office.

A key issue is to learn from other countries' experiences and design a mechanism that meets Taiwan's needs, he said, but at present the idea would be to set a "lay judge" or "lay assessor" system, in which lay judges join with professional judges in deciding cases.

President Tsai Ing-wen said that although the conference's participants differed on whether to adopt a jury system or a lay judge system, they all agreed that the current system is not comprehensive enough and must be changed.

The upcoming reform should introduce lay judges into courts, allowing people to have more involvement in the justice system, she said.

Meanwhile, Lu said as part of efforts to establish a pyramid legal system, the Judicial Yuan is planning to set up a commerce court that will incorporate the existing Intellectual Property Court to facilitate professional, rapid, consistent and predictable judgments on business disputes.

A draft law in this regard is expected to be completed by the end of next year and submitted to the Legislative Yuan in the first half of 2019, he said.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council