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The Unfair Treatment Suffered by Former Democratic Progressive Party government officials in Judicial Investigations and Trials

The Unfair Treatment Suffered by Former Democratic Progressive Party government officials in Judicial Investigations and Trials

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Published by TM!
This is well-annotated documentation of the political persecution carried out against DPP officials in Taiwan. Compiled by the DPP's Committee on Policy Research and Coordination
This is well-annotated documentation of the political persecution carried out against DPP officials in Taiwan. Compiled by the DPP's Committee on Policy Research and Coordination

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: TM! on Jan 11, 2013
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01/16/2013

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1The Unfair Treatment Suffered by FormerDemocratic Progressive Party governmentofficials in Judicial Investigations and Trials
By Committee on Policy Research andCoordinationDemocratic Progressive PartyTaipei, TAIWAN
Introduction
The scope of the concept of ``judicial``contained in this report comprises, inaddition to the commonly understood courtsystem, prosecutors` offices and the Ministryof Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB).During the process of Taiwan`sdemocratization after five decades of``hard`` or ``soft`` authoritarianism underChinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang or KMT)rule, there have been two transfers of powerbetween political parties from the KMT (afterruling Taiwan for nearly 55 years) to the DPPin May 2000 and back to the KMT in May 2008.During the previous period of governance bythe Democratic Progressive Party from May2000 to May 2008, judicial reforms werelimited to the superficial organizationaladjustments. Deeper and more significantaspects, such as enhancing the quality ofjudicial personnel and education andtraining, were barely touched during the re-examinations of our justice system. Moreover,the failure of the DPP to thoroughly realizetransitional justice during its eight yearsin government aggravated the lack ofindependence in the overall operation of the
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judicial system. Personnel in the judicialsystem have not changed their concepts ormentalities in step with changing times andthe entire judicial system continues to beplagued by a worrying lack of understandingof democratic principles and values. Thisshortcoming is manifested in the doublestandards and lack of respect of fundamentalhuman rights commonly displayed byprosecutors, police, investigators and judgesin the judicial process as well as the lackof effective external monitoring or balancingmechanisms.Even if a portion of the personnel in thejudiciary are aware of the importance of theindependence of judicial judgments andendeavor to enhance their professionalism,they still often lack sufficientunderstanding of social realities due to thestructural factors that have impededdemocratization of the justice system. Eventhough there have been transfers of politicalpower at the executive level, the concept of``judicial independence`` remains a mereslogan. Indeed, the use of this term as atool for persons who cooperate in attacksupon dissidents has made it even moredifficult to upgrade the quality of judgmentsor to build confidence among citizens in thecredibility of the judiciary and has thusperpetuated a vicious downward spiral.In fact, the lack of fairness of thejudiciary has generated severe privations andlasting pain in the hearts of persons whohave been directly impacted by its operation.If this is the case faced by ordinary people,then there is little need to add any
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description of the feelings ofour DPPmembers who served or are serving inGovernment,many of whom have suffered theloss of their reputations and politicalfutures and even imprisonment. Such cases,even if they finally are found to beinnocent, will be shadowed by theseexperiences for the rest of their lives.Indeed, with regard to all the persons citedas defendants in criminal cases, prosecutorsand MJIB investigators have manifested markedprejudice toward politicians. The mostcommonly seen example is the fact that theprinciple of ``confidentiality ofinvestigations`` has became a dead letter asnumerous details of the investigations ofcases under prosecution have beencontinuously leaked to the public. Inaddition, investigative methods adopted byprosecutors and investigations haverecurrently transgressed the principle ofproportionality. Examples include the use ofintense pressure or intimidation on personsto turn state witness (even to the extent ofinciting state witnesses to commit perjury asa condition for a plea bargain). There shouldbe little surprise that cases constructedthrough the use of inconceivable andunsupportable judicial procedures havefrequently ended in acquittals once they areput to the test of rigorous examination ofevidence by competent judges. In the light ofsuch cases, it is natural for ordinary peoplein our society to sense a yawning gap betweentheir expectations for justice and the actualoperation of the judicial system and to feeleven less confidence in the operation of thejustice system.
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