The Constitutional Law Forum 2023
With our theme, the TCC and the Judges Association of ROC (Taiwan) intend to look back on the Universal Charter of the Judge (originally adopted by the IAJ Central Council in Taiwan on November 17, 1999 and updated in Santiago de Chile on November 14, 2017) and the issues on Judicial Independence that the IAJ 1st Study Commission has discussed over the years; and reexamine, from the perspective of Constitutionalism, the themes referred to in the Charter (2017), which still resonates as important axioms amid the challenges towards Judicial Independence around the world.
The TCC and the Judges Association of ROC (Taiwan) view this forum as an opportunity to facilitate dialogues between participants on the themes of the Charter, to promote exchanges on the theories and practices of Judicial Independence between different countries, and to actively fulfill the ideals of Constitutionalism in the future.
Judicial Independence from Other State Powers
This topic will focus on the ways of countering pressure from the political departments (i.e. executive branch and legislative branch) towards the judiciary from the perspective of Judicial Independence and Constitutionalism.
– Appointment, confirmation, court-packing (especially on Constitutional Court or Supreme Court judges);
– Compulsory retirement of judges;
– Reduction of remuneration of judges with the intention of political duress;
– Parliamentary actions interfering the process and outcome of cases: resource and budget reduction, congressional investigation powers, interpellation, inquiry toward pending cases, bills against court rulings…, etc.;
– Misuse or abuse of impeachment of judges;
– Lustration policy in the judiciary.
Judicial Independence from Judicial Administration
This topic will focus on methods of judicial supervision and legal responsibility of judges from the perspective of Judicial Administration, Judicial Independence, and Constitutionalism.
– Promotions, relocation, transfer, and supervision of judges;
– Limits on the assessment of judges performing official duties;
– Judicial council as a safeguard and the self-governance of the judiciary;
– Civil and criminal responsibility of judges when performing duties and the criterion of judicial immunity.
Judicial Independence from Social Pressure
This topic will focus on contemporary issues regarding Judicial Independence in the midst of the rise of social media from the perspective of societal intervention.
– Protection of professional judges, citizen judges, and their families against disinformation, hate speech, and physical/verbal abuses or attacks;
– Undue criticism against judgments compromising judicial credibility;
– Contempt of court and other protective mechanisms for the judiciary.
Judicial Independence and Freedom of Expression
This topic will focus on the protection and limitation of the Judges’ freedom of speech to meet the requirements of Judicial Independence.
– Judges’ public speeches defending their decision-making;
– Judges’ comments on finished/pending cases of their colleagues;
– Judges’ comments toward legal policies/the legislature;
– Judges’ participation in the policy-making process, and in activities regarding political/social issues;
– Judges’ extrajudicial speech in the newspapers and social media.