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Talk of the day---Consensus on speeding up criminal trials

Talk of the day---Consensus on speeding up criminal trials

The endless trials of criminal cases have caused public discontent with the judiciary.
A bill crafted to speed up the trial of criminal cases has been debated by lawmakers for a while, and a consensus has now apparently been reached between legislators from the ruling and opposition parties, according to Tuesday's China Times.
The following are excerpts of the China Times report: China Times: Lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties agreed to limit any criminal case to eight years, which is two years short of the 10 years stipulated in the draft bill to expedite criminal trials submitted by the Judicial Yuan.
Meanwhile the detention of defendants charged with a felony should not exceed two years and 11 months, according to the consensus.
The lawmakers also agreed that prosecutors' power to appeal not-guilty verdicts should be limited, but they disagreed on how to do this.
The prosecutors' unlimited power to appeal gained public attention recently after a business tycoon, United Microelectronics Corp. founder Robert Tsao, erupted into a tirade in court during a hearing on an appeal by prosecutors. He complained that prosecutors had repeatedly appealed the not-guilty verdict handed down in his original trial.
According to the consensus of the lawmakers, criminal cases that have been tried for more than eight years should be closed, with the latest verdict, if it is not guilty, prevailing. If the latest verdict found the defendant guilty, the defendant could appeal to the court for commutation.
Defendants detained because they are charged with a felony are limited to those offenses which carry a punishment of the death penalty, life imprisonment or imprisonment of more than 10 years.
The detention of the defendants for the above reasons should not exceed 15 months during each of the first and second trials, and five months for the third trial, while the total detention during all trials should not exceed 35 months.
A law enforcement official said the bill, once enacted, will provide better protection for the victims, plaintiffs and defendants in criminal cases.
Defendants won't be tried or detained for more than eight years, according to the bill, in contrast to existing law, which would allow the defendants to be held in custody indefinitely, according to the official.
Hsieh Wen-ting, secretary-general of the Judicial Yuan, said the bill will improve the efficiency of the court and force judges to render verdicts more carefully.
Meanwhile an official of the Ministry of Justice said that the ministry has asked prosecutors to think carefully before appealing not-guilty verdicts. (April 6, 2010) (By Maubo Chang)




Updated : 2021-04-15 07:18 GMT+08:00