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President approves Judicial Yuan chief's resignation

President approves Judicial Yuan chief's resignation

Taipei, July 18 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou approved the resignation of Judicial Yuan President Lai In-jaw Sunday, and appointed his deputy Hsieh Tsay-chuan to act temporarily in his place.
Ma made the decision after trying in vain to retain Lai, who tendered his resignation two days ago to take political responsibility for a judicial scandal in which three senior judges were detained for alleged corruption.
Ma, however, asked Lai to continue to serve as one of the justices on the Constitutional Court, a request Lai agreed to. He later told a news conference that he would leave the Constitutional Court if requested to do so by Ma.
The first Judicial Yuan chief ever to quit because of a scandal involving judges said that during the last two years of his term, the judicial body had made important gains in improving the protection of human rights and streamlining regulations.
He said the number of cases bogged down in various courts has fallen to a 10-year low, and the Supreme Administrative Court has cleared 60 percent of its unsolved cases from the past over the period.
The Judicial Yuan has also made advances in speeding up the handling of civil and juvenile cases and has won public recognition for those efforts, Lai said.
But the efforts of the country's more than 1,700 judges to make Taiwan a country with one of the world's fairest legal systems was undone by a few judges who flouted the rules, Lai suggested.
"I regret deeply that the good work of the majority was overshadowed by bad things done by a few," he said.
Noting that the integrity of judges is necessary for any judicial system to win the public's confidence, Lai encouraged Taiwan's judges not to be disappointed by the scandal and to win back the public's support by working harder than ever.
Judicial Yuan Vice President Hsieh Tsay-chuan followed Lai's example by tendering his resignation, but after talking with President Ma Sunday afternoon, he agreed to take charge of the Judicial Yuan as the acting chief until a new leader of the body could be found.
Hsieh, who is also one of the 15 justices of the Constitutional Court, said he hoped the president would find somebody to replace him as the deputy chief of the Judicial Yuan as well.
According to the Constitution, the president and vice president of the Judicial Yuan have to be appointed by the president of the country from among the 15 justices of the Constitutional Court and confirmed by the Legislative Yuan.
If Ma names a candidate who is not an incumbent justice, he has to first appoint the candidate to be a justice on the Constitutional Court. That would not be possible at present because there are no openings.
Justices serve nine-year terms, but their terms are not synchronized.
Lai decided to quit after three judges from the Taiwan High Court under the Judicial Yuan were detained July 14 for alleged corruption.
They were suspected of taking bribes from a high-profile politician to clear him of corruption charges.
Huang Shui-tong, chief of the Taiwan High Court, has also quit to take responsibility for failing to detect the corruption in time.
Lai approved Huang's resignation after his own resignation was approved by the president, but Lai ordered Huang to remain in his post until a successor was appointed.
(By Lin Chang-shun and Maubo Chang)




Updated : 2021-05-09 13:24 GMT+08:00