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  • Interpretation
  • No.130
  • Date
  • 1971/05/21
  • Issue
    • Shall the 24-hour time limit for turning over a suspect, as required in Article 8, Paragraph 2, of the Constitution, exclude therefrom delays due to traffic jams and force majeure, as well as time spent on traveling, if any?
  • Holding
    •        "The 24-hour time limit for turning over [the suspect]" provided in Article 8, Paragraph 2, of the Constitution shall exclude delays due to traffic jams and force majeure, and the time spent on the handover. No unnecessary delay, however, shall be allowed, nor are the procedural laws regarding the deduction of time spent on travel applicable hereto.
  • Reasoning
    •        Article 8, Paragraph 2, of the Constitution provides: "When a person is arrested or detained on suspicion of having committed a crime, the organ making the arrest or detention shall inform said person in writing, and his designated relative or friend, of the grounds for his arrest or detention, and shall, within 24 hours, turn him over to a competent court for trial." In order to protect physical freedom, the time limit must be fairly strict. However, unforeseeable delays may occur due to the time necessary for travel, traffic jams, and other force majeure events that are not imputable to a party. Including the time delays due to the above events in the 24-hour time limit is not only impractical but also contrary to the Constitution. Therefore, the delays mentioned above shall be excluded from the 24-hour time limit. As the intent of the Constitution is to protect physical freedom, any unnecessary delay, however, shall be included in the time limit, and the handover shall be processed as soon as possible. Article 162 of the Code of Civil Procedure and Article 66 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provide that the time spent on travel shall be deducted from the 24-hour time limit. Such Provision is to provide more time to those whose domicile, residence, or office is not within the jurisdiction of the court. The highest judicial administrative office shall set the time. All levels of courts shall, taking the most distant district within their jurisdiction as the standard for calculation of distance and time spent on travel, set the time limit subject to the distance to the court and the traffic conditions. The above purpose is different from that of the Constitution. Therefore, time spent on travel as provided for in relevant procedural laws cannot be applied to the 24-hour time limit provided in Article 8 of Constitution. 
      
    • *Translated by Ming-Yi Kuo and Chao-Yu Wang of Lee and Li, Attorneys-at-Law.
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