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  • Interpretation
  • No.176
  • Date
  • 1982/08/13
  • Issue
    • Does the criminal act stipulated in Article 216 listed in Article 5, Subparagraph 5 of the Criminal Code include causing the circulation of documents specified in Articles 210, 212, 213 and 215 of the Criminal Code?
  • Holding
    •        The criminal act stipulated in Article 216 listed in Article 5, Subparagraph 5 of the Criminal Code does not include causing the circulation of documents specified in Articles 210, 212 and 215 of the C, except for that specified in Article 213 of the Criminal Code.
  • Reasoning
    •        The Criminal Code adopts the principle of territorialism, though the principle of protection is also applied thereto. However, for any R.O.C citizen committing criminal offences outside the territory of the R.O.C., the Criminal Code shall apply only, except for criminal acts listed in Articles 5 and 6 of the Code, when such criminal offences, if said citizen is proven guilty, shall result in a three-year minimum sentence of imprisonment: a legal principle that is clearly manifested in Article 7 of the Code. The purpose of Article 5, Subparagraph 5 of the Code is to emphasize the protection of the public trust and faith that lies within a public document, such that only Articles 211 and 214, both regarding public documents only, are listed therein. Therefore, even though Article 216 of the Code stipulates that “a person who causes circulation of a document specified in Articles 210 to 215 of the Code shall be penalized in accordance with provisions regarding forgery and alteration of documents, making false entries or causing false entries to be made”, criminal offences stipulated in Articles 210, 212 and 215 referred by Article 216 listed in Article 5, Subparagraph 5, of the Code should not be included. Since forgery and alteration of documents, making false entries or causing false entries to be made (specified respectively in Articles 211, 212 and 215 of the Code) are not listed in Article 6, Subparagraph 5 of the Code, it is groundless to claim the applicability of Article 6, Subparagraph 5 of the Code on the criminal offence of causing the circulation of documents. Such interpretation also applies to the fact that Article 5, Subparagraph 5 of the Code only applies to the criminal offence of forging public seals stipulated in Article 218 of the Code, without listing the criminal offence of forging seals stipulated in Article 217 of the Code. The criminal offence of making false entries in a public document by a public servant stipulated in Article 213 of the Code is then listed in Article 6, Subparagraph 3 of the Code on the ground that such public servant is the perpetrator of the criminal offence. Still, be he or she public servant or not, the person causing the circulation of such public document containing false entries shall be penalized because such public document is protected by the Code. Consequently, the criminal offence stipulated in Article 216 listed in Article 5, Subparagraph 5 of the Code shall include the circulation of public documents specified in Article 213 of the Code.
      
    • *Translated by WELLINGTON L. KOO, Formosa Transnational attorney at law.
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