Pursuant to Article 78 of the Constitution, the Judicial Yuan is vested with the power to interpret the Constitution and provide uniform interpretations with respect to statutes and ordinances. The intent of Article 78 of the Constitution is to have the Judicial Yuan assume the responsibility of clarifying and enunciating the correct meaning of the Constitution and statutes and ordinances. The interpretations thus rendered shall be binding upon every institution and person in the country, and each institution shall abide by the meaning of these interpretations in handling relevant matters. Previous precedents that are inconsistent with these Interpretations shall, of course, be null and void.
According to Article 171, Paragraph 1 and Article 172 of the Constitution, a statute is null and void if it is inconsistent with the Constitution, and a regulation is null and void if it is inconsistent with the Constitution or a statute. In the case of a final judgment in which a statute or regulation, or the interpretation of such statute or regulation, applied in such judgment is alleged to be inconsistent with the Constitution and is later considered inconsistent with the Constitution by an Interpretation made by this Judicial Yuan upon the petition made by an interested person, grounds for filing a retrial or an extraordinary appeal with respect to such final judgment then arise. It is expressly stipulated in the Code of Civil Procedure, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Administrative Litigation Act, and further developed by Interpretations Nos. 135 and 177 of Judicial Yuan, that if the application of laws in rendering a final judgment is manifestly erroneous or unlawful, the aggrieved party is entitled to file for retrial, extraordinary appeal or other legally-prescribed remedy. Therefore, based upon the Interpretation by the Judicial Yuan, the party aggrieved by a judgment is entitled to seek a retrial or other legally-prescribed remedy after the announcement of said Interpretation.
Administrative Court Precedent 62-P’an-610 (1973) states that, “Article 24 of the Administrative Procedure Act provides that a party is entitled to file for a trial with respect to the judgment rendered by this Yuan if any of the circumstances listed under Subparagraphs of Article 496 of the Code of Civil Procedure exists. However, the phrase “an apparent error in the application of law” as referred to in Article 496, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure refers to the situations in which the laws applied in the rendition of the judgment in question are inconsistent with the prevailing laws that should have been applied to the case or were applied inconsistently with J.Y. Interpretations or previous precedents. Differences in legal opinions, even if the plaintiff for a retrial presents argument thereto, cannot be considered apparent errors in the application of law for which a re-trial should be granted.” If the laws or previous precedents applied in rendering a final judgment are found to be inconsistent with the Constitution by an Interpretation by the Judicial Yuan upon a petition made by individual persons, then there exists grounds for a retrial or extraordinary appeal with respect to such final judgment. The party aggrieved by such final judgment may file for a retrial on the grounds of such Interpretation, and the competent court may no longer hold that the Interpretation presents differences in legal interpretations instead of an apparent error in the application of law and thereby refuse to apply the Interpretation. Any part of the aforementioned Precedent of the Administrative Court inconsistent with this Interpretation shall cease to be applied.
*Translation by Chi CHUNG, based upon the previous translation by Wellington L. KOO
**Also available in Leading Cases of the Taiwan Constitutional Court, Vol. III (2020).