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  • Interpretation
  • No.271
  • Date
  • 1990/12/20
  • Issue
    • When the appellate court erroneously overrules a legitimate appeal against the defendant’s interest on the wrong grounds, can the trial court restart the trial of the defendant automatically?
  • Holding
    •        A final procedural decision made by the appellate court overruling a legitimate appeal against the defendant’s interest in a criminal procedure on the wrong grounds that it was illegitimate, is indeed a decision in serious violation of the law.  Since it is a court-ruled decision, it may only be invalidated by extraordinary-appeal procedure before the trial court restarts the trial of the defendant concerning the legitimately appealed part. Otherwise, it will contradict the rule stated in Article 8, Paragraph 1, of the Constitution that “no person shall be tried or punished otherwise than by a law court in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.”  The Supreme Court Precedent No.3231 (1936) shall no longer be cited insofar as it is inconsistent with this Interpretation.
      
  • Reasoning
    •        Article 8, Paragraph 1, of the Constitution states that, “Physical freedom shall be guaranteed to the people. Except in case of flagrante delicto as provided by law, no person shall be arrested or detained otherwise than by a judicial or a police organ in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law. No person shall be tried or punished otherwise than by a law court in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.”  Moreover, Article 1, Paragraph 1, of the Code of Criminal Procedure states that, “No crimes shall be prosecuted or punished except according to the procedures regulated by this law or other laws.”  Those criminal procedures that have been concluded with final decisions, either procedural or substantial ones, are legally binding.  Although, according to Interpretation No.135, the procedures that are in serious violation of the law are invalid, based on the principles announced by Interpretation Yuan-je Tzu No.790, a final procedural decision overruling legitimate appeal against the defendant’s interest is still binding, and the trial court shall not restart the trial to question or punish the defendant until that decision is invalidated by the legal process.
      
    •        The implementation out of the criminal procedure should protect the parties’ legitimate right to sue and strike a balance between the trust of the defendant in the court decision and the upright performance of the nation’s power of criminal punishment. A final procedure-decision made by the appellate court overruling legitimate appeal against the defendant’s interest on the wrong grounds that it was illegitimate, is indeed a decision in serious violation of the law.  Since its form of court decision makes the defendant trust in its binding effect, as stated above, it must be invalidated by extraordinary-appeal procedure before the trial court restarts the trial of the defendant concerning the legitimately appealed part. Otherwise, it will contradict the rule declared in Article 8, Paragraph 1, of the Constitution that “no person shall be tried or punished otherwise than by a law court in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.”  The Supreme Court Precedent No.3231, holding that those procedure-decisions overruling the appeals have no substantial effect and that trials can continue until substantial decisions are reached, shall no longer be cited insofar as it is inconsistent with this Interpretation.
      
    • *Translated by Jui-jen Chen, Public Prosecutor
      
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