Go to Content Area :::

Decisions

Home > Decisions > Docket Search > Before 2022
:::
:::
  • Interpretation
  • No.411
  • Date
  • 1996/07/19
  • Issue
    • 1) Is the limitation on areas of practice of civil engineers, which is based on executive ordinances issued jointly by seven administrative agencies, in contravention to the constitutional guarantee of the right of work?
    • 2) Are those civil engineers who obtained their licenses after September 19, 1978, subject to the limitation of areas of practices?
  • Holding
    •        On April 19, 1991, together with the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Transportation and Communication, the Council of Agriculture, the Council of Labor Affairs, the Department of Health, and the Environmental Protection Administration of the Executive Yuan, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (foregoing seven administrative agencies referred to hereinafter as the Ministries) issued the Ministry of Economic Affairs Ordinance No. 015522 (80 Jin-Kung-Tze No. 015522) prescribing the “Practicing Areas of Engineers”, which limited the areas of practice of civil engineers to “the plan, design, research, and analysis of the structures of buildings whose heights are under thirty-six meters”.  Such limitations are prescribed by the Ministries which are either the central governing authorities or the authorities in charge of relevant matters under the authorization of Article 22, Paragraph 2 of the Technician Act to allocate the areas of practice between civil engineers and structural engineers and are not in contravention to the constitutional guarantee of the right of work.  In addition, on September 19, 1978 the Executive Yuan joined the Examination Yuan Ordinance No. 2414 (78 Tai-Mi-Yi-Tze No. 2414) of September 18, 1978 and issued the Executive Yuan Ordinance No. 8492 (78 Tai-Jin-Tze No. 8492) of September 19, 1978 stipulating “Categories of Engineers” and “Illustrations of Areas of Practice of Categories of Engineers”, which under the category of the structural engineer specially specified that, “until the numbers of practicing structural engineers reach an adequate level, practicing civil engineers and architects are temporarily authorized to be in charge of the structures of buildings.”  This temporary authorization was a temporary measure adopted to reflect the then existing needs of the society and was abolished by the Executive Yuan and the Examination Yuan jointly on October 2, 1987.  Later, the Ministries prescribed the above-mentioned “Practicing Areas of Engineers” and noted in the footnotes of the category of the civil engineer stating that, “those civil engineers who obtained their licenses before September 19, 1978 and had experiences of designing the structures of buildings above thirty-six meters before October 2, 1987 are not subject to the said limitation of buildings’ heights.”  Accordingly, as a matter of course, those civil engineers who obtained their licenses after September 19, 1978 are subject to the said limitation of areas of practice.
      
  • Reasoning
    •        Article 15 of the Constitution guarantees people’s right of work, so people may freely choose jobs and occupations to make a living.  However, people’s jobs are closely related to public welfare.  In J. Y. Interpretation No. 404, we stated that in order to enhance public interests the government may enact laws to prescribe necessary requirements and conditions on how people conduct their jobs, their qualifications, etc.  Surely, laws cannot possibly prescribe every requirement and condition and may authorize pertinent administrative agencies to issue necessary ordinances to classify areas of practice of each profession.  The Ministry of Economic Affairs together with other six administrative agencies jointly issued the Ministry of Economic Affairs Ordinance No. 015522 (80 Jin-Kung-Tze No. 015522) providing the “Practicing Areas of Engineers”, which limited the areas of practice of civil engineers to “the plan, design, research, and analysis of the structure of buildings whose heights are under thirty-six meters”.  Such limitations are properly prescribed by the Ministries which are either the central governing authorities or the authorities in charge of relevant matters under the authorization of Article 22, Paragraph 2 of the Technician Act to limit civil engineers’ areas of practice relating to the part of buildings’ structures, because the Ministries think distinctions between the areas of practice of civil engineers and those of structural engineers may be drawn upon the degrees of complexity and specialty,  although civil engineers’ areas of practice include the plan, design, research, and analysis of the structure of buildings.  Because the civil and structural constructions involve public safety, in order to enhance public welfare, law and regulation may prescribe necessary requirements and conditions to require that such constructions be undertaken by qualified persons with certain levels of expertise and these requirements and conditions are not in contravention to the constitutional guarantee of the right of work.  
      
    •        On September 19, 1978 the Executive Yuan joined the Examination Yuan Ordinance No. 2414 (78 Tai-Mi-Yi-Tze No. 2414) of September 18, 1978 and issued the Executive Yuan Ordinance No. 8492 (78 Tai-Jin-Tze No. 8492) of September 19, 1978 prescribing “Categories of Engineers” and “Illustrations of Areas of Practice of Categories of Engineers”, which under the category of the structural engineer specially specified that, “until the numbers of practicing structural engineers reach an adequate level, practicing civil engineers and architects are temporarily authorized to be in charge of the structures of buildings.”  This temporary authorization was a reflection to the then needs of the society specially specifying civil engineers’ areas of practice to include the research, design, analysis, appraisal, evaluation, construction, supervision, and examination of the structures of buildings which originally belong to structural engineers’ area of practice and is a temporary measure adopted by administrative agencies under the authorization of law to specify the areas of practice of then qualified civil engineers and was abolished by the Executive Yuan and the Examination Yuan jointly on October 2, 1987.  Later, the Ministries prescribed the above-mentioned “Practicing Areas of Engineers” and noted in the footnotes of the category of the civil engineer stating that, “those civil engineers who obtained their licenses before September 19, 1978 and had experiences of designing the structures of buildings above thirty-six meters before October 2, 1987 are not subject to the said limitation of buildings’ heights.”  Accordingly, as a matter of course, those civil engineers who obtained their licenses after September 19, 1978 are subject to the said limitation of areas of practice.
      
    • *Translated by Professor Chun-Jen Chen.
Back Top