Go to Content Area :::

Decisions

Home > Decisions > Docket Search > Before 2022
:::
:::
  • Interpretation
  • No.422
  • Date
  • 1997/03/07
  • Issue
    • Where the Constitution specifically protects the people*s right to life and the law further provides that the landlord shall not repossess the farmland leased to the tenant-farmer upon the expiration of a farm lease if the repossession might seriously affect the livelihood of the tenant-farmer and his family, are the directives issued by the Executive Yuan and the Ministry of the Interior constitutional in adopting the minimum living expense standard table for the military draftees* families as a basis to evaluate the tenant-farmer*s annual living expense?
  • Holding
    •        Article 15 of the Constitution provides that the people*s right to life shall be protected. Article 153 of the Constitution also provides that the State, in order to improve the livelihood of farmers and to improve their productive skill of farmers, shall enact laws therefore and carry out policies for their protection. Both articles declare explicitly that the State is obliged to protect the farmers* right to life and improve their standard of living. The Act Governing the Reduction of Farm Rent to 37.5 Percent (hereinafter the "Act") was therefore enacted. In order to protect tenant farmers and to prevent the livelihood of their family and right to life from being severely damaged by landlords* repossession of tenant farms, Article 19, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 3, of the Act stipulates that if the landlord*s repossession of a tenant farm would result in the tenant farmer*s being unable to support his family, the landlord shall not repossess the tenant farm upon the expiration of the tenancy. Directive T. (49) N.T. No. 7226 of the Executive Yuan dated December 23, 1960, as well as Directive T.N. D.T. No. 266779 of the Ministry of the Interior dated November 1, 1984, stated that the standard of minimum living expense listed in Taiwan*s (Taipei*s, Kaohsiung*s) Minimum Living Expense Standard Table for the Division of Conscription shall be used to estimate the annual family living expense for tenant farmers. However, it is neither realistic nor reasonable to apply fixed amounts to estimate the family living expense for individual tenant farmers without considering the actual family livelihood of the tenant farmer on a case-by-case basis and the difficulties a particular tenant farmer may encounter. Hence the abovementioned Directives are inconsistent with the constitutional intention to protect farmers and therefore shall not be applied.
  • Reasoning
    •        Article 15 of the Constitution provides that the people*s right to life shall be protected. Article 153 of the Constitution also provides that the State, in order to improve the livelihood and productive skill of farmers, shall enact laws therefore and carry out policies for their protection. As such, the State shall have the responsibility to secure farmers* right to life and raise farmers* standards of living.     
      
    •        The legislative purposes of the Act Governing the Reduction of Farm Rent to 37.5 Percent (hereinafter the " Act") are to improve the tenancy system, stabilize the society of agricultural communities, promote agricultural production, increase the income of farmers as well as to lay a foundation for the economic development of the country. In order to integrate Article 19 of the Act with the measures for overall agriculture land reform in 1983, it was therefore revised as "upon the expiration of the tenancy, the landlord may repossess the tenant farm for the purpose of expanding the scale of his family farms." However, in order to protect the right to life of tenant farmers who make livings by tenant farming, Article 19, Paragraph 1, Subsection 3, of the Act further provides that if the landlord*s repossession of a tenant farm would result in the tenant farmer*s being unable to support his family, the landlord shall not repossess the tenant farm upon the expiration of the tenancy. Directive T. (49) N.T. No. 7226 of the Executive Yuan dated December 23, 1960, stated that the Living Expense Standard Table for the Division of Conscription of that year shall apply to estimate the annual living expense of the tenant farmer, spouse and lineal relatives who live in the same household; Directive T.N. D.T. No. 266779 of the Ministry of the Interior dated November 1, 1984, stated that the standard for reviewing the income and living expense of the tenant farmer, tenant farmer*s spouse and lineal relatives of the tenant farmer who live in the same household shall be calculated with reference to their annual income and their annual living expense of the year before the expiration of the tenancy. Therefore, the standard of minimum living expense listed in Taiwan*s Minimum Living Expense Standard Table for the Division of Conscription shall be used to estimate the family living expense of tenant farmers. However, it is neither realistic nor reasonable to apply fixed amounts to estimate the family living expense of individual tenant farmers without considering the commodity prices in different areas, the actual family livelihood and other individual circumstances of the tenant farmer on a case-by-case basis, such as necessary medical and insurance expenses or difficulties the tenant farmer may encounter. Hence the abovementioned Directives are inconsistent with the Constitutional intention to protect farmers and therefore shall not be applied.  
      
    • *Translated by Wellington L. Koo, and Formosa Transnational Attorney at Law.
Back Top