Pursuant to Article 5, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 2, of the Constitutional Interpretation Procedure Act, a person whose constitutional right is wrongfully infringed upon and who has brought a lawsuit according to the legal procedures may apply for an interpretation of the Constitution on the ground that the law or regulation applied in the final and irrevocable judgment is in conflict with the Constitution. The Review Committee on Compensation for Wrongful Detentions and Executions, the Judicial Yuan, is composed of the Chief-Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 5 of the Act and its review decisions on matters of wrongful imprisonment compensation, by their nature, are equivalent to final and irrevocable judgments. Therefore, on the issue of whether the laws or regulations applied in such decisions are in conflict with the Constitution, the private party should be permitted to apply for an interpretation by this [Judicial] Yuan pursuant to the above-cited provision [of the Constitutional Interpretation Procedure Act].
The Act is a special law for state compensation liabilities. The legislature has the responsibility to enact laws governing state compensation under Article 24 of the Constitution, which provides that: "[a]ny public functionary who, in violation of the law, infringes upon the people*s freedom or right shall, in addition to being subject to disciplinary measures under the law, be subject to criminal and civil liabilities"; and that "[t]he injured people may, in accordance with the law, claim compensation from the State for damages sustained." Furthermore, the requirements stipulated in such laws [governing state compensation] regarding people*s claims seeking different types of state compensation shall conform to the constitutional principle of proportionality. The detention of a criminal defendant is a compulsory disposition that, before the final and binding judgment becomes irrevocable, confines his/her physical freedom to a limited area in order to secure the progress of the criminal procedures. Since the detention is a grave deprivation of physical freedom, the constitutional protection of physical freedom shall be highly respected when determining the compensation for the wrongful imprisonment involved therein.
Article 2 of the Act provides for certain limitations on the right to claim wrongful imprisonment, among which the first sentence of Article 2, Subparagraph 2, stipulates that a person, who had been detained and thereafter received a ruling not to prosecute or a non-guilty judgment, may not claim compensation if his/her act was in violation of the public order or morality. Although its legislative purpose is to maintain the social order and morality, it is inconsistent with the constitutional principle of proportionality for its exclusion of the right of the injured person, whose physical freedom was gravely restrained under the detention, to claim compensation on the general ground of violation of the public order or morality, without determining whether the gravity of the act is such that it is intolerable by the standards acceptable to the society in general. By contrast with the other criteria stipulated in the second sentence of Article 2, Subparagraph 2, and the other items, there is also a lack of proportionality. Therefore, the above-cited provision [Article 2, Subparagraph 2, of the Act] shall not be applied, from the date of this Interpretation, to the extent that it is inconsistent with this Interpretation.
*Translated by Pijan Wu.