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  • Interpretation
  • No.684
  • Date
  • 2011/01/17
  • Issue
    • Is a student who claims that his/her rights are violated by a university’s administrative decision other than an expulsion or similar decision entitled to bring administrative appeal and litigation against the decision?
  • Holding
    •     When a university makes administrative decisions or other public authority measures for realizing educational purposes of seeking academic truth and cultivating talents or for maintaining the campus order, if the decisions or measures infringe the student’s right to education or other constitutional rights, even if the decisions or measures are not expulsions or similar decisions, based on the mandate that where there is a right, there is a remedy under Article 16 of the Constitution, the student whose right has been infringed shall be allowed to bring administrative appeal and litigation and there is no need to place special restrictions. To this extent, the holding of J. Y. Interpretation No. 382 is hereby modified.
  • Reasoning
    •     Article 16 of the Constitution guarantees the people the right to administrative appeal and the right to litigation. When the rights of an individual are violated by public authority, the individual may duly bring administrative appeal and litigation to seek adequate remedies (see J. Y. Interpretation Nos. 418 and 667). This right to remedy may not be deprived of merely because of the status of the individual.
      
    •     On the question of whether people who, as students, are subject to schools’ actions may bring administrative appeal and litigation, J. Y. Interpretation No. 382 holds the view that it depends on the contents of the actions. For an expulsion or similar decision based on enrollment rules or disciplinary regulations and sufficient to alter the student status of a student and to hinder the student’s opportunity to receive education, because it has significant impact on the individual’s constitutional right to education, it constitutes the administrative decision under the Administrative Appeal Act and the Administrative Litigation Act and, therefore, the student may bring administrative appeal and litigation against it. As to the school’s actions against a student necessary for maintaining the campus order or realizing educational purposes and do not infringe the right to education, such as recording a demerit or reprimand, the student can only appeal within the school and is not allowed to bring administrative appeal or litigation. However, when a university makes administrative decisions or other public authority measures for realizing educational purposes of seeking academic truth and cultivating talents or for maintaining the campus order, if the decisions or measures infringe the student’s right to education or other constitutional rights, even if the decisions or measures are not expulsions or similar decisions, based on the mandate that where there is a right, there is a remedy under Article 16 of the Constitution, the student whose right has been infringed shall be allowed to bring administrative appeal and litigation and there is no need to place special restrictions. To this extent, the holding of J. Y. Interpretation No. 382 is hereby modified.
      
    •     Teaching, research, and students’ freedom of learning at university are all protected by the Constitution and a university is entitled to the right of self-government to the extent permitted by law (see J. Y. Interpretation No. 563). To prevent academic freedom from the undue interference of the state, not only the administrative supervision should be considerably restricted (see J. Y. Interpretation No. 380) but the legislature may regulate university affairs only to a reasonable extent (see J. Y. Interpretation Nos. 563 and 626). The agencies or courts that hear administrative appeal or administrative litigation cases brought by university students should, based on the principle of university self-government, to an adequate extent defer to the professional judgment of universities (see J. Y. Interpretation No. 462).
      
    •     Separately, one of the petitioners argues that Article 4, Paragraph 1 of the Administrative Litigation Act violates Article 16 of the Constitution and is inconsistent with J. Y. Interpretation No.653. This part of the petition does not specifically indicate how the provision contravenes the Constitution objectively but merely disputes the appropriateness of fact-finding and law-application of the courts from a personal subjective perspective and, therefore, does not satisfy the requirement set forth in Article 5, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 2 of the Constitutional Interpretation Procedure Act. According to Article 5, Paragraph 3 of the Constitutional Interpretation Procedure Act, this part of the petition shall be dismissed.
      
    • Translated by C. L. Chen
      
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