The Constitutional Court Procedure Act (CCPA), promulgated on January 4, 2019, takes effect on January 4, 2022, marking the coming of a new era of constitutional review in Taiwan. It takes three years for the Judicial Yuan to prepare for the said new Act. In honor of this landmark reform, Chief Justice Tzong-Li HSU hosted the launch event of the CCPA. Current and former Justices, and former Chief Justices Yueh-Sheng WENG, In-Jaw LAI, and Hau-Min RAI were all invited to the ceremony. Along with the launch event, the Judicial Yuan also held a new book launch event on the publication of “A Commentary on the German Federal Constitutional Court Act”, authored by Christopher Lenz and Ronald Hansel and translated into Mandarin by a cohort of 22 local scholars under the sponsor of the Judicial Yuan.
Constitutional review in Taiwan has undergone great transformation. Paralleling the enactment and amendment of the Constitution, the legal instruments governing constitutional review have evolved during the past seventy-four years: the Rules of the Council of Grand Justices of 1948, the Council of Grand Justices Act of 1958, the Constitutional Court Interpretation Act (CCIA) of 1993, and the CCPA of 2022. The Justices, initially, were only tasked with the duties of interpreting the Constitution and unifying the interpretations of statutes and regulations, for the purpose of safeguarding the democratic constitutional system. Gradually the Justices have played a more and more significant role in adjudicating cases on the protection of constitutional rights, in the capacity of a Constitutional Court. Beginning from January 4, 2022, the Justices are formally renamed as the Taiwan Constitutional Court (TCC). In contrast to the 1993 procedural tweaks under CCIA, the CCPA of 2022 facilitated many major procedural reforms for the judicialization of the TCC Proceedings, including the small chambers system, the expansion of jurisdiction on constitutional complaints enhancement of procedural transparency and citizen participation (e.g. admission of amici curiae), lowering the two-thirds super majority requirement to a simple majority for decisions on the merit, and the introduction of author-justice mechanism for court decisions.
Taiwan’s constitutional interpretation system, originally carried out by the Council of Justices and implemented seven decades ago, has officially come to an end. From 2022 on constitutional review in Taiwan is entering a new era. Chief Justice Tzong-Li HSU expressed his deepest gratitude to former Chief Justices Yueh-Sheng WENG, In-Jaw LAI and Hau-Min RAI, as well as all members and researchers of the CCPA Amendment Committee. With the richness of the heritage, the TCC will remain committed to protecting human rights and safeguarding the free and democratic constitutional order. At the end of the ceremony, Chief Justice Tzong-Li HSU, former Chief Justices Yueh-Sheng WENG, In-Jaw LAI and Hau-Min RAI, together with many distinguished guests took several group photos in commemoration of this watershed date.