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The TCC delivers its Judgment 113-Hsien-Pan-6 (2024)

    TAIPEI, June 7, 2024 — The Taiwan Constitutional Court (TCC) delivered its Judgment of the "Case on the Constitutionality of Height Requirements for the Entrance Exam of Police Officers and Firefighters"[1] (TCC Judgment 113-Hsien-Pan-6) on May 31, 2024.

Principal Facts, Issues, and Procedure of the Case

    Article 8, Subparagraph 1 of the Civil Service Examination Regulation for General Police Officers (hereinafter, "Provision I" and "Police Exam Regulation"), which also applies to the firefighter entrance exam, stipulates that examinees would fail their physical examination at the second stage of the exam if they couldn't meet the following height requirements: 165 cm for non-indigenous males, 160 cm for non-indigenous females, 158 cm for indigenous males, and 155 cm for indigenous females. Furthermore, under Article 7, Paragraph 2 of the Police Exam Regulation (hereinafter "Provision II"), qualified trainees may be asked to reexamine their physicals by the training institute if necessary, those who failed would be disqualified by the Civil Service Protection & Training Commission. 

    The petitioner, Ms. Yun-Hsuan CHEN, passed both the writing exam (first stage) and the physical examination (second stage) for the firefighter entrance exam in 2018. However, she was later asked by the Training Center of the National Fire Agency to reexamine her physicals. The petitioner was measured at 158.9 cm upon reexamination, not meeting the height requirement for non-indigenous females (160 cm). The petitioner was subsequently disqualified. After ensuing administrative appeal and judicial litigations, the petition was finally dismissed by the Supreme Administrative Court Judgment 109-Shang-928 (2021).

     The petitioner filed a constitutional complaint, arguing that: (1) Provision I, which implements height-based classification for the qualification of firefighters, would not pass strict scrutiny, and that it disproportionately barred more females from becoming firefighters, thus violating the equality principle; (2) Provision I disproportionately excludes non-indigenous female under 160 cm altogether without considering the various types of tasks (in the firefighting agencies) that shorter people may have advantage in performing; and (3) The term "when necessary" in Provision II is hard for the trainees to comprehend and foresee, thus lacks legal clarity. 

    This case was argued on January 16, 2024. Judgment 113-Hsien-Pan-6 (2024) was announced on May 31, 2024. Justice Ming-Yan SHIEH wrote this Judgment. One concurring opinion was filed by Justice Chung-Wu CHEN.  


Decision of the Court

    The TCC declared Provision I unconstitutional for leading to unfair differential treatment relating to sex in its application, which violates the equality principle under Article 7 of the Constitution. The TCC referred to national health data and found that the provision has excluded a higher percentage of female citizens than male citizens without sufficient evidence to justify this exclusion. The TCC further ruled that the measure of the provision failed to pass intermediate scrutiny, consequently rendering it unconstitutional. Provision I should cease to be effective one year from the day of this Judgment. 

    The TCC upheld the constitutionality of Provision II, ruling that its terminology is comprehendible, foreseeable, and may be reviewed by a court under general methods of legal interpretation, thus conforming to the principle of legal clarity. 

    The TCC quashed the petitioner's original court case, Supreme Administrative Court Judgment 109-Shang-928 (2021), and remitted it to the Supreme Administrative Court.

[1]  Previously argued under the case name "Case on the Constitutionality of Height Requirements for General Police Officers Entrance Exam." 



  1. Full texts of the Judgment and Opinions are available on the TCC website here (Traditional Chinese). An English summary of this Judgment will be available later on the TCC English website.
  2. The TCC's Case News is prepared by the Department of Clerks for the Constitutional Court (Judicial Yuan) for information only and does not bind the Court. 
  3. In case of any conflict of meaning between the Traditional Chinese version and the translated English version, the Traditional Chinese version shall prevail. 
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