Petition for the Interpretation of the Constitution
The Constitutional Court shall interpret the Constitution with respect to the following matters:
Uncertainties regarding the application of the Constitution;
The constitutionality of laws or orders; and
The constitutionality of local government laws.
A petition for an interpretation of the Constitution may be filed under one of the following circumstances:
Where a central or local government agency is uncertain regarding the application of the Constitution in exercising its powers, or, where the agency, while exercising its powers, is in dispute with another agency regarding the application of the Constitution, or where the agency is uncertain of the constitutionality of a particular law or order when applying it.
Where an individual, a legal person, or a political party, having exhausted all judicial remedies provided by law, alleges that her/his/its constitutional rights have been infringed upon and thereby questions the constitutionality of the law or order applied by the court of last resort in its final decision;
Where the members of the Legislative Yuan, in exercising their powers, are uncertain regarding the application of the Constitution or regarding the constitutionality of a particular law when applying the same, and at least one-third of the members of the Legislative Yuan have filed a petition; or
In accordance with Interpretation No.371, when any judge sincerely believes the statute or regulation at issue before the court is in conflict with the Constitution, the court may adjourn the proceedings sua sponte and petition the Constitutional Court to interpret the Constitutionality of the said statute or regulation.
Petition for Uniform Interpretation of Statutes and Regulations A petition for a uniform interpretation of a law or order shall be made under one of the following circumstances:
Where a central or local government agency, in exercising its powers, applies a law or order and interprets the law or order in a different manner from an interpretation previously made by another agency or the same agency, unless the agency should be bound by the opinions of the same or another agency, or has the authority to revise the opinions of that agency; or
Where an individual, a legal person, or a political party alleges that her/his/its rights have been infringed upon, believing that the final decision of the court of last resort adopted an opinion in construing the applicable law or order that differed from that previously adopted by another court in a final decision, unless the petitioner has not yet exhausted all judicial remedies or the later decision has effectively altered the opinion of the earlier decision.
Petitions pursuant to the above-mentioned second circumstance shall be submitted within three months after the court’s decision becomes final. Procedure for Interpretation
The Justices of the Constitutional Court shall meet to handle cases en bloc three times a week; an extraordinary session may be held whenever necessary. The President of the Judicial Yuan shall chair the plenary session of the Constitutional Court. Standards for reaching a ruling:
For the interpretation of the Constitution: the presence of two-thirds of the Justices of the Constitutional Court constitutes a quorum. In cases concerning the declaration of the unconstitutionality of a law, the concurrence of two-thirds of those Justices present is required. In cases concerning the declaration of the unconstitutionality of a regulation, the concurrence of only a simple majority is required.
For the uniform interpretation of the laws and orders: the presence of one half of the Justices of the Constitutional Court constitutes a quorum and a ruling requires the concurrence of a simple majority.
Those Justices, approving the interpretative principle, but having concurring or dissenting reasons, may submit concurring opinions; whereas, those opposing the interpretative principle may submit dissenting opinions. Concurring and dissenting opinions shall be proclaimed together with the whole text of the interpretation. In handling interpretation cases, the Constitutional Court with the petitioner’s motion, or sua sponte may ask the petitioners and related individuals or agencies to attend the meeting to present the relevant facts, or may conduct an investigation. Oral arguments may be held in an open court, when necessary.