A rigorous reform program begun as a result of the 1999 National Judicial Reform Conference, including the establishment of an adversarial system for criminal cases, has led to better public perception of judicial integrity.
However, in some areas the reforms have not been actively implemented by the police and prosecution services. Although the Constitution provides for separation of powers, the traditional dominance of the executive has only recently subsided.
Though in fact quite rare, harassment, physical intimidation and bribery by organized crime elements remain occasionally problematic for judges and lawyers.
A relatively small legal profession concentrated in major cities means that access to justice is often limited, especially for those with fewer economic resources, although the adoption in January 2004 of a Basic Law on Legal Aid is a major step towards redressing this imbalance.
While Taiwan’s unique position prevents it from fully participating in the international human rights system, it is seeking to introduce a domestic Human Rights Basic Law in accordance with recognized international standards.
Taiwan-Attacks on Justice 2005-Publications-2008 (full text, PDF)Attacks on Justice 2005Publications