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Judicial reform book announcement

Dear Scholars of Taiwan,

May I please draw your attention to an edited volume that has recently come out?

Judicial Reform in Taiwan: Democratization and the Diffusion of Law

Edited by Neil Chisholm

Routledge, 2020

This book tells the story of Taiwan’s judicial reform process, beginning with the 1999 National Judicial Reform Conference (全國司法改革會議) up to President Tsai’s 2017 National Conference on Judicial Reform (司法改革國是會議). It discusses the wide-ranging reforms that have been attempted, putting them in social, political, and comparative legal context. While the book is suitable for legal scholars, it was written to be accessible to anyone seeking to understand Taiwan’s judicial reforms.

The particular thematic focuses of the book are democratization and the diffusion of law. Taiwan’s democratization caused legal elites and an often-outraged public to demand that the machinery of justice become more transparent and people-friendly. In terms of legal diffusion, there was a struggle between “reformists,” who favored adopting American-style solutions to Taiwan’s problems, and “traditionalists,” who wanted less radical reforms that would keep Taiwan closer to its European/German legal roots.

Overall, Taiwan’s judicial reforms have signified a rebalancing of the relationship between the government and the people in favor of the latter.

Below you can find a link to the first chapter, which summarizes the book, as well as the book’s Table of Contents.

With best wishes for the Lunar New Year,

Neil Chisholm

Visiting Scholar, Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea

Former Postdoctoral Researcher, 中央研究院法律學研究所

“Chapter 1: Taiwan’s Judicial Reform Process: East Asian Context, Democratization, and Diffusion”

Table of Contents


Weng Yue-Sheng (Former President of the Judicial Yuan)

Part I – Taiwan’s Judicial Reforms in Comparative and Historical Context

1. Taiwan’s Judicial Reform Process: East Asian Context, Democratization, and Diffusion

Neil Chisholm

2. The Long Century of Taiwan’s Westernized Justice System: Historicizing the Dynamics of Her Judicial Reform of 1999

Tzung-Mou Wu

3. The Development and Reform of Taiwan’s Prosecutorial System: 1945-2014

Heng-da Hsu

Part II – Institutional Transformations

4. Separation of the Judiciary and the Public Prosecution: The Cornerstone of Judicial Reform in Taiwan

Yue-Sheng Weng & Chien-Liang Lee

5. Regime Unchanged: The Organization and Failed Reorganization of Taiwan’s Judicial Yuan

Yen-tu Su

6. Reform and Resistance: Restructuring Taiwan’s Appeals Process and the Internal Culture of Taiwan’s Supreme Court

Puma Shen

7. Adopting a Lay Participation System in Taiwan: The Trial Observer Reform Attempt

Mong-Hwa Chin

8. Transformation from the Top-down or Bottom-up? Legal Education Reform as a Microcosm of Taiwan’s Inconclusive Judicial Reform Process

Neil Chisholm & Hwei-Syin Chen

Part III – The Procedural Revolution

9. Conscience and Convenience: Taiwan’s Rocky Road to Adopting the Adversarial System in Criminal Procedure

Chia-Wen Lee

10. The Evolution of the Right to Counsel in Taiwan

Rong-Geng Li

11. A Leap Forward Not Yet Achieved: Civil Procedure Reform in Taiwan

Jing-Huey Shao

12. Administrative Law Reform in Taiwan

Ching-Hui Chen

Afterword: President Tsai’s 2017 National Conference on Judicial Reform

Neil Chisholm


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