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Judicial Reform and the Breakdown of Authoritarian Regime: Evidence from Taiwan
Unformatted Document Text:  11 However, there were some differences between the court and prosecution reforms. First, the prosecution reforms occurred later than the court reforms. The court reforms began in 1993; however, the prosecution institutional reforms would not begin until 1998. Second, the court reforms faced little resistance from the Judicial Yuan, but the KMT and the Ministry of Justice attacked maverick prosecutors several times and resisted many reforms which were suggested by reform prosecutors. The loss of control of the prosecutorial system was much more dangerous to the KMT regime and its politicians. Even if a KMT politician was prosecuted and found not guilty, it could still have a damaging effect on the career of the politician, and the party as a whole. Third, the prosecution reforms made much less progress than the court reforms. Nevertheless, the KMT and the Ministry of Justice did lose some degree of control over prosecution system, and could not use it as easily for political purpose as in the past. The KMT and the Ministry of Justice often paid a price when they tried to control and interfere in cases. Prosecutor Reform Association In 1998, the Judicial Reform Foundation pushed the Legislation Yuan to pass the Judge Law. If the Judge Law passed, prosecutors would lose the status of judge, and the office would become an administrative one. Prosecutors would encounter greater difficulty in investigating cases, particularly corruption cases, which had become more serious recently, and would be easily controlled by the Ministry of Justice. The Judge Law would be a revolutionary change. However, the Minister of Justice Liau was not concerned over whether there was a change in the system. Liau was the director of the Bureau of Investigation before he was the Minister of Justice. As long as he could control the Bureau of Investigation, he still could control investigated cases, even the prosecutor lost power. In fact, the prosecutors’ loss of the judge status might help the Ministry of Justice control them (Interviewer 61; Interviewer 99). The lack of concern on the part of the Ministry of Justice aroused the prosecutors to collective action. On May 4, 1998, thirteen prosecutors organized the Prosecutor Reform Association, which had four

Authors: Wang, Chin-Shou.
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11
However, there were some differences between the court and prosecution reforms. First, the
prosecution reforms occurred later than the court reforms. The court reforms began in 1993; however, the
prosecution institutional reforms would not begin until 1998. Second, the court reforms faced little
resistance from the Judicial Yuan, but the KMT and the Ministry of Justice attacked maverick prosecutors
several times and resisted many reforms which were suggested by reform prosecutors. The loss of control
of the prosecutorial system was much more dangerous to the KMT regime and its politicians. Even if a
KMT politician was prosecuted and found not guilty, it could still have a damaging effect on the career of
the politician, and the party as a whole. Third, the prosecution reforms made much less progress than the
court reforms. Nevertheless, the KMT and the Ministry of Justice did lose some degree of control over
prosecution system, and could not use it as easily for political purpose as in the past. The KMT and the
Ministry of Justice often paid a price when they tried to control and interfere in cases.
Prosecutor Reform Association
In 1998, the Judicial Reform Foundation pushed the Legislation Yuan to pass the Judge Law. If the
Judge Law passed, prosecutors would lose the status of judge, and the office would become an
administrative one. Prosecutors would encounter greater difficulty in investigating cases, particularly
corruption cases, which had become more serious recently, and would be easily controlled by the Ministry
of Justice. The Judge Law would be a revolutionary change. However, the Minister of Justice Liau was
not concerned over whether there was a change in the system. Liau was the director of the Bureau of
Investigation before he was the Minister of Justice. As long as he could control the Bureau of
Investigation, he still could control investigated cases, even the prosecutor lost power. In fact, the
prosecutors’ loss of the judge status might help the Ministry of Justice control them (Interviewer 61;
Interviewer 99).
The lack of concern on the part of the Ministry of Justice aroused the prosecutors to collective action.
On May 4, 1998, thirteen prosecutors organized the Prosecutor Reform Association, which had four


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