The Court Organizational Law was amended to specifically stipulate that an indictment shall be publicly disclosed after the public disclosure of the first instance criminal decision (Taiwan)

Jenny Chen

The Legislative Yuan adopted Article 83, Paragraph 3 as added to the Court Organizational Law (hereinafter, “the Law”) on May 22, 2018, which specifically stipulates that an indictment shall be publicly disclosed after the public disclosure of first instance criminal decision.

Article 83, Paragraph 3 as amended to the Law specifically provides that all levels of courts below the High Court and their corresponding prosecutors offices shall publicly disclose an indictment after the first instance decision is publicly disclosed.  The manner of public disclosure shall be governed by relevant provisions concerning the public disclosure of a court decision under Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the same article with public disclosure made through a regularly published gazette or by other appropriate means.  Except for the names of nature persons, their ID numbers and other personally identifiable information may be excluded from disclosure.  Since the current laws and regulations do not require that an indictment should be publicly disclosed, it is additionally stipulated in these amendments that indictments shall be publicly disclosed.  Through information transparency, the public can strengthen their supervision of prosecutors in the performance of their statutory and objectivity duties through public verification of the criminal facts and evidences set forth in the indictments.  However, in view of the principle of presumed innocence and the right of a defendant to receive a fair trial, the disclosure timing of an indictment is limited to sometime after the public disclosure of the first instance decision to balance the rights and interests of the public and the parties.  In addition, according to the legislative reasons for these amendments, the indictments set forth in this Paragraph also includes prosecutorial motions for summary judgment and additional indictments and joinder requests which are adopted by the court as a decision basis.