The Supreme Administrative Court rendered in the 107-Pan-602 Decision of October 12, 2018 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that since the law does not specifically provides that people from mainland China may apply to enter Taiwan for litigation, the litigation procedure should be erroneous as the original trial court failed to ascertain if the failure of the Appellant in this matter to appear in the preparation and oral argument proceedings is justified and elected to render a default judgment on the ground that the mainland China citizen had failed to appear on the date of oral arguments after being lawfully notified.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellant is a mainland China citizen who applied to enter Taiwan for sightseeing with an approval granted by the Appellee (the Ministry of the Interior) by issuing a one-year multiple entry permit to the Appellant. Subsequently upon entry of the Appellant, the Appellee checked and found that the Appellant held papers which had been illegally obtained, forged or altered. Therefore, the original disposition was rendered in accordance with Article 17, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 2 of the Rules for Granting Permission to Mainland China People Visiting Taiwan for Sightseeing (hereinafter, the “Sightseeing Permission Rules”) to revoke the permission to Appellant’s stay, cancel his entry permit and deport the Appellant. Dissatisfied with the original disposition, the Appellant filed an administrative appeal which was rejected. After the Appellant brought an administrative action with his claims rejected by a decision issued by the Taipei High Administrative Court, the Appellant was still dissatisfied and appealed to the Supreme High Administrative Court (i.e., the lawsuit).
As pointed out by the Supreme Administrative Court in its decision on this matter, a mainland China citizen may apply to enter Taiwan only when statutory requirements are met pursuant to Articles 1 and 16 of the Statute for Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area and its relevant ancillary laws. A mainland China citizen may apply to enter Taiwan for litigation due to any criminal or civil lawsuit pursuant to law. However, there is no provision in existing laws that stipulate that “a mainland China citizen may enter Taiwan for litigation due to any administrative litigation.” Therefore, the Supreme Administrative Court held that the original trial court should have certainly investigated and determined if there was any justification for the failure of the Appellant in this matter to appear in the preparation and oral argument proceedings. For example, the original trial court should have ascertained if the Appellant could have still re-applied for entry to Taiwan on sightseeing or other grounds to engage in litigation in order to determine if the Appellant was absent for justified reasons. Therefore, the procedure for the original decision which was rendered upon the Appellee’s ex parte application was potentially unlawful, and a decision was subsequently rendered by the Supreme Administrative Court to reverse and remand the original decision.