Taiwan’s New Adversarial System and the Overlooked Challenge of Efficiency-Driven Reforms
Margaret K. Lewis
Seton Hall University - School of Law
March 1, 2009
Virginia Journal of International Law, Vol. 49, No. 3, 2009
The end of martial law marked the beginning of Taiwan’s criminal justice revolution. Taiwan has overhauled the inquisitorial structure of its dictatorial past to adopt a system that emphasizes contested trials in which the prosecution and defense play active roles. In embracing a so-called “reformed adversarial system,” Taiwan has concomitantly adopted several means of settling criminal disputes in an expeditious fashion, namely, deferred prosecution, plea bargaining, file-based adjudication, and simplified trials. The domestic debate behind the use of these procedures has centered on efficiency grounds. Beyond a narrow focus on saving resources, what has gone unrecognized is how these efficiency-driven procedures are creating a distinct channel of streamlined, prosecutor-dominated justice that is emerging alongside the adversarial one and even impeding the development of the new adversarial approach. There remains a void both in the domestic Taiwanese context and in the broader international literature as to how streamlined criminal proceedings play into a larger transition towards an adversarial system.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 76
Keywords: Taiwan, China, Criminal Procedure, Adversarial, InquisitorialAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 24, 2009
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