An Empirical Study Of Administrative Appeal In Taiwan: A Cautionary Tale

43 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2010 Last revised: 26 Jul 2013

See all articles by Yun-chien Chang

Yun-chien Chang

Academia Sinica - Institutum Iurisprudentiae (IIAS)

Date Written: June 24, 2013


Few in-depth empirical studies on administrative appeal systems in developed countries are available. It is unclear whether the requirement to exhaust administrative remedies achieves its main purposes: which is to allow agencies to correct their own mistakes and to exercise discretion, and ultimately to relieve the burdens on courts. In the U.S., the administrative appeal system was found to serve the agency’s interest. Whether a more carefully designed system can be an impartial forum for reviewing the agency decision de novo is yet to be studied.

Using data on Taiwan’s administrative appeal cases between 2005 and 2012 in logit regression models, other statistical tests, and descriptive analysis, this article tests whether Taiwan’s administrative appeal system has lived up to its institutional purposes, and examines whether Taiwan’s unique design, under which each case is reviewed by a large committee of which a majority are law professors, has produced positive effects.

The major findings are that the administrative appeal system in Taiwan corrects most of the mistakes that are made by administrative agencies either through review committees or administrative courts. When the resolution of a case requires “non-legal expertise,” the appeal reviewers have focused only on procedural defects, leaving substantial matters unattended. Merit reviews of agency decisions appear to be rare. Revocation rate (appeal rate) does not increase (decrease) with the relative number of law professors in review committees. Overall, the inclusion of a number of law professors in Administrative Appeal Review Committees does not appear to have the observable effects expected by the legislature and within legal literature.

Keywords: Administrative appeal, Taiwan, non-legal expertise, administrative act, revocation, dismissal, cases not entertained, outside expert, Review Committees

JEL Classification: K23

Suggested Citation

Chang, Yun-chien, An Empirical Study Of Administrative Appeal In Taiwan: A Cautionary Tale (June 24, 2013). Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, 2014, 2010 5th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper, Available at SSRN: or

Yun-chien Chang (Contact Author)

Academia Sinica - Institutum Iurisprudentiae (IIAS) ( email )

128 Academia Sinica Rd., Sec. 2
Taipei City, 11529

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