Horizontal Accountability in a Polarised New Democracy: The Case of Post-Democratisation Taiwan

19 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2015 Last revised: 24 Feb 2017

See all articles by Weitseng Chen

Weitseng Chen

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law; Center for Asian Legal Studies (CALS)

Jimmy Chia-Shin Hsu

Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica

Date Written: March 31, 2015

Abstract

This article evaluates the post-democratic transition performance of Taiwan’s major horizontal accountability institutions, including the Constitutional Court and other courts, the prosecutorial system and the Control Yuan (the ombudsman’s office), in terms of their independence, supremacy, accountability and capacity. The main question to be addressed is whether these institutions are robust enough to withstand the severely polarised politics that have prevailed since democratic transition. It examines major separation of powers cases of the Constitutional Court; politically-charged defamation and electoral cases in the regular courts; high-profile political cases investigated by the prosecutorial system; and the overall performance of the Control Yuan. It is argued that Taiwan’s polarised politics pose great challenges to horizontal accountability, which has been guarded by the judicial system. The article concludes that tanks to the early development of the rule of law and post-authoritarian judicial reforms, these institutions have survived severely polarised politics, albeit at considerable cost.

Suggested Citation

Chen, Weitseng and Hsu, Jimmy Chia-Shin, Horizontal Accountability in a Polarised New Democracy: The Case of Post-Democratisation Taiwan (March 31, 2015). Australian Journal of Asian Law, Vol. 15, No. 2, Article 4, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2587623

Weitseng Chen (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

Center for Asian Legal Studies (CALS) ( email )

Bukit Timah Road 469 G
Singapore, 117591
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://law.nus.edu.sg/cals/

Jimmy Chia-Shin Hsu

Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica ( email )

128 Academia Sinica Rd., Sec. 2
Nankang
Taipei, 11529
Taiwan

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