- The Judicial Yuan (Judiciary) is the highest judicial organization of Taiwan.
- The Judicial Yuan is comprised up of
- the Supreme Court,
- the High Courts,
- the District Courts,
- the Supreme Administrative Court,
- the High Administrative Courts, and
The Judiciary exercises administrative supervision of the Republic Of China court system, while enforcing compliance by ROC court personnel with constitutionally mandated judicial independence.
The ROC Court System
- The judiciary of the Republic of China has three levels:
- district courts and their branches that hear civil and criminal cases in the first instance;
- high courts and their branches at the intermediate level that hear appeals against judgments of district courts or their branches; and
- the Supreme Court at the highest appellate level, which reviews judgments by lower courts for compliance with pertinent laws or regulations.
- Issues of fact are decided in the first and second levels, while only issues of law are considered by the Supreme Court.
However, there are exceptions to this system. Criminal cases relating to rebellion, treason, and offenses against friendly relations with foreign states are handled by high courts, as the court of first instance; and appeals may be filed with the Supreme Court.
- Each District court is divided into civil, criminal, and summary divisions.
- The summary divisions in the Taiwan area to adjudicate cases in a prompt and expeditious manner.
- Summary proceedings are conducted by a single judge.
- In addition, there is the Juvenile Court of Kaohsiung established in accordance with the Law Governing the Disposition of Juvenile Cases Appeals may be filed with the civil or criminal division of the District Court for review by a three-judge panel.
- Specialized divisions may also be set up by district courts to deal with
- financial, and
- labor cases,
- as well as motions to set aside rulings on the violations of the Statute of the Maintenance of Social Order.
Cases to be tried by a district court are heard before a single judge, although more important cases may be heard by three judges.
- The High Court is located in Taipei serving all of Taiwan and Penghu, with four branch courts in Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Hualien.
- In the part of Fuchien Province under the control of the ROC, there is the Kinmen Branch Court of the Fuchien High Court, which exercises jurisdiction over appellate cases in Kinmen County and Lienchiang County.
- The High Court is divided into civil and criminal, as well as specialized divisions dealing with juvenile, traffic, and labor cases.
- Each division has a presiding judge and associates.
- Cases to be tried by the High Court are heard before a three-judge panel.
- However, one of the judges may conduct the preliminary proceedings alone.
- The High Court and its branches exercise jurisdiction over the following cases:
- civil, criminal, and election cases on appeal from judgments of district courts or their branches;
- motions to set aside rulings of district courts or their branches;
- criminal cases relating to rebellion, treason, and offenses against friendly relations with foreign states, as the court of first instance; and
- other lawsuits prescribed by law.
The Supreme Court
- Although it is under the administrative supervision of the Judicial Yuan, the entire ROC court system has judicial independence in criminal and civil matters of law.
- The Supreme Court is the court of final appeal in the ROC judicial system.
- The Supreme Court is divided into eight civil divisions and Twelve criminal divisions.
- An appeal may be made to the Supreme Court only on grounds that the lower court's decision violates a law or ordinance.
- Since the Supreme Court does not decide questions of fact, documentary proceedings are the rule, while oral arguments are the exception.
- Cases before the Supreme Court are tried by five judges.
- The Supreme Court exercises jurisdiction over the following kinds of cases:
- appeals against judgments of high courts or their branches in criminal cases as court of first instance;
- motions to set aside rulings of high courts or their branches in civil and criminal cases;
- appeals against judgments in civil and criminal cases by high courts or their branches as court of second instance;
- appeals against or motions to set aside rulings of district courts or their branches as the court of second instance in civil summary proceedings; and
- cases of extraordinary appeal.
The Supreme and High Administrative Courts
The new law adopts the "two-level and two-instance system" for administrative litigation.
As a result, one Supreme Administrative Court and three high administrative Courts have been established in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung to adjudicate administrative cases.
The administrative courts have a different authority from that of the other courts in the system.
Any person who claims that his rights or legal interests are violated by an unlawful administrative action rendered by a government agency may institute administrative proceedings before the high administrative court.
This right is available on objection to the decision on an administrative appeal submitted in accordance with the Law of Administrative Appeal, or if no decision is rendered over three months after the submission of an administrative appeal, or over two months of extension after the prescribed period for decision has expired.
An administrative action, which exceeds the legal authority of the government agency or which results from an abuse of power, is unlawful.
Cases before a high administrative court are tried by three judges.
Appeals may be filed with the Supreme Administrative Courts for review by a five-judge panel.
The high administrative courts decide questions of both fact and law, while the Supreme Administrative Court decides only questions of law.