Constitutional judicial review—the authority of a court to declare a decision by a state organ unconstitutional—has existed in Taiwan since 1949 and has developed dramatically since then. Decisions by the constitutional court have helped to consolidate Taiwan’s constitutional structure, overcome crises of legitimacy in governance, establish limits to constitutional amendments, protect judicial independence, shape Taiwan’s distinctive five-branch separation of powers, and protect citizens’ rights to equal protection, personal security, free speech, reputation, property, privacy and other rights. Despite these successes, constitutional review requires reform to address changing demands and challenges and problems of declining efficiency and apparent inconsistency among judgments.
Dennis Te-Chung Tang is a Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and was the Founding Director of the Institutum Iurisprudentiae at the Academia Sinica and Professor of Law at National Taiwan University.
Sponsored by the Center for Asian Law, the Center for the Study of Contemporary China, and the Center for East Asian Studies.