Voices—Participation in Reform

The TBA did not actively participate in social activism from its establishment to 1962, as the government had just relocated to Taiwan. However, between 1962 and 1989, with improved human resources and finances, together with transformations in Taiwan's political, economic and social systems, the TBA began to play a greater part in reforms, for instance, organizing legal aid, proposing professional recommendations on law revisions and judicial affairs and providing legal analysis of issues raised by various judicial institutions. During the latter half of this period, the TBA began to pay more attention to on human rights issues.

20 May 1991 - M.S. Lin, attorney-at-law and TBA President, led a parade for the first time on issues related to human rights protection (abolition of Article 100 of the Criminal Law and eradication of “white terrorism”).

After martial law was lifted in 1987, the 19th board of directors, as part of the advocated reform by then TBA President Lin Min-sheng, guided the association to "Make Voices Heard Externally and Contribute Efforts Internally." The members became involved in political, economic, and judicial reform movements as well as public interest activities by consistently publishing position papers and proposing legislative amendments concerning constitutional reform, judicial reform, human rights protection, studies and comments on proposed bills, etc. The TBA even took to the streets to voice the stance of the association and proposed recommendations. These actions as the realization of the TBA's fundamental mission to promote democracy and the rule of law.

19 October 1997 - Time for TBA to speak out aloud: Participated in the October 19 Demonstration on the “Walk for the Revival of Judicature”.

The TBA and its members are also deeply engaged in the promotion of various social agendas such as education, labor, women's issues, juveniles' issues, children's issues medical health, environmental protection, consumer right protection, consumer debt clearance, public legal service, legal education, crime victim protection, among others.

24 July 1999 - TBA participated in the parade “Abolition of National Congress and Anti Political Corruption”.

Taipei Bar Association's participation in major reforms

  • 1976

    Appealed to the Legislative Yuan and Control Yuan for the Defendant’s Right to Retain Defense Attorney During Investigation, furthermore a law forum was held with the topic of Defendant Should be Permitted to Retain Defense Attorney During Investigation to Protect Human Rights.

  • 1988.9.15

    Organized the Labor Law Consultation Service with the Association of Industrial Relations, R.O.C and officially launched the provision of legal aid services.

  • 1989

    Dongqun No.1 fishing boat bloodshed incident occurred, three Chinese and two Taiwanese fishermen were escorted back to Taiwan from Singapore by the CIB for trials. In order to exert law and order and protect human rights, six lawyers volunteered to act as defense attorneys for the accused during the investigation.

  • 1990.6

    Declared the Ten Demands of Constitution Reform. The declaration caused the board of directors and supervisors to be charged with mutiny. However, attorney general of the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office decided not to prosecute them.

  • 1990.9.30

    The judicial reform movement alliance was formed by joining forces from the Taiwan Law Society, NTU Law Foundation, STPI, academia, political circle, judicial circle and attorney circle.

  • 1990.5

    Since the government attested Wei-Cheng Liao for suspected mutiny, issues such as protection of the freedom of speech was raised. TBA made an announcement and led the legal profession to partake in the May 20 March for Democracy and appealed to the general public to support the Abolishment of Article 100 of Criminal Code and Eradication of White Terror. This was the first march for lawyers in Taiwan.

  • 1991.7.29

    The Taipei District Court organized the first Judge and District Attorney Forum and opened the communications channel between judges and lawyers. TBA dispatched representatives to participate in the event and provided recommendations.

  • 1992.3

    Constitution revisions were focused on the National Assembly, and the TBA once again announced the Ten Declarations for Constitutional Reforms.

  • 1992.4.23

    TBA convened the Outstanding Judge Selection Results press conference and announced the list of top 50 judges. This was Taiwan’s first appraisal conducted for judges. Thereafter, TBA organized the second Outstanding Judge Selection in 1994 and jointly-organized the judge appraisal with the Judicial Reform Foundations since 1998. In 2002 and 2005, TBA co-organized the Tripartite Jurists Appraisal with the Prosecutors Office.

  • 1992.6.16

    TBA representatives delivered the petition to the Legislative Yuan, urging the abolishment of the Anti-Hooligan Ordinances for the Period of Communist Rebellion, while returning relevant criteria to normal regulations of the Criminal Code and The Code of Criminal Procedure.

  • 1993.5.3~5

    International relations committee of TBA assisted IPBA to organize the third annual conference in Taipei, the grand event was attended by 472 people from more than 30 countries around the world.

  • 1993.11.25

    In consideration of the respect for life and protection of basic human rights, TBA formulated the Regulation on the Obligatory Defense of the Accused in Death Penalty Cases.

  • 1995.5.20

    TBA participated in the Withdrawal of Political Parties from the Three TV Channels Movement Alliance and organized a large scale march on May 20, 1995. The appeals were Total Media Transformation and Withdrawal of Political Parties from the Three TV Channels.

  • 1996.9

    Launched the legal aid services.

  • 1997.4.29

    TBA announced the Support for the Incorporation of Independent Judicial Budget into the Constitution Declaration and initiated petitions by the members.

  • 1997.6.25

    TBA announced declarations such as Support for the Suspension of the Provincial Structure, Abolishment of the National Assembly and Incorporation of Referendum into the Constitution (among others).

  • 1997.8.26

    TBA initiated appraisal of Taiwan High Court judge and presiding judge Chen in accordance with the Judicial Yuan’s appraisal regulations due to his violation of the law and misfeasance.

  • 1997.10.6

    TBA, TWBA, Taiwan Law Society and Judicial Reform Foundation jointly announced the Joint Solemn Declaration for the Preparation of the National Judicial Reform Conference.

  • 1997.10.19

    TBA participated in the October 19 March for the Revival of Justice, with more than 500 lawyers from various local bar associations taking to the streets.

  • 1998.4.10

    TBA and the Judicial Reform Foundation jointly convened the press conference for making announcement of the proposed Private Version of the Judges Act.

  • 1998.11.19

    TBA, Judicial Yuan, Judges Association, TWBA, Taiwan Law Society and Judicial Reform Foundation jointly applied to the President to convene national judicial reform conference.

  • 1999.7.24

    Called upon the members to participate in the Abolishment of National Assembly and Anti Black-Gold march organized by the People for Abolishing the National Assembly, Legislative Yuan and Create a Single Legislative House Movement Alliance.

  • 1999.8.3

    The national judicial reform conference was convened and completed, TBA, TWBA and the Taiwan Law Society jointly announced the Declaration on How Private Organizations Implementing Various Reform Programs for Judicial Reform.

  • 1999.9

    The following assistances were provided for disaster victims of the 921 earthquake: (1) Initiate fund-raising for disaster-relief. (2) Provide attorney consultation and litigation agent legal assistance. (3) Collaborated with the Judicial Reform Foundation to formulate various disaster-relief legal information Q&As and procedural explanation for enquiry purposes. (4) More than ten members attended the legal consultation service in central Taiwan disaster areas. (5) Providing pro bono civil and

  • 1999.10~

    Collaborated with the Taiwan High Court for the first time on compulsory defense trial cases in The Code Of Criminal Procedure and to mobilize members to participate in voluntary defenses. Thereafter, collaborations were held with the Taiwan Shihlin District Court, Taiwan Taipei District Court and Taiwan Banciao District Court.

  • 1999.10.14

    Participated in the National Civil Post-disaster Reconstruction Coordination and Supervision Alliance and became involved in the coordination and supervision of disaster-relief efforts with other social movement organizations after the 921 earthquake.

  • 2003.1.19

    Formed the Civil Supervision of Judicial Yuan’s Chief Justice Candidate Alliance with the Taipei Society, TAHR and the Judicial Reform Foundation in order to supervise the 2003 presidential nomination and approval process of the President/vice-president and Chief Justice of the Judicial Yuan. Opinions were raised against candidates who were deemed unfit. Thereafter, the nomination of Chief Justice is supervised and appraised by TBA and relevant legal organizations.

  • 2003.4.28

    TBA and TWBA jointly organized the Civil Recommendation Committee for Chief Justice of the Judicial Yuan, which recommended Chief Justice candidates who possessed human rights ideals, jurisprudence qualities, ethics and integrity as reference for the 2003 presidential nomination of Chief Justice candidate and Exerting the Right of Consent by the Legislative Yuan.

  • 2003.9.7

    Founded the “Law and Literature Award” contest and held the press conference to announce the first award recipients. The event was subsequently held in 2004, 2006 and 2009.

  • 2003

    TBA and the CREF jointly formed the Special Committee for the Deep-rooting of Legal Education, furthermore, TBA also signed an authorization contract with U.S. Center for Civic Education to translate and promote its publication Foundations of Democracy: Authority, Privacy, Responsibility, Justice in the Taiwan region. For many years, legal education has been promoted in numerous elementary and junior high schools; furthermore, it has also received awards and affirmations from the NICT in 2005 and 2006 for the encouragement of publications concerning human rights. At the end of June 2006, in order to expand participation and to cater for the demand for more expertise, the CREF passed on the baton to the Judicial Reform Foundation afterleading the program for three years. The said Foundation Legal Education Deep-rooting Center in order to continue the work on promoting legal education.

  • 2003.12.23

    The Legal Aids Act, formulated by TBA and TAHR and Judicial Reform Foundation, has passed the third reading by the Legislative Yuan.

  • 2005.12.13

    TBA joined the Anti-corruption Initiative, promulgating the appeal of Appointing the Chief Prosecutor of People’s Choice. Moreover, a letter was addressed to the President, proposing the standards for the desirable Chief Prosecutor Candidate in order to supervise the appointment of the new chief prosecutor.

  • 2006.1.6

    TBA and the Department of Civil Affairs, Taipei City Government to organize the Legal Aid Consultation Service for the General Public in Various Districts in Taipei City.

  • 2006.4.11

    TBA announced its support regarding the Declaration for the Refusal of Administrative Intervention on Environmental Evaluation Expertise released by the nine environmental evaluation committee members.

  • 2006.6.12

    TBA participated in the Abolishment of Death Penalty Alliance and jointly organized the investigation of the current conditions of death penalties in Taiwan with the FIDH. A press conference was held to announce the investigative results of over one year study.

  • 2007.10.27

    TBA participated in the Civil Promotion of the Judges Act and held the I Want Judge Regulation Act, Eliminate Bad Judges. Furthermore, between November and December of 2007, TBA visited the President of the Legislative Yuan and various parties; a letter was also delivered to lobby for the expedient legislation of the Judges Act.

  • 2008.2.25

    Legal professional groups such as the TBA, TWBA, Judicial Reform Foundation and Taiwan Law Society jointly organized the 2008 Presidential Election Public Hearing of Presidential Candidates from the Two Parties by Legal Professional Groups, where questions relating to the constitution, human rights, judicial administration, legal education reform and nations run by legal persons were proposed to the Presidential candidates.

  • 2009.6.2

    TBA, TWBA, China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group and Judicial Reform Foundation have jointly convened the Legal Profession in Hong Kong, Taiwan in Support of China Human Rights Lawyers press conference, thereby continuing to care for the practicing right of the China Human Rights Lawyers.

  • 2009.4.16

    TBA, TWBA, Judicial Reform Foundation co-organize the prosecutor appraisal of district prosecutors office in Taipei, Shihlin and Banciao.

  • 2010.4~

    attitude during court sessions and enhance the quality of adjudications by the administrative court, the tax law committee, constitution and administrative law committee of the TBA have collaborated with the Judicial Reform Foundation to conduct supervision via court observations and adjudication analysis, in order to examine the quality of adjudications made by the Taipei High Administrative Court. Moreover, the relevant information will be disclosed after the conclusion of the project as future reference for administrative law reforms.

  • 2010.9

    In July 2010, judge bribery scandals occurred in Taiwan and caused great concerns among the general public; as a result, the public’s long-term distrust towards ethics and adjudication quality of judges in Taiwan were once again placed under the limelight. Therefore, TBA and Judicial Reform Foundation united the bar associations in Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Yilan respectively in a very short period of time for launching the appraisal of judges in the Criminal Division of Taiwan High Court. The main methodology of the appraisal is to ask the lawyers who have handled criminal cases in the High Court during 2008, 2009 and the first half of 2010 to grade the judges concerning their in-court attitude, litigation procedure, adjudication quality, ethics and integrity. The ultimate objective of this appraisal is to urge the government to create an effective judge appraisal mechanism after the results are released.

  • 2010.9.23

    In mid 2010, former President of the Judicial Yuan Lai Ying-zhao and Vice-President Xie Zai-quan resigned due to high court judge fraud which occurred in July. Office of the President convened a press conference on August 24 to announce President Ma Ying-jeou’s nomination of the Chairperson of Central Election Commission Lai Hao-min as President of Judicial Yuan, while the former chairperson of NCC, also Professor at NCCU Su Yong-qing was nominated as the Vice-President. The Civil Supervision of Judicial Yuan’s Chief Justice Candidate Alliance, formed by TWBA, TBA, Taiwan Law Society, Taipei Society, TAHR and the Judicial Reform Foundation reactivated the alliance in the end of August, inviting experts, scholars and civil organization representatives from the related fields to actively establish the appraisal committee from a private perspective, and to express opinions regarding the fitness of the nominees.



25 March 2002 - TBA and related NGOs organized the Rule of Law Education Conference.

May 20, 1995 - TBA participated in the Withdrawal of Political Parties from the Three TV Channels Movement Alliance and organized a large scale march.

September 7, 2003 - Founded the "Law and Literature Award" contest and the event was subsequently held in 2004, 2006 and 2009.