label r shifted
Session C1
Reexamining the Role of the Constitutional Court in Taiwan’s Democratization
王金壽 Chin-Shou Wang
Department of Political Science, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
宋昱嫺 Yu-Hsien Sung
Department of Political Science, University of South Carolina, USA

Most Taiwan law scholars claimed that the Constitutional Court paved the way of the Taiwan’s democratization and constitutional reforms (such as Chang 2001, 2005; Lin 2016; Yeh 2003; Yen and Chang 2014). These legal studies regard the Constitutional Interpretation No. 261 as the most critical case in Taiwan’s judicial history. In this paper, we will challenge this dominant argument of these legal scholars. We will reexamine the political role of the Constitutional Court during the processes of the Taiwanese democratization. To this end, we will analyze most of the political salient cases during Taiwanese democratization and examine how many cases have been petitioned to the Constitutional Court; we ask what type of cases have been heard by the Constitutional Court and what types of cases otherwise. If Constitutional Court did accept to review those cases, what were the attitudes of the Constitutional Court?

This study will mainly base on qualitative analysis; we will analyze court records, the memoir of judges and conduct interviews. We argue that Constitutional Court made little contribution to Taiwan’s democratization. This paper shows that the role of Taiwan’s Constitutional Court in the process of democratization has been far more complicated and far less promising than is commonly thought.