Another voting war might happen again at the Legislative Yuan as it is currently holding an extraordinary session to review the Act of Citizen Participation of Criminal Judgment draft bill. Opposition parties are criticizing the fact that the review is even being held and blasting the Democratic Progressive Party for bullying the draft through when no consensus has been reached on close to 100 articles within the draft.
During the current extraordinary session, lawmakers are reviewing the 113-article Act of Citizen Participation of Criminal Judgment draft bill. Although ruling and opposition parties have failed to reach a consensus on close to 100 of the articles, an article-by-article vote will be held within days. On the 20th, opposition lawmakers and the Judicial Reform Foundation blasted the Democratic Progressive Party for forcing the draft through in the absence of a consensus.
Mainstream opinion, two parallel systems!
If the DPP forces the legislature to vote on this bill today, you would find that 99 of the 113 articles violate public opinion. They couldn't make a less intelligent decision. Why does the DPP exclude juries, ignoring the party charter?
The foundation also blasted the DPP for ignoring public opinion. According to a recent survey, 92 percent of people don't understand what citizen participation in criminal judgment is and 83 percent support parallel systems. The Kuomintang, New Power Party and Taiwan People's Party all have their own versions of the bill. Along with the Judicial Yuan's version, which is endorsed by the DPP, there are four versions of the bill floating around. The vote will be held at the end of the session in three days.
We're looking at four versions, some with 90-plus articles and some with 80-plus. If every party registers (to speak) at three minutes (per article) -- everyone do the math. At 100 articles, I would be speaking for 300 minutes.
There are over 200,000 criminal cases tried every year and the draft would allow citizen participation in just 500 of them. Not to mention, some of the defendants have already pled guilty. If you subtract these, citizen participation can only be used in 200-300 cases (a year).
The NPP is up in arms that the Judicial Yuan version restricts citizen participation in criminal judgment to crimes with at least 10-year sentences, saying this limits citizen participation in criminal judgment. Other opposition parties are condemning the DPP for forcing the review of such a controversial draft during an extraordinary session.
I hope the KMT can conduct themselves in a rational manner during cross-party consultations and resolve issues through consultation rather than unnecessary, prolonged voting.
With the groundswell of opposition and in the absence of a consensus, Legislative Speaker Yu Shyi-kun called off the review and announced a new round of cross-party consultations.