Law of the Republic of China

Law of the Republic of China

The Law of the Republic of China is the legal regime of the Republic of China (also known as Taiwan).

Legal System

The Legal Structure

Taiwanese Law today is mainly based on the civil law system [] . The Taiwanese legal structure is codified into the Six Codes [ [ Taiwan's Justice Yuan] ] :

#the Constitution of Taiwan 憲法
#the Civil Code 民法
#the Code of Civil Procedures 民事訴訟法及相關法
#the Criminal Code 刑法
#the Code of Criminal Procedures 刑事訴訟法及相關法
#the Administrative laws 行政法及行政訴訟相關法

In the area of constitutional law, the Republic of China uses the 1947 Constitution which was promulagated for both Mainland China and Taiwan although numerous changes have been made to take into account the fact that the Republic of China only controls Taiwan and two counties of Fujian.

Significant Issue


While torture is illegal, [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: China (Taiwan only)
work =
publisher = United States Department of State
date = 2004-02-25
url =
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-08-28
] there have been allegations of police brutality during the investigation process. They have led to controversy in light of several death sentences that have been carried out based on confessions claimed to be extracted under torture. [cite press release
title = Taiwan: Miscarriage of Justice: “Hsichih Trio” re-sentenced to death
publisher = Amnesty International
date = 2007-07-16
url =
accessdate = 2008-08-28

Capital Punishment

While Taiwan maintains the death penalty for a variety of offenses, the number of executions dropped significantly since 2002, with only three executions in 2005 and none since 2006.


The Qing Dynasty

Following the overthrow of the Qing dynasty in 1911, China came under the control of rival warlords and had no government strong enough to establish a legal code to replace the Qing code.

The Kuomintang

Finally, in 1927, Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang forces were able to suppress the warlords and gain control of most of the country. Established in Nanjing, the KMT government attempted to develop Western-style legal and penal systems. Few of the KMT codes, however, were implemented nationwide.

Although government leaders were striving for a Western-inspired system of codified law, the traditional Chinese preference for collective social sanctions over impersonal legalism hindered constitutional and legal development. A new system of laws was promulgated based on the German legal system.The spirit of the new laws never penetrated to the grass-roots level or provided hoped-for stability. Ideally, individuals were to be equal before the law, but this premise proved to be more rhetorical than substantive. In the end, most of the new laws were discarded as the Kuomintang became preoccupied with fighting the Chinese Communists and the invading Japanese.

Modern day

Taiwan eventually inherited a variation of the Japanese legal system, that had been taken from the Napoleonic Code during the Meiji period, and codified into the Six Codes.

The current (Kuomintang-drafted) Constitution was adopted by the National Assembly on December 25, 1946, promulgated by the National Government on January 1, 1947, and went into effect on December 25, 1947.

See also

* Constitution of the Republic of China
* Six Codes
*National Police Agency (Taiwan)
*Capital punishment in Taiwan


External links

* [ Taiwanese Legal Research Guide, Washington University]
* [ The Legal System of Taiwan, Columbus School of Law]
* [ Taiwan law resource page, Washburn University]

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