Transitional Justice Commission

The Transitional Justice Commission (TJC; Chinese: 促進轉型正義委員會; pinyin: Cùjìn Zhuǎnxíng Zhèngyì Wěiyuánhuì) is an independent government agency of the Republic of China, established by the Executive Yuan on May 31, 2018. The commission is responsible for the investigation of actions taken by the Kuomintang between August 15, 1945 and November 6, 1992.

Transitional Justice Commission
促進轉型正義委員會
Cùjìn Zhuǎnxíng Zhèngyì Wěiyuánhuì
Transitional Justice Commission Logo.png
Agency overview
Formed31 May 2018
JurisdictionRepublic of China
HeadquartersDa'an, Taipei
Agency executives
  • Yang Tsui Chinese: 楊翠, Acting Chairperson
  • Vacant, Vice Chairperson
Websitewww.tjc.gov.tw (in Chinese)

HistoryEdit

The Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例) was passed by the Legislative Yuan on 5 December 2017. The act sought to rectify injustices committed by the authoritarian Kuomintang government of the Republic of China on Taiwan, and to this end established the Transitional Justice Commission to investigate actions taken from 15 August 1945, the date of the Jewel Voice Broadcast, to 6 November 1992, when president Lee Teng-hui lifted the Temporary Provisions against the Communist Rebellion for Fujian Province, Republic of China, ending the period of mobilization.[1][2] This time period, in particular, includes the February 28 Incident as well as White Terror.

The committee's main aims include: making political archives more readily available, removing authoritarian symbols, redressing judicial injustice, and producing a report on the history of the period which delineates steps to further promote transitional justice.[3] Huang Huang-hsiung was chosen to chair the committee[4][5] and five other members were nominated by March 31, 2018: Chang Tien-chin, Hua Yih-fen, Hsu Hsueh-chi, Eleng Tjaljimaraw, and Greg Yo.[6][7] Peng Jen-yu, Yang Tsui, and Yeh Hung-ling were selected on April 7.[8] All nine candidates were confirmed on May 2018, though both the Kuomintang and People First Party legislative caucuses abstained from voting.[9][10] The committee began operations on May 31, 2018.[11] Following a scandal, vice chairman Chang Tien-chin resigned from the commission on September 12, 2018,[12][13] Huang Huang-hsiung resigned the chairmanship on October 6, 2018,[14][15] and Yang Tsui (楊翠) was subsequently appointed acting chairperson.[16]

Interaction with other transitional justice organizationsEdit

The commission has worked together with other organizations dedicated to transitional justice, such as the May 18 Memorial Foundation from South Korea[17] and the Stasi Records Agency of Germany[18]. An exhibit on the Gwangju Uprising opened in Taipei on December 6, 2019 and a letter of intent to hold regular workshops and exchanges with the Stasi Records Agency was signed on December 13, 2019.

Recommendations and resulting legislation or actionsEdit

The commission has made several recommendations which resulted in legislation or action.

  • The commission has made recommendations to exonerate people convicted of crimes during White Terror. The first recommendation, also the first in Taiwanese history, came on October 5, 2018, when 1,270 people were exonerated, including writer Yang Kui and 27 Taiwanese aborigines.[19][20][21] On February 27, 1,056 people were exonerated.[22] On May 30, 2019, 3,062 people were exonerated, including former vice president Annette Lu, former mayor of Kaohsiung Chen Chu and Shih Ming-teh.[23] Thus far, a total of 5,837 have been exonerated due to recommendations made by the commission [24]
  • On December 17, 2018, the commission recommended that the honor guard at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall be discontinued, as it is a symbol of the authoritarian era. The commission also recommended that the hall display permanent exhibits dedicated to human rights and democracy.[25]
  • On March 30, 2019, the commission announced its intention to survey roads in Taiwan named after Chiang Kai-shek for potential renaming, as well as a survey on statues of Chiang in parks across the country for potential removal.[26]
  • On July 4, 2019, the Legislative Yuan passed a bill declassifying all government documents relating to the February 28 Incident, White Terror and period of mobilization. When the act was passed, the National Security Bureau held files concerning the deaths of Chen Wen-chen and the Lin family massacre which were still classified.[27][28][29]
  • On September 22, 2019, the commission chairwoman Yang Tsui announced that a public database consisting of government documents related to trials during martial law would be launched before the end of the year. [30]
  • On December 7, 2019, commission announced that government intelligence reports regarding the Kaohsiung Incident had been declassified. The reports were said to show that the government had an informer inside staff of Formosa Magazine, which organized the protests. The commission did not say when the reports would be released to the public. [31]

Eastern Depot scandalEdit

During an internal meeting on August 24, 2018, vice chairperson Chang Tien-chin named Hou You-yi, who was then running for mayor of New Taipei City as a member of the opposition Kuomintang party, as a potential subject of investigation to benefit his party, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, in the 2018 Taiwanese municipal elections. During the conversation, researcher Hsiao Jinan compared the committee to the Eastern Depot from the Ming Dynasty. Associate researcher Wu Pei-rong recorded the conversation and leaked it to the media. It was published on September 11, 2018 and resulted in Chang's resignation the next day, followed by Wu and Hsiao shortly thereafter.[32] Commission chair Huang aso resigned a month later.[14] Chang was later impeached by the Control Yuan on October 1, 2019.[33]

ChairpersonsEdit

  Democratic Progressive Party   Independent/unknown

No. Name Term of Office Days Political Party Premier
1 Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄) 31 May 2018 6 October 2018 128 Democratic Progressive Party William Lai
Yang Tsui (楊翠) 16 October 2018 Incumbent 460 William Lai
Su Tseng-chang

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lin, Sean (6 December 2017). "Lawmakers pass transitional justice act". Taipei Times. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Legislature passes bill promoting transitional justice". Taiwan Today. 7 December 2017. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  3. ^ Shih, Hsiu-chuan (27 March 2018). "Veteran democracy advocate to lead transitional justice work". Central News Agency. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  4. ^ Peng, Wan-hsin; Chin, Jonathan (28 March 2018). "Transitional justice group head picked". Taipei Times. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  5. ^ Lee, Hsin-fang; Hsiao, Sherry (26 March 2018). "Faculty tipped for justice committee". Taipei Times. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  6. ^ Hou, Elaine; Low, Y.F. (31 March 2018). "Taiwan's Cabinet announces nominees to transitional justice committee". Central News Agency. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  7. ^ Hsu, Stacy (1 April 2018). "Six justice committee members named". Taipei Times. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  8. ^ Lin, Hsing-meng; Low, Y.F. (7 April 2018). "Remaining 3 nominees to transitional justice committee named". Central News Agency. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  9. ^ Chen, Chun-hua; Fan, Cheng-hsiang; Ku, Chuan; Shih, Hsiu-chuan; Kao, Evelyn (8 May 2018). "Legislature approves nominees to transitional justice committee". Central News Agency. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  10. ^ Lin, Sean (9 May 2018). "All transitional justice panel nominees OK'd". Taipei Times. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  11. ^ Yeh, Su-ping; Kao, Evelyn (31 May 2018). "Taiwan launches Transitional Justice Commission". Taiwan News. Central News Agency. Archived from the original on 31 May 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  12. ^ Huang, Sunrise; Lee, Shu-hua; Ku, Chuan; Kao, Evelyn (12 September 2018). "Transitional Justice Commission vice chairman resigns". Central News Agency. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  13. ^ Hsu, Stacy (13 September 2018). "Deputy chairman resigns from Transitional Justice". Taipei Times. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  14. ^ a b Hsu, Stacy (7 October 2018). "Transitional justice chairman resigns". Taipei Times. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  15. ^ Hou, Elaine; Lee, Hsin-Yin (6 October 2018). "Taiwan's Transitional Justice Commission chairman resigns". Central News Agency. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  16. ^ Lee, Hsin-fang; Wen, Yu-te; Hsiao, Sherry (2 November 2018). "Commission outlines options for statues". Taipei Times. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  17. ^ Chen, Yu-fu; Xie, Dennis (December 7, 2019). "Exhibition on S Korea's Gwangju Uprising opens". Taipei Times. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Wang, Flor; Lin, Yu-li (December 13, 2019). "Taiwan, Germany sign deal on promoting transitional justice". Central News Agency. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  19. ^ Lin, Sean (October 6, 2018). "Commission exonerates 1,270 people". Taipei Times. Taiwan. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  20. ^ "Taiwan pardons over 1,200 'White Terror' victims". France 24. France. October 5, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  21. ^ Chen, Yu-fu (December 10, 2019). "Commission exonerates 1,505 people". Taipei Times. Taiwan. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  22. ^ "Justice commission set to exonerate 1,056 people". Central News Agency. Taiwan. January 25, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  23. ^ "Transitional Justice Commission exonerates 2,006 political persecution victims". Taiwan Today. Taiwan. June 3, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  24. ^ "Politics Ceremony held to mark exoneration of 3,062 political victims". Central News Angecy. Taiwan. July 7, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  25. ^ "Commission advises withdrawal of honor guard at CKS Memorial Hall". Central News Agency. Taiwan. December 17, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  26. ^ Chen, Yu-fu; Heatherington, William (April 2, 2019). "Zhongzheng Road count expected to end by September". Taipei Times. Taiwan. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  27. ^ "Taiwan's parliament passes bill on declassifying political files". Central News Agency. Taiwan. July 4, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  28. ^ "Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to face 'transitional justice'". Central News Agency. Taiwan. February 25, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  29. ^ Huang, Hsin-po; Chin, Jonathan (July 28, 2018). "Commission vows follow-up on secret White Terror files". Taipei Times. Taiwan. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  30. ^ Chen, Yu-fu; Chin, Jonathan (September 22, 2019). "Transitional Justice database launch to happen this year". Taipei Times. Taiwan. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  31. ^ Hsieh, Chia-chen; Mazzetta, Matthew (December 7, 2019). "Intelligence reports on Kaohsiung Incident declassified". Central News Agency. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  32. ^ 林思慧 (2018-09-11). "【促轉會淪選戰打手】打侯會議 談話重點還原" (in Chinese). 鏡周刊. Archived from the original on 2018-09-12. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  33. ^ }}cite news|url=http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2019/10/02/2003723268%7Clast=Hsieh%7Cfirst=Chun-lin%7Cdate=October 2, 2019|work=Taipei Times|title=Chang Tien-chin impeached over neutrality breach|access-date=October 29, 2019}}