Freedom of Expression in Taiwan

The Constitutional Court’s reliance on American theories does not necessarily guarantee free speech at a higher protection level since the Court often appears insensitive to not only a future of innovative communication technology but also the country’s authoritarian past. With regard to the freedom of the media, the majority failed to pay particular attention to the characteristics and significances of respective media in the communication system, not to mention the impact of media convergence, which could subject TV broadcasters to out-of-date restrictions. In addition, although not surprising but definitely dangerous is the Court’s inattention to the unbearable White Terror history in dealing with prior restraint of expression in the 1990s. Fortunately, for Taiwan, an open and plural society with an authoritarian past, the Court has become more cautious and has created the most stringent scrutiny standard for prior restrictions of speech in its latest Interpretation No. 744.