Despite its troubled statehood, Taiwan has made progress in accepting major international human rights treaties since the late 1990s. Most significant of these were the ratification in 2009 of the ICCPR and the ICESCR. The same year, the adoption of the Implementation Act guaranteed the rights described in the two covenants. Against the backdrop of this development, this paper is aimed at analyzing how Taiwan incorporates the ICCPR into its legal system. Till now, much progress has been achieved but serious challenges still remain for its full implementation. The progress includes domesticating other core human rights treaties, facilitating the dealings of transitional justice, and legalizing same-sex marriage. Despite those developments, the abolition of the death penalty still faces many challenges. The government of Taiwan will take more action to move toward goal, which is compatible with the spirit of the ICCPR.
Although Taiwan is a state without membership in the United Nations (UN), it is classified as a sui generis entity by most textbooks on international law. Despite its special status in the international community, Taiwan has tried in the past decade to implement many international human rights standards devised by the UN, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). This paper will introduce the legal challenges Taiwan faces in implementing the ICESCR from the perspectives of international and domestic law. This entails analyzing the provisions of the ICESCR and its relationship with subsequently enacted domestic laws in Taiwan, discussing the role of domestic courts in implementing the ICESCR, and assessing decisions involving its application made by the two Supreme Courts of Taiwan.
Despite being a non-party of the CEDAW, Taiwan voluntarily complies domestically with the convention. Pursuant to the CEDAWIA, the government has undergone three rounds of the review process for state reports and two rounds of norm-congruency examinations. Through these implementation mechanisms, Taiwan has incorporated the CEDAW’s norms in its domestic legal system. This paper begins with a brief history of Taiwan’s advocacy, ratification, and incorporation of the CEDAW into its domestic legal system. It further reviews how civil society, scholars, and the government’s gender equality agency worked together to promote and realize gender equality policy through various mechanisms on the implementation of the CEDAW. Further, selected issues also illustrate that the implementation process is inextricably entangled with the gendered culture and customs, and highlight how the CEDAW helps to resist, or alternatively, in some cases fails to change, Taiwan’s patriarchal society.
This paper provides an overview of Taiwan’s incorporation of the CRC, outlines the main areas of work undertaken by the Taiwan Government pursuant to the CRC Implementation Act, and offers examples of major themes in implementing the convention. The first few years of the CRC Implementation Act have been a starting point for systematic law reform and large-scale awareness-raising of children’s rights throughout Taiwanese society. Positive examples of how the CRC has been used to advance policymaking and legislative reforms within Taiwan are, most notably, the rise of a culture supporting the participation of young people in public affairs, and the recent amendment to the Juvenile Delinquency Act. However, the lack of independent monitoring and the use of the CRC in the courts are areas that continue to face challenges.
Taiwan had started to show its concerns about persons with disabilities with a legal framework solely based on social assistance. However, the disabled remained socially disabled, with only restricted access to human rights protection. The 2014 domestication of CRPD Convention in Taiwan created a strong scheme to finally empower the disabled. This paper argues that the CRPD implementation process reflects a quest for real partnership between disabled persons, public authorities and different social actors. Following a series of legal amendments, serious debates go on with the procedural design for reasonable accommodation, forced institutionalization and claim right on the ground of CRPD protected rights. Taiwan also needs to establish an integral action plan regarding the right to live independently within community, in particular for mentally disabled persons.