In order to establish a judicial system with people’s trust from the bottom up, we combine civil forces, urge relevant government units to thoroughly and long-term engage in judicial reform.
Look forward to a day...
when law-abiding individuals are not alone, when wrongdoers are afraid, and when everyone can receive justice in their hearts.
Look forward to a day...
when justice becomes our shared promise, a promise of fair trials, equal culture, and a society that embodies justice.
Advancing the Judicial Integrity and Capacity in Taiwan
"Since 1995, JRF has made noteworthy advancements in Taiwan's judicial reform. With the combined strength of the communities, JRF has successfully promoted reform and urged government agencies to fully and continuously engage in judicial reforms over the past 27 years. JRF has gathered groups of enthusiastic partners from all sectors, including lawyers, academics, and legislators. JRF is leading judicial reforms in Taiwan and has a solid track record of mobilizing the local community to reach social consensus.
To create a fair and effective justice system that deserves public trust, we believe the reforms involved ought to be a community-wide, proactive, and continuous effort. To this end, the JRF has categorized its work into the following broad categories: legislative research, judicial supervision and evaluation, rule of law education and promotion, case tracking.
With the objectives of fortifying ties with civic and legal organizations around the world for its cause and for sharing and exchanging experiences and knowledge about human rights and the rule of law, the JRF International Department was founded in late 2020, with international engagements including the 709 Crackdown in China in 2015, the disappearance, arrest, and incarceration of a Taiwanese human rights NGO worker Lee Ming-che in China in 2017, the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution in 2017 and the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement in 2019. "
Examples of Key Strategies and Outcomes
JRF strategies contributed to many key accomplishments in 2021-22, some of which include:
In early 2021, JRF organized the "Alliance to Monitor the Enforcement of the National Judge Act". The purpose of this project is to encourage public participation and require the official release of more complete documents. In April 2021, JRF held briefing sessions in Taipei and Taichung to recruit people to join the "Moot Court Citizen Observer Group".
JRF actively interacts with the general public and establishes a grievance-response mechanism, in which professionals receive complaints from the public. Since JRF established its Complaint Center in 2011, JRF has received complaints from more than 1,000 people every year. The Complaint Center received 978 cases in total in 2022. Through the Line channel, 439 complaints in total were made. 35 of these involved complaints from prison, while 86 involved interviews.
To safeguard criminal investigations against human rights violations, JRF lead the initiative and had completed the civil version of the Technology Investigation Act for the criminal procedure system, held internal and intergroup discussions, and presented the civil version to members of Congress. Furthermore, JRF also participated in the workshop at the Taiwan Internet Governance Forum (TWIGF) Annual Conference, hosted a number of technology law salons, and held community advocacy actions about the Act.
Social activism, internship programs, e-newsletters, on-campus mock trials, lectures, and the resumption of the scholarship program for essays on judicial reform are all part of the effort. For instance, in 2021, JRF organized four national exhibitions that attracted more than 2,204 visitors from all over Taiwan as part of the “Chiou Ho-shun’s 32 Years of Being Forgotten” and "There's No Such Person - Seven Years of the 324 Violent Eviction at the Executive Yuan" special exhibitions in the social advocacy section.
With the ease on the pandemic restrictions, JRF continues to hold its well-known internship program, hosting 197 students for a combined 18,547 hours in the Taipei and Taichung offices. The "Sisi" e-newsletter was also kept up, with 4,906 subscribers and four issues in 2022, a gain of 557 subscribers from the previous year.
Who We Are
The Judicial Reform Foundation (JRF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1995 by a group of human rights lawyers in Taiwan. The JRF is committed to the protection of human rights and rule of law by reforming the judicial system in Taiwan.
Now we have two offices in Taipei and Taichung. Through case work, campaign and advocacy, rights education, and legal research, it has been pushing for enhanced transparency and justice in the criminal procedure. It is in this context that the JRF also monitors the performance of the court and the prosecutors in Taiwan invoking the international standard and principles.
What We Do
According to the bylaws of the foundation, we work in the following ways：
- Research on judicial systems and regulations and advocates for the enactment or amendment of necessary clauses that promote human rights.
- Combine civil forces to supervise the proper operation of the judicial system, promote and urge reform of the judicial system.
- Monitor the quality of judicial personnel and their judgments.
- Promote Rule of law to the public through educational ways
- Advocate human rights, democracy, rule of law, and other matters related to judicial reform.
Our Key Tasks
Law and Policy
Monitoring the Citizen Judge Law, Crime Victims' Rights Protection Project, Criminal Procedure Act Project, Project to Reduce Judicial Burden and Improve Judicial Quality, Technology Investigation Act, and the Project to Promote the Principle of Non-disclosure of Investigations, etc.
Wrongdoing Case and Pro bono Legal Service
Complaint Center, Wrongful Convictions (take up cases including Su Chien-ho, Chiou Ho-shun, and Chen Jing-kai cases) and the Sunflower Movement Lawyers Team, etc.
Advocacy and Organization
Social activism, internship programs, e-newsletters, on-campus mock trials, lectures, and the resumption of the scholarship program for essays on judicial reform are all part of the effort.
As part of its new initiatives on international engagement and in addition to working on justice issues in Taiwan, the JRF has worked to rally voices on the international front over the past few years before the department on international affairs was set up. The issues followed included the 709 Crackdown in China in 2015, the disappearance, arrest, and incarceration of a Taiwanese human rights NGO worker Lee Ming-che in China in 2017, the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution in 2017 and the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement in 2019.
The main focus in 2023
Monitor National Judicial Reform Policy
With the approach of the 2024 Taiwan presidential election, how will the next president continue the work of judicial reform is also the primary concern. In 2023, we will gather non-governmental organizations to jointly integrate issues and monitor each presidential candidate's political opinions related to judicial reform and human rights.
Monitor Judicial procedure reform, Citizen Judges Act, Digital Law
In 2023, in response to the Judicial Yuan’s expected promotion of the reform of the judicial procedure and the imminent implementation of the Citizen Judges Act, the Judicial Reform Foundation will continue to monitor the implementation of regulations and strive to protect the people’s legal rights. At the same time, the Judicial Reform Foundation will also carry out judicial reform work in response to the newest trend, such as focusing on the enactment and monitoring digital law and supervision projects.
Localization and Internationalization
We will also continue to put effort into Rule of Law education on the ground level. We expect to strengthen cooperation with local bar associations and have the opportunity to develop new strongholds in southern Taiwan in the future. At the same time, We will also create more opportunities for international cooperation and exchanges, to make the world see the effort that the JRF and Taiwan made to promote judicial reform and to learn from foreign experiences to respond to the need of local reform.