The British Trade & Cultural Office has worked with three EU parties to invite four European judges to participate in the fourth “EU Taiwan Judicial Exchange Programme” in Taipei on 13-17 October. The programme aims to facilitate serious exchanges on the subject of human rights and justice between European judges and Taiwanese judicial professionals. The programme will also include a dialogue with Taiwanese society on the topic of the death penalty and why Europe abandoned it.
The members of the European delegation are all senior European practitioners of law and have vast experience in courts and human rights issues. The members include Lady Leeona Dorrian of the Supreme Court of Scotland, , , Judge Regis De Jorna of the Paris Court of Assises, Judge Christian Schmitz-Justen of the Cologne Higher Regional Court, and Judge Peer Lorenzen of the Danish Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights. This is also the first time that a judge from the European Court of Human Rights will visit Taiwan.
During the Programme, the delegation will in a series of seminars where the European judges will present case studies and share their experience on sentencing for serious crimes and on trials with defendants suffering from mental disorders. The seminars will be joined by Taiwanese judges, legal academics and psychiatric assessment experts.
The delegation will then participate on 15 October in a seminar in National Taiwan University (College of Law) organised by the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty to discuss with Taiwanese academics and other participants why Europe abandoned the death penalty. Members of the public can register to attend the event on the EU Taiwan Judicial Exchange Programme website
During their stay in Taiwan, the delegation will meet with Vice President Wu Den-Yih acting also as the Chairman of the Presidential Office Human Rights Consultative Committee, President Rai Hau-Min of the Judicial Yuan, Minister Luo Ying-Shay of the Ministry of Justice, members of the Legislative Yuan Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, and Chairperson Tsai Ying-Wen of the Democratic Progressive Party. The delegation will then travel to Tainan and visit the Tainan Branch of the Taiwan High Court to hold an exchange of practical experiences on dealing with trials on serious crimes.
The delegation of European judges was jointly invited by the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO), the British Trade and Cultural Office, the French Office in Taipei, German Institute Taipei together with Taiwanese partners.
“The EU Taiwan Judicial Exchange Programme is the result of close collaboration between Taiwan and Europe. It offers a valuable platform of exchange, and we hope that this event will become a permanent feature on Taiwan’s judicial calendar, and contribute to keeping Taiwan in tune with the international trend on the issues of human rights.” Commented Frederic Laplanche, the Head of the EETO.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is an institution under the Council of Europe and not the European Union. The ECHR is composed of 47 judges nominated by the 47 member states, and is mandated to uphold the European Convention on Human Rights. Judge Lorenzen retired from the ECHR in April this year after serving the Court for 16 years.