The Guardian's May 29, 2024 Taiwan passes controversial reform bill after violence and protests summarizes the current situation.

The bills were driven by the two major opposition parties, the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) and populist Taiwan People’s party (TPP), which together hold a majority of the parliament after gaining ground over the ruling Democratic Progressive party (DPP) in January’s elections.

and later

Late on Tuesday, the ruling party told media it would reject the new bill and send it back for review. The party also said it would seek a legal ruling on its constitutionality. Caucus whip Ker Chien-ming said the content of the bill was “absolutely unconstitutional”, and also questioned the legality of the voting process.

This sounds analogous to a presidential veto. In the US, a veto can be overridden if there are sufficient votes in congress. But 1) I don't know how this process works in Taiwan, and 2) I don't know how the ruling party would seek and obtain a legal ruling on its constitutionality. Would it be from the Taiwan Supreme Court, or the Judicial Yuan or both, or neither?


1 Answer 1


It is analgous to a presidential veto, but there are two separate actions being referred to here.

The first action is a request by the Executive Yuan to the Legislative Yuan to reconsider the bill in accordance with the third additional article of the Taiwanese constitution:

Should the Executive Yuan deem a statutory, budgetary, or treaty bill passed by the Legislative Yuan difficult to execute, the Executive Yuan may, with the approval of the president of the Republic and within ten days of the bill's submission to the Executive Yuan, request the Legislative Yuan to reconsider the bill. The Legislative Yuan shall reach a resolution on the returned bill within 15 days after it is received. Should the Legislative Yuan be in recess, it shall convene of its own accord within seven days and reach a resolution within 15 days after the session begins. Should the Legislative Yuan not reach a resolution within the said period of time, the original bill shall become invalid. Should more than one-half of the total number of Legislative Yuan members uphold the original bill, the president of the Executive Yuan shall immediately accept the said bill.

This is helpfully summarised by the following graphic produced by the Central News Agency:

enter image description here

Secondly, and separately, Taiwan's constitutional court - the Judicial Yuan - may be petitioned for a constitutional interpretation of the law, which could have the result that the law is declared unconstitutional. In accordance with article 49 of the Constitutional Court Procedure Act, a quarter of the legislators in the Legislative Yuan may undertake such an action:

A quarter or more of the incumbent Legislators who, in the exercise of their powers, believe that the relevant statutory law is in contravention of the Constitution may lodge a petition with the Constitutional Court for a judgment declaring the impugned statutory law unconstitutional.

The DPP hold more than a quarter of the seats in the legislature, so are able to take this step. If both of the above steps are unsuccessful, then the bill will become law.

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