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J.Y. Interpretation 644 Print
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Saturday, 28 June 2008

J.Y. Interpretation 644

On June 22, the Justices of the Constitutional Court issued interpretation number 644.  This interpretation states that article 2 and 53 of the Civil Associations Act are unconstitutional by limiting the free speech of people wishing to organize with communist ideals.  The chapeau states:

人民團體法對主張共產主義、分裂國土之團體不許可設立規定違憲?

人民團體法第二條規定:「人民團體之組織與活動,不得主張共產主義,或主張分裂國土。」同法第五十三條前段關於「申請設立之人民團體有違反第二條……之規定者,不予許可」之規定部分,乃使主管機關於許可設立人民團體以前,得就人民「主張共產主義,或主張分裂國土」之政治上言論之內容而為審查,並作為不予許可設立人民團體之理由,顯已逾越必要之程度,與憲法保障人民結社自由與言論自由之意旨不符,於此範圍內,應自本解釋公布之日起失其效力。

Here is a quick and unofficial translation:

Is the regulation prohibiting the establishment of Civil Associations based on their communist or national territory beliefs unconstitutional?  

Article 2 of the Civil Associations act states:  “The organization and activities of civil associations may not advocate communism or advocate for the division of the national territory.”  Similarly, the first half of article 53 states that “An application for establishment of a civil association that violates the provision of Article 2 … shall be rejected.”  This wording gives relevant authorities [Ministry of the Interior] the investigative authority to determine whether the political views of such Civil Association “advocate communism or advocate for the division of the national territory” before the permission for establishment is granted.  This court finds that this exceeds necessary requirements for Civil Associations right of lawful establishment and is not in keeping with the Constitutional protection of the right of assembly and free speech.  Within the scope defined herein, we find that from the day this Interpretation is promulgated that these articles have no effect.



Justice Tzu-Yi Lin's concurring opinion can be found here.
Justice Tzong-Li Hsu's concurring opinion can be found here.
Justice Yu-hsiu Hsu's report concurring in part and dissenting in part can be found here.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 28 June 2008 )
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