Prosecutors Search Law Firms, Illegal Accommodation of Foreigners, Amendment to Renewable Energy.
Prosecutors Search Law Firms. The Constitutional Court rules: partially unconstitutional.
The Taiwan Constitutional Court made its judgment on June 16th, 2023, holding that Paragraph 2 of Article 122 and Paragraph 1 of Article 133 of the Criminal Procedure Law are partially unconstitutional because the articles at issue do not exclude confidential communication between lawyers and defenders or criminal suspects from search and seizure. The Constitutional Court in this case affirms the confidentiality of communications between lawyers and clients should be protected (i.e. the attorney-client privilege) to uphold defenders’ constitutional right to secret communication and constitutional right to due process, as well as lawyers’ constitutional right to work. The Constitutional Court reasoned that the right to private and free communication between the lawyer and the defendant is to protect the defendant's right to litigation and the lawyer's right to assist and defend effectively, and at the same time to protect the defendant's right not to testify against himself and to receive a fair trial.If the right to private and free communication is violated, the defendant will not be able to effectively exercise his right of defense. The Constitutional Court further stated that the attorney-client privilege does not apply when there are sufficient facts to prove that the lawyer has destroyed, forged, altered evidence, or colluded with accomplices or witnesses. The Constitutional Court concluded that the relevant articles should be amended within 2 years. Before the articles at issue are amended, search and seizure should be handled in accordance with this judgment. Source : Judicial Yuan News
Illegal Accommodation of Foreigners who Overstay in Taiwan can be fined up to 1 million NTD.
In recent years, the social security issues have been arising from the increase in the number of undocumented nationals or foreigners who overstay in Taiwan, the Immigration Act is therefore amended to increase the amount of maximum fines on illegal overstay in Taiwan from 10 thousands NTD to 50 thousands NTD and extend the maximum period of prohibition of entry from 3 years to 7 years. In addition, article 25 of the current Immigration Act stipulates that if foreigners want to obtain permanent residence in Taiwan, they must stay in Taiwan for more than 183 days a year. The Immigration Agency stated that this article no longer meets the current needs. The Immigration Act is revised to relax the requirement by allowing “average” residence of more than 183 days per year in the past five years. In order to attract outstanding foreign talents to come to Taiwan and stay in Taiwan, the amendment adds that the spouses, minor children and disabled children of applicants who have made special contributions to Taiwan, who are senior professionals in various professional fields, or who invest in Taiwan under investment immigration, may also apply for permanent residence along with the applicants. Furthermore, the time limit for applying for a residence permit for foreigners after entering Taiwan has been extended from 15 days to 30 days so that foreigners have enough time to find a residence and get familiar with the environment. Source : Lawbank Website
Amendment to Renewable Energy Development Act to Require Installment of Rooftop Solar Panels.
The amendment Renewable Energy Development Act states that government agencies, public schools or public enterprises are built, expanded or renovated, are required to install renewable energy power generation equipment when the construction conditions meet the installation conditions. Prior to the amendment, government agencies, public schools or public enterprises are encouraged to install renewable energy power generation equipment. Furthermore, for private buildings, the amendment stipulates that the builders for all new buildings, additions, or renovations of buildings above a certain scale shall install solar photovoltaic power generation equipment with a certain capacity or more, except for insufficient sunlight or other exempt circumstances. A special chapter on geothermal was added to clarify the administrative procedures for geothermal development. Those who need to explore geothermal energy for the installation of power generation equipment shall apply to the central competent authority for a geothermal energy exploration permit. The central competent authority should conduct the review together with the local competent authorities. The validity period of the geothermal energy exploration permit is two years, and those who have justified reasons may apply to the central competent authority for extension and the number of extensions application are allowed for two times.
Source : Ministry of Economic Affairs Website