On Jan. 11th, Judicature's Day, the Ministry Of Justice opened the “Prosecutorial Exhibition of the century” at Wen Ying Hall, Cultural Affairs Bureau, Taichung City, exhibiting relevant cultural items and cases documenting progress from the last 100 years of Taiwan’s prosecution system. The Exhibition goes from the 11th to the 30th and is open everyday from 13:00 to 21:00 except Monday.
Minister of Justice Shih, Mou-lin attended the opening ceremony on Jan 11th. Taichung City Mayor Jason C. Hu, Legislator & Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the Legislative Yuan, Kuo, Lin-yung, Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office prosecutor general Wu, Ying-chao, and director general of the Taiwan Bar Association Shih, Tien-wen all came to deliver their congratulations.
Minister Shih expressed in his speech that the prosecution system has evolved a great deal where current prosecutors are considered as symbol of justice and are very concerned with minority groups in our society. The prosecution mechanism is more internationalized and modernized. It does not just stop at prosecuting the criminals. It also becomes the voice for many minority groups. He cited the Rebar case as an example and emphasized the active role of prosecutors in social justice.
Mayor Hu said that in the last few decades prosecutors began to receive more attention from the media and the general public only in the last couple of years. Prosecution cases regularly make the headlines. He expected the prosecutor general would soon be selected by the central government to lead and effectively implement the prosecution system. Mayor Hu also praised Minister Shih as being a friend from the legal system that shows a great deal of appreciation for the arts. Both Chai Found Music Workshop’s performance and dances by Taiwanese aboriginals were arranged for the opening ceremony. Even the exhibition chose Wen Yin Hall, the cultural center of Taichung as the location. Mayor Hu also made a joke that aboriginal dancing performed by prosecutors might be considered next year. His humor drew a heartfelt laugh from the audience.
The Exhibition was last show in the Taipei City Y17 Center in mid June of last year and received many positive feedbacks. Many suggested that there should be more showings of the exhibition. The ministry helps to better educate the people of Central and Southern Taiwan about the prosecution system by bringing the exhibition to them.
The Exhibition has 5 major themes. The first encompasses the establishment of the prosecution system, including historical documents related to Taiwanese prosecution progress during Japanese Colonial era and the turning period between the Ching Dynasty and the Republic. The second concerns the role of prosecutors that is shown with real historical criminal cases or documents. The third covers the important events that changed the history of prosecution authority while the fourth introduces personnel and cultivation mechanisms for prosecutors. The fifth displays a replica of a courtroom so visitors can experience what it is like in real life.
The establishment of the prosecution system is a milestone for a nation ruled by laws to embrace modernization of criminal prosecution. The Chinese prosecution system has a century of history, tracing back to Kuang-Hsue Year 32 of the Ching Dynasty when the Organic Law of Court was enacted in 1906. Article 12 of the Law stipulated the trial institutes affiliated with the Ta Li Yuan had to be presided by prosecutors. In 1907, it was officially designated as the trial institute together with the general prosecution office as the final prosecution establishment. 2006 marked the system’s 100th year anniversary.
Taiwan had its own prosecution system and started prosecuting criminal cases in 1896. It was established when the Court Regulation of the Taiwan Colonial Government was promulgated in Meiji Year 29 (1896) during early Japanese Colonial era. This means the prosecution system in Taiwan has been in place for more than 110 years.
The Exhibition presents progress of the prosecution system and shows the entire process of a criminal case from investigation, prosecution, trial, appeal, to execution through witness of documents, warrants and certificates.
The Exhibition includes historical criminal events, including the Hsi Lai An Incident and Shu Tong Chi’s serial murder in 1983, as well as the evaluation of employee work ethics in the Prosecution Office during the Japanese Colonial era, lawsuit documents in early Republic years, the Guide for Judicial Administration Staff in Wang Jing Wei's puppet government, hand writings of prosecutors victimized in the 228 Event, and an Amnesty Certificate of Huang, Hsin Chieh in 1990. Some rare and fascinating documents will all be on display.
Besides historical documents, replicas of prosecution room and waiting room are also on display. Children can wear prosecutor gowns and have their pictures taken and experience what it is like being in a courtroom.