Supreme Court of Taiwan

Supreme Court of the Republic of China
Building of the Supreme Court
Established 1927
Country Republic of China
Location Taipei, Taiwan
Composition method legislative selection/executive selection/
Authorized by ROC Constitution
Judge term length Life tenure
Chief Justice
Currently Yang Ting-chang
Since February 2012

The Supreme Court of the Republic of China (Chinese: 中華民國最高法院) is the court of last resort in the Republic of China, although matters regarding interpretation of the Constitution and unifying the interpretation of laws and orders are decided by the Constitutional Court of the Judicial Yuan.


In 1927, the government of the Republic of China renamed Dali Yuan (大理院) to the Supreme Court. In 1949, the Supreme Court was moved to Taipei, Taiwan, where the Kuomintang government retreated after the Chinese Civil War.[1]


The Organic Law of the Court states that the judicial system shall be composed of the Supreme Court, High Courts, and District Courts, in which the system of “three-level and three-instance” is used.[2] The Supreme Court is the court of last resort for civil and criminal cases. Except for civil cases involving amounts not exceeding NT $1,500,000 and petty offences enumerated in Article 376 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, any civil or criminal case may be appealed to the Court.[3]

More specifically, the Court exercises jurisdiction over the following cases:[4]

  • appeals from judgments of High Courts or their branches as courts of first instance in criminal cases;
  • appeals from judgments of High Courts or their branches as courts of second instance in civil and criminal cases;
  • appeals from rulings of High Courts or their branches;
  • appeals from judgments or rulings rendered by the civil court of second instance by the summary procedure, the amounts in controversy exceeding NT $1,500,000, and with permission granted in accordance with specified provisions;
  • civil and criminal retrials within the jurisdiction of the court of third instance;
  • extraordinary appeals; or
  • any other case as specified by laws.[4]


Cases are forwarded to either the Civil Section or the Criminal Section, which will record the case according to the year, class of case, as well as order of receipt. The case is reviewed by the Rules for Initial Review of Civil and Criminal Cases. After review, if the Court finds the case is defective, it will send the case back to the original court or order the party to amend the defects. If the Court finds the case to be in good form, the case is then sent to the Case Assignment Subsection, which will assign the case to a certain justice. Cases before the Supreme Court are heard and decided by a panel of five judges, with the Division Chief Judge acting as the presiding judge and the chairperson in deliberation.[5]

The Court decides only issues of law, and must base its decision on the facts ascertained in the judgment of the court of second instance (High Court). An appeal may be made to the Court only on the grounds that the original judgment is in violation of law or order. Documentary review proceedings are the norm, but if necessary, the presiding justice hear oral arguments in which issues of law are debated.[5]

The Supreme Court has a President, who is of the special appointment rank and who is in charge of the administrative affairs of the entire court and who acts concurrently as a Judge.[6]


  • 謝瀛洲(1948-1966)[7]
  • 查良鑑(1966-1968)[7]
  • 陳樸生(1968-1972)[7]
  • 錢國成(1972-1987)[7]
  • 褚劍鴻(1987-1993)[7]
  • 王甲乙(1993-1996)[7]
  • 葛義才(1996-1998)[7]
  • 林明德(1998-2001)[7]
  • 吳啟賓(2001-2007)[7]
  • 楊仁壽(2007-2012)[7]
  • 楊鼎章(2012-)[7]

Prominent Judges

  1. Chang, Chin-lan (張金蘭) was the first female supreme court judge of the Republic of China.

See also


Further reading

  • Chang-fa Lo, The Legal Culture and System of Taiwan, (Kluwer Law International 2006).

External links

  • Official Website of the Supreme Court of ROC
  • Taiwan Law Resources
  • The Judicial Yuan
  • The Ministry of Justice
  • Taipei District Prosecutors Office
  • Legislative Yuan
  • Executive Yuan

Coordinates: 25°2′24″N 121°30′35.6″E / 25.04000°N 121.509889°E / 25.04000; 121.509889

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