Taipei-Taiwan's legislature passed an amendment bill on Friday to toughen the disciplinary action against judges who have committed wrongdoings.
The amendment to the Judges Act, announced in July 2011, was adopted at the Legislative Yuan's extraordinary session.
Under the approved amendments, the judges or grand justices of the Judicial Yuan who are found guilty of corruption charges or dismissed from office by the Court of the Judiciary in a disciplinary action, must return to the state coffer the salary they have received during the period of time they are suspended from duties pending an investigation.
The amendment also adds a provision to revoke the pension and retirement allowance of retired judges or grand justices who are convicted of corruption.
Prior to the amendment, judges found guilty of corruption or disciplined by the Court of the Judiciary were not required to pay back the salary they received from the time they were suspended and could still receive their pension and other retirement benefits after they are convicted.
The amendment was proposed in the hope of improving the efficiency in taking disciplinary action against corrupt judges, the Legislative Yuan said.
The new rules also applied to prosecutors convicted of corruption, according to the revision.
In addition, the amendment bill streamlines judges' evaluation procedures and allows individuals to apply for an evaluation of a judge's competence directly, instead of being required to have a civil organization do so.
The amendment is part of the government's efforts to reform the judicial system, which has been criticized for doing too little to weed out incompetent judges due to strict requirements for doing so.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel