Washington International Law Journal


Ernest Caldwell


The Republic of China on Taiwan (“Taiwan”) successfully and peacefully transitioned from authoritarian, one-party rule into a constitutional democracy in the early 1990s. However, due to the island’s complex international status and fraught relationship with China, as well as a rather conservative government approach to post-authoritarian discourse on past human rights violations, there has been relatively little scholarly interest in Anglophone academia on Taiwanese transitional justice issues. This Article seeks to deepen our understanding of East Asian transitional justice by examining the influence of post-democratization local conditions on the scope and language of transitional justice legislation during two phases of Taiwan’s legislative history. The first period runs from the initial steps towards democratization in 1987 until 2016. During this time the Chinese Nationalist Party, which governed the former authoritarian regime, continued to dominate the Taiwanese government, and, in particular, retained its majority in the Legislative Yuan. The second period runs from January 2016 to the present. During this second period, the Democratic Progressive Party managed to secure both the presidency and a legislative majority.

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