Washington International Law Journal


Winston Hsiao


October of 1995 marks the Republic of China's ("ROC") fiftieth anniversary of occupation in Taiwan. The ROC's impressive democratization in recent years follows a history of autocratic rule. Fear of government reprisal and a non-rights oriented neo-Confucian culture contributed to the people's slow assertion of their constitutional rights. Presently, the ROC's paradoxical international status raises important accountability issues. Though domestic courts now provide a more impartial forum for claims to be heard, international remedies are drastically limited should domestic ones fail. Expelled from the U.N. in 1971 and not officially recognized by most nation states, the ROC remains frightfully independent in an era of increasing interstate accountability. Nevertheless, under accepted principles of international law, the ROC qualifies as a sovereign state and remains bound by the customary international law of human rights. For the ROC national whose rights have been infringed upon, there is no international recourse under the many instruments of the United Nations. The only non-domestic legal remedy exists in the United States under the Alien Tort Claims Act.

First Page