Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)


This research focuses on a recent judicial reform measure proposed by the Taiwanese Judicial Yuan in 2011. The measure’s objective was to improve the criminal justice system via the implementation of a so-called “lay observer system.” The dissertation begins with an analysis regarding whether the Taiwanese criminal justice system needs to reform, and it considers whether the introduction of the proposed lay observer system would be a reasonable means of achieving the Judicial Yuan’s goals and meeting its expectations, which include rebuilding the Taiwanese society’s trust in the professional judges’ credibility and the court’s fairness. The second part of this dissertation delves into historical research. Not only does this section discuss those traditional lay participation trial patterns, which include the jury systems and lay judge systems, but it also examines the mixture systems in Japan and South Korea. This helps to better understand and determine the origins of lay participation systems in different countries.

In addition, by addressing the reasons as to why previous attempts to implement lay participation systems in Taiwan have failed and by looking at contemporary concerns regarding lay participation, this dissertation will challenge and resolve probable constitutional issues pertaining to the implementation of the proposed lay observer system. Moreover, historical analysis as well as a comparison of the various lay participation systems, confirm that Taiwan’s current proposed system is the best means of improving the Taiwanese criminal justice system. Lastly, the dissertation will give practical recommendations and remind remaining issues with regard to the proposed system to ensure that defendants receive fairer and just trial proceedings once the proposed lay observer system is established in Taiwan.