German Basic Law in Chinese translation

I attended a Judicial Reform seminar in Taipei on September 13th. I ran into Judicial Yuan Secretary-General Yang and he said that my suggestion for putting the complete Chinese translation of the German Basic Law on the Judicial Yuan website is moving forward smoothly. Frankly speaking, this suggestion is my small contribution to “judicial reform” in Taiwan.

According to a telephone call which I received from the Judicial Yuan this past Monday, Sept. 16th, the expected date for completion and posting on the web is early November, 2002.

I think that this is an important milestone. While the US Constitution in Chinese translation is widely available, the German Basic Law (German Constitution) is not. This is a real problem for those of us doing legal research and comparative legal studies in Taiwan, especially since the Taiwan legal code is said to be based on the German model, which is the so-called “continental law system”!

President Chen and various members of the Cabinet, Legislative Yuan, National Assembly, etc. all seem to be quite interested in updating the ROC Constitution. As to what legal documents and studies they are researching in connection with such a momentous undertaking, I don’t know. To my knowledge, they have little awareness of German legal precedent in this area. This is of course complicated by the fact that it is extremely difficult to find a Chinese translation of the German Basic Law at present. Moreover, although I have spoken to many Legislators, I have never met one who was familiar with the content of the German Basic Law; yet they frequently make pronouncements to the effect that they are researching “needed changes to the ROC Constitution”!

From the point of view of human rights, the specifications of the first nineteen articles are quite noteworthy.

I would add that the English translation of the German Basic Law is widely available on the internet.

The Chinese translation of the German Basic Law is here –

Additional Chinese resources, including the US Constitution in Chinese, are here –

I’ll pass that along to my friends at the Institutuum Iurisprudentiae – I bet they’re gonna LOVE this! Good job, dude!