Some research which I have been doing over the past few years involves how to introduce Anglo-American legal concepts into the Taiwanese (Continental, i.e. German) legal system.
One problem that frequently came up in the past was trying to get an ROC Court to order a government administrative agency to undertake some particular course of action which it was reluctant to do. This would be similar to a writ of mandamus.
According to my reading of the new Administrative Court Law, promulgated July 1, 2000, this should now be possible. To try this out I filed an application (in my wife’s name) to have our American passport holding son listed in the remarks column of my wife’s Household Registration transcript. There is no precedent for such a listing in the ROC.
The local Household Registration people here where we lived said that that was not possible. The MOI also wrote us a letter saying it was not possible. I then filed suit against the NeiHu District Household Registration Office (NHDHRO) in the Taipei High Administrative Court.
Today, October 3rd, was our first hearing. The judge felt that it was an interesting case, and that my request was reasonable. I stated that we needed our son’s information on my wife’s Household Registration transcript in connection with his school registration procedures, to prove the relationship between parents (especially the ROC mother) and the child. The school authorities always ask for that every year.
As a result of our hearing today, the judge has ordered the (NHDHRO) to go back and actively investigate with the MOI about a way to come up with a solution to this issue which will satisfy Mr. & Mrs. Richard Hartzell.
So, so far so good. This could be the beginning of an interesting series of legal actions. The possibilities are numerous.