Taiwan's adultery law

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Should Taiwan decriminalize adultery?

Yes
19
79%
No
4
17%
No opinion
1
4%
 
Total votes : 24

Re: Taiwan's adultery law

Postby divea » Wed Jul 15, 2015 13:46

Aha and cherry picking and misquoting. The UN site you linked to has this as the title

Statement by the United Nations Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice

“Adultery as a criminal offence violates women’s human rights”


It's only for places where women are the only ones punished. Not applicable to Taiwan as the law at least in theory is applicable to both genders. That's how I read it, I'm sure you missed the title bit. ANd the rest of it that says flogging blah blah ONLY to women.

In many states where adultery is prohibited, the criminal law provisions are themselves discriminatory, imposing criminal liability on women and girls in situations in which men would not be criminally liable.


You'd make a great lawyer. :grin:
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Re: Taiwan's adultery law

Postby maoman » Wed Jul 15, 2015 20:23

divea wrote:
maoman wrote:你懂一個屁。 :crazy


Okay. You'll have a beer and be just fine. Like you care a fuck, the mother of your children has walked out on you one day. Just fine. And like you said you'll be just fine if she moves on and gets her new boyfriend to come see your kid at her workplace. You'll be all 'Hey I'm cool man'.

You presume too much. You don't know me well enough to know how I'd react to weak coffee, never mind the dissolution of a marriage.

divea wrote:Aha and cherry picking and misquoting. The UN site you linked to has this as the title

Statement by the United Nations Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice

“Adultery as a criminal offence violates women’s human rights”


It's only for places where women are the only ones punished. Not applicable to Taiwan as the law at least in theory is applicable to both genders. That's how I read it, I'm sure you missed the title bit. And the rest of it that says flogging blah blah ONLY to women.

In many states where adultery is prohibited, the criminal law provisions are themselves discriminatory, imposing criminal liability on women and girls in situations in which men would not be criminally liable.

Divea, I'd love to engage in a battle of wits with you, but you're bringing the proverbial knife to a gunfight. Adultery laws are almost always used against women in Taiwan. Men get off easy. Don't believe me? Here's an article for you:

Asia Sentinel wrote:Taiwan’s Archaic Adultery Law
Earlier this year, Taiwan’s Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai reminded the Taiwanese of their archaic adultery law, saying that whenever foreign friends remark on it, she feels utterly embarrassed.

That caused a handful of fellow politicians to suggest a review of Taiwan’s Criminal Code Article 239 which provides that "married spouses who commit adultery be imprisoned for up to one year." But the drive has led to nowhere. Even worse, decriminalization’s staunchest opponent, the Ministry of Justice, published a survey showing that 82.2 percent of the respondents don’t want the adultery law to be tinkered with.

This leaves ostensibly liberal Taiwan on an inglorious list with conservative South Korea and the Islamic countries.

While the adultery law itself is gender-neutral, the devil is in the details. It is an Antragsdelikt, an archaic oddment left over from the days when the Republic of China was actually in China and adopted the German civil code and criminal code of the 1930s. It is an offense prosecuted on complaint, which means that the case is closed as soon as the plaintiff drops the charge. In practice, that usually means unfaithful women are punished while cheating men walk free.

"If Taiwanese men get caught, they usually apologize, then the wives tend to drop the charge because men are often the economic providers in most families; but if it is the other way around the women are dragged into court," said Chen Yi-chien, director of Shih Hsin University’s Graduate Institute for Gender Studies and vice president of the Awakening Foundation, a gender-equality NGO.

Child custody also plays a role, with women fearing a lawsuit more than men regardless which side has committed the crime. If the intimacy of a marriage is destroyed in court, it almost always leads to divorce, and the judge will then decide for the best interest of the child.

"So what’s best for the child? People would still look at work, education and property, putting women at a disadvantage because usually they quit their jobs to look after the children," says Chen. To put the practical gender discrimination into plain statistics, 50 percent of women who sue their husbands for adultery will eventually drop charges, but only 23 percent of men will do so against their wives, resulting in a higher conviction rate among women, according to the Awakening Foundation.

But the adultery law’s nature is not the only legal oddity that effectively discriminates against Taiwan’s women. The zishu system is typically used by wives for revenge against the offending female involved in the affair, again putting women and not men on the receiving end. Under zishu, the would-be plaintiff can hire a lawyer to press a criminal charge directly against the third party without harming the spouse. This can be done if the district attorney rejects the opening of an adultery law suit, e.g., because of a lack of evidence.

Chen pointed out that although in any crime other than adultery, all defendants will be prosecuted at the same time because they have all committed a crime, zishu has been reviewed and okayed by the Constitutional Court.

Feast for the flies
In the past, if a Taiwanese male merely stayed alone in a room with a woman to whom he wasn’t related by blood and who wasn’t his wife, and at least one of the them was married, the two were guilty of adultery, no matter if there was further evidence or not. But given the German civil and criminal code, the concept of evidence has become the core idea of criminal procedure. As evidence has thus to come from somewhere, Criminal Code Article 239 feeds an entire industry of private investigators.

There are no concrete figures on their numbers or revenue but the circumstance that Taiwanese city buses and many bus stop signs are plastered with their advertisements does suggest the existence of a massive industry.

The snoops’ business model, or "lifestyle audit" as they call it, is as revolting as it is lucrative. They promise their clients evidence obtained by shadowing the spouse and the third party. Then they typically take pictures of the offending couple hugging in a coffee shop or entering a hotel together, and use this to blackmail the cheating spouse.

If the investigator manages to confront the target person when actually walking into or out of a hotel room with the third party, he pressures the panicky suspect into the on-site signing of a benpiao, a flat acknowledgment of guilt, which can then effectively be cashed in by the client for a higher divorce settlement sum in court.

If not, the client is fleeced by a step-by-step flow of pictures and other bits and pieces of flimsy evidence he or she must pay for. Often it takes considerable sums until the client’s lawyer has made clear that it takes a benpiao or "evidence for sexual intercourse," such as tissue paper stained with the bodily fluid of one or both adulterers.

Although in recent years Taiwanese courts have increasingly accepted videotapes, emails and text messages as "evidence through inner conviction", the collection is tricky, as the private investigator risks being charged with violating privacy laws, which can result in up to three years’ imprisonment, a harsher punishment than the maximum one year for adultery. Thus the "lifestyle audit" is much more about deception than supplying Taiwan’s courts with adulterers.

Still, Professor Chen wouldn’t go so far as alleging that the private investigation companies constitute a political lobby working against the scrapping of the adultery law – although the notion becomes more plausible when taking into account that many companies advertise that their pool of snoops is comprised of retired prosecutors, judges and high-ranking police.

"We academics need evidence to make such allegations; but some people think that there might be such a link," Chen says.

Keeping a low profile
The persistent popularity of the adultery law is deep-rooted. Chen says that traditionally marriage in Taiwan has always been more a social welfare union as opposed to a romantic accord between two people. She also says that when adultery happened in past eras, people would have looked for authority – someone powerful in the extended family or in the community, to sort things out. Hence, the main pattern of thought on the island is still the traditional one, meaning people wanting to protect their family look for authority – and in the wrong place, namely the criminal courts, she says.

"And that the Ministry of Justice’s surveys indicate such overwhelming support for Article 239 is also because the public generally mixes up criminal charge and civil compensation," she adds. But there seems to exist yet another intriguing factor keeping the law alive, possibly explaining why the enthusiasm seen in March after Minister of Culture Lung’s push against it conspicuously quickly ebbed away.

"When I was a law school student two decades ago, most of my professors were already in favor of scrapping it but refrained from making noises," Chen said. "This was apparently because most of them were men; they feared that if they speak out, people would think they spoke for themselves, trying to decriminalize their own misdeeds."

That said, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. In 2011, Taiwan signed the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). And as if there weren’t enough oddities already in the island’s legal system, eager wannabe UN member Taiwan did not just sign it and then harmonized national laws accordingly as signees of UN conventions would normally do, but at one fell swoop turned the whole Convention into domestic law effective since January 1, 2012. Simply put, if Chen’s Awakening Foundation manages to prove that Article 239 has a disproportional impact on women, Taiwan must bid farewell to it.


Do you see now? It's bad for everyone. It's bad for men. It's bad for women. It's just a bad law. That's why so few countries still have it.
Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

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Re: Taiwan's adultery law

Postby TainanCowboy » Thu Jul 16, 2015 07:56

I'd love to engage in a battle of wits with you, but you're bringing the proverbial knife to a gunfight.

I'd say more like a rubber chicken than a knife. :grin:
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Re: Taiwan's adultery law

Postby divea » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:32

TainanCowboy wrote:
I'd love to engage in a battle of wits with you, but you're bringing the proverbial knife to a gunfight.

I'd say more like a rubber chicken than a knife. :grin:

Go do your old man thingy TC, report Jimi to Jimi. :grin:
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Re: Taiwan's adultery law

Postby ChinaCat » Sun Jul 19, 2015 09:38

For Reference:

All four of the recently confirmed Grand Justice (大法官) nominees to Taiwan's Constitutional Court (憲法法庭) support the decriminalization of adultery.
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Re: Taiwan's adultery law

Postby Housecat » Sat Jul 25, 2015 21:01

ChinaCat wrote:
Just Jennifer wrote:I am surprised that your ex was able to file for divorce while you were out of the country. Don't Taiwan divorces require agreement by both parties to split?


Not commenting specifically on Housecat's case, but, no. A spouse can obtain a divorce by claiming that the other spouse has abandoned the marital home and has refused to return after repeated requests to do so. Abandonment is one of the statutory grounds for divorce in Taiwan's law.


This is true, but one has to be gone for a while first. When we were married, the law was 10 years. I'm not sure what it is now. But I'd been gone much less than 10 years. He should NOT have been able to divorce me this way. And this is what I mean, Anthony, about the adultery law being leverage and not extortion. I don't get a cent of the court ordered child support, and I never have. I got NO divorce settlement--no buy out of any kind. Using the adultery law that way--to be "bought" out of your marriage--that's wrong. Using them to frame a woman and get out for free is wrong--as is using your children to keep her from divorcing you because she fears losing them. In my case, because I could have proven adultery, getting custody was easier although my ex didn't honestly want to raise his son. He wanted to hurt me by taking him and leaving him to be raised by his family members. And he used this threat against me many times. That adultery provision in the law was the only thing I had in my favor, especially as I was not Taiwanese.

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Re: Taiwan's adultery law

Postby cranky laowai » Mon Aug 10, 2015 15:36

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Re: Taiwan's adultery law

Postby Toad » Mon Aug 10, 2015 15:53

Wow. Just wow. So money, officially, is more important than anything else.

I do hope that ruling has the usual explanation - a bunch of pre-senile old farts who whose capacity for reason has been swamped by an excess of ear hair. Hopefully their judgement doesn't represent actual public opinion.
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Re: Taiwan's adultery law

Postby Kal El » Mon Aug 10, 2015 21:39

Toad wrote:Wow. Just wow. So money, officially, is more important than anything else.

I do hope that ruling has the usual explanation - a bunch of pre-senile old farts who whose capacity for reason has been swamped by an excess of ear hair. Hopefully their judgement doesn't represent actual public opinion.


As long as the intercourse is for business, it “does not harm the marital relationship at all,” the judge said.

Hahaha. Well, he has a good point there. :grin:
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Re: Taiwan's adultery law

Postby cranky laowai » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:51

Support for criminal adultery is high among the Taiwanese population. In a 2013 public opinion poll conducted by the Ministry of Justice, 82.2% of respondents opposed decriminalizing adultery while only 16.8% supported abolishing the law. In a follow-up survey that asked whether they would support eliminating the crime if civil penalties were increased, 77.3% of those surveyed still answered in the negative.


The Ministry of Justice recently concluded a three-month online poll. Of the more than ten thousand responses, 9,106 respondents (86 percent) opposed the decriminalization of adultery and 1,533 (14 percent) voted in support of it. (source)

So the numbers are about the same as a couple of years ago -- though I don't tend to put much stock in online polls.
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