Judicial Yuan proposes Grand Court to unify Taiwanese judicial decisions

The Chinese-language United Daily News recently reported that the Judicial Yuan will draft amendments to  Taiwan’s  Court Organization Act to create a Grand Court system inside the Supreme Court. The Grand Court will review and resolve conflicting rulings on similar issues by different divisions within the Supreme Court.
The Judicial Yuan hopes to send the bill to the Legislature during the 2nd Session of 2012 (Sept. to Dec.).
Currently the Supreme Court has seven Civil Divisions and 12 Criminal Divisions. The Supreme Administrative Court has seven Divisions. When different divisions have different views on the same legal issues, litigants in similar situations often get different results.
One example cited by the newspaper was that of a Ms. Wu who received more that 20 checks each for NT$1 million from the same person as gifts. When she attempted to cash the checks, she discovered that the drawer had cancelled them. She filed lawsuits against the drawer of the checks, prevailing on some but losing on others.
Some judges took the view that the gift was not made until the check is cashed. As a result, the drawer could still cancel the check. Others held that by handing the physical check over to Ms. Wu, the drawer had made a valid gift that could not be withdrawn by cancelling the checks.
Practitioners before the Supreme Court and the Administative Court know that it is all too common for different divisions to hold contradictory views on the same issue and to issue conflicting holdings as a result.
The draft bill proposes a Grand Court  that will hold hearings at the request of a judge from one division who discovers that the judgment she has made conflicts with the views of judges in a different division.
The referring judge and eight other Supreme Court judges will sit on a  Grand Court convened to review the case and make a judgment. The rules adopted in the Grand Court’s judgment will become binding on the other divisions within the Supreme Court and on the lower courts thereby improving  uniformity in Taiwanese court decisions.