Rights groups urge greater tort reform

By Sun Hsin Hsuan, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Vexatious litigations — abusive, frivolous and exaggerated lawsuits — should be legally classed as a form of domestic violence, a group of rights activists and lawmakers urged Wednesday.

Ahead of the opening of the National Congress on Judicial Reform next week, lawmakers, women’s rights groups and the Judicial Reform Foundation (民間司法改革基金會) said the targets of such legal actions should be offered judicial protection.

“The law should allow judges to issue restraining orders to those who inflict such lawsuits for the sake of harassment,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Lee Li-feng (李麗芬) said at a press conference Wednesday. Social celebrity Wang Min (王敏), the daughter of the New Micropore, Inc. (長豐公司) founder Donald G. J. Wang (王公展), described the emotional stress of the repeated legal actions brought against her by ex-husband, Yogi C.Y. Hsuan (宣昶有), the son of the United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC, 聯電) honorary vice chairman Hsuan Min-chih (宣明智). “With as many as 40 lawsuits filed against me in the past four years — some of which were repeat cases — my life was left with only the home and the court. I get no more than four hours sleep a night, with no time to work and no time for leisure,” Wang said. “Even a registered mail from the postman makes me tense.” Modern Women’s Foundation’s (現代婦女基金會) deputy chief executive, Lin Mei-hsun (林美薰), called on the Legislative Yuan to reexamine and amend current laws to “curb psychological forms of domestic violence.” DPP legislator Chou Chun-mi (周春米) said vexatious litigation posed a threat to a justice system that was already struggling to regain public trust. Ji Hui-rong (紀惠容), the director of the Garden of Hope Foundation (勵馨基金會) added that repeated, frivolous lawsuits were not only a waste of resources but could also jeopardized efficiency.

Apart from the Modern Women’s Foundation and the Garden of Hope Foundation, Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation (婦女救援基金會) was also at Wednesday’s press conference.