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STLI Quarterly Newsletter 2020 NO.04, Dec

  The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic rages on in the Northern Hemisphere as winter hits. Numbers heightening, cities locked down, more social distancing – the world is still masked under the virus apocalypse. We have reached the closing of 2020. As winter opens the festive season, we hope that joy would touch our cheeks and pray for nothing more. The Taiwanese government endeavors to conjure light for world citizens and is expecting more travelers to come through to the country from Christmas to Chinese New Year. To ensure that joy (and joy only) touches the darkest corners of society, Taiwan has launched its Fall-Winter COVID-19 Prevention Program (‘the Program’). The purpose of the Program is to prevent a herd contraction of the virus while people travel across the country during the festive season. A further purpose is to maintain international airline safety for all travelers.

  The duration of the Program is from 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021. The Plan is three fold:

Border Testing

  All travelers, including those who are travelling to Taiwan or those who are transiting through an airport in Taiwan, regardless of nationality or travel purposes must submit a COVID-19 RT-PCR Test Result Certificate disclosing ‘Negative’. This Certificate must be made 3 working days prior to boarding. The Certificate must include the following information: name which is identical to your passport, date of birth or passport number, date of testing, date of issue of the certificate, name of the disease/virus, testing method, and testing result. Upon entry, travelers must be quarantined for a period of 14 days.

Community Mitigation

  People who are present in Taiwan must wear masks when entering the following 8 places which have been identified to present a higher risk of contracting the virus (‘Identified 8’).

  The Identified 8 are:

  1. Healthcare facilities, including hospitals and clinics;
  2. Public transportation, including the High Speed Rail, the Metro, trains and buses. It is noted that people are required to wear masks once they enter the stations;
  3. Venues where day to day consumer activities are conducted, including supermarkets and department stores;
  4. Education related facilities, including schools, universities and libraries;
  5. Sport venues and exhibitions, including cinemas and pools;
  6. Entertainment venues, including Karaoke and gyms;
  7. Places of worship and religious services, including temples and churches;
  8. Essential public services, including post offices and banks.

  Persons who fail to wear masks while entering the Identified 8 contravene Article 37(1)(6) of the Communicable Disease Control Act and may be subject to a fine in the amount between NT$3000 to NT$15000.

Covid-19 Testing Expansion

  The Central Epidemic Command Center has decided to expand COVID-19 testing. Persons who do not have travel records, or who are in high risk industries and occupations, may undertake COVID-19 testing if they show respiratory tract symptoms. Hospitals who reach the set COVID-19 testing amount would be given monetary awards.

National Communications Commission COVID-19 Relief Package for the Broadcasting Industry Act

  The media industry in Taiwan has contributed immensely to the control and prevention of COVID-19. Lead by the National Communications Commission, Taiwan’s media has been requested to broadcast COVID-19 news and policies to the general public. The National Communications Commission recognizes that substantial costs, particularly costs of labor have increased and the government wishes to provide relief funds to broadcasting companies.

  On 6 November 2020, the National Communications Commission COVID-19 Relief Package for the Broadcasting Industry Act (‘the Act’) took effect. The Act applies to broadcasting companies which have responded to the National Communications Commission and assisted in broadcasting COVID-19 news and policies. There are three types of companies that are eligible to receive relief funds for labor costs incurred during the pandemic:

  1. Private wireless radio broadcasting companies are eligible to receive NT$3000 per company.
  2. Private wireless television broadcasting companies are eligible to receive NT$24000 per company.
  3. Private companies that broadcast channels through communications satellites are eligible to receive NT$24000 per company.

  In closing, the STLI wishes all our readers a happy Christmas and New Year. May we pray for social gathering soon.


2.衛生福利部疾病管制署,〈秋冬防疫專案 邊境檢疫篇 (陳宗彥副指揮官,台語) 〉,Youtube,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcfZ1m-aBMA(最後瀏覽日:2020/12/2)
3.傳染病防治法;新唐人亞太電視台NTDAPTV,〈秋冬防疫專案12月啟動 強制8大類場所戴口罩,Youtube,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwz5Y4nxZOc (最後瀏覽日:2020/12/2)。
4.Fall-winter COVID-19 prevention program to be launched on December 1; CECC urges the public and healthcare facilities to follow related measures, BUREAU OF CONSULAR AFFAIRS MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS REPUBLIC OF CHINA (TAIWAN), Nov. 18, 2020, https://www.boca.gov.tw/cp-220-5081-c06dc-2.html (last visited Dec. 2, 2020).
5.新唐人亞太電視台NTDAPTV,〈傳染病防治法;秋冬防疫專案12月啟動 強制8大類場所戴口罩,Youtube,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwz5Y4nxZOc (最後瀏覽日:2020/12/2)。


  The draft amendment of the Act Governing Electronic Payment Institutions drawn up by Financial Supervisory Commission has been passed in the Cabinet meeting on July 30th, 2020. The purpose of the amendment is to in line with the development of mobile payments and harmonize the regulatory intensity of electronic payment institutions and issuers of electronic stored value cards. On November 9th, 2020, the draft amendment has also gone through the examination by the Finance Committee of Legislative Yuan.

  The proposed revision contains the following key points.

  1. Improving Industrial Development
    The business scope of electronic payment institution which must focus on the core of payment flows could be extended to the accompanied and derivative parts. Electronic payment institutions undertaking small amount exchange of foreign currencies would be greenlighted. Moreover, unless prohibited by law, an electronic payment institution being as an agent to collect and pay for real transactions would be permitted in principle.
  2. Promoting Convenient Services for the Public
    A cross-institutional management mechanism of financial information exchange and fund settlement would be established so that people could transfer the money among their accounts from different payment channels. Additionally, to enhance the convenience of services, the process of electronic payment would be simplified and the function of electronic payment account would be diversified. Through electronic payment accounts, people used to shopping online could store foreign currency in their payment apps and make exchange in a limited amount, and foreign workers could also repatriate a small amount of money at a reduced handling cost.
  3. Creating a Friendlier Transaction Environment
    The minimum paid-in capital of an electronic payment institution would be differentiated by the type of business undertaken. The field of services delivered by the institution as a collection and payment agent exclusively would be expanded. Furthermore, the qualification requirements and concurrent serving restrictions and matters for compliance by the responsible persons of electronic payment institutions should be stipulated in the Act. People spoiling the credit of electronic payment institutions by disseminating rumors or by frauds should be subject to punishment.
    To reduce physical human contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of global economy has a significant shift from a high-touch pattern to a low-touch or zero-touch pattern. Online shopping and mobile payments is now all the rage. Taiwan’s mobile payment penetration rate is gradually increasing as well. According to the Financial Supervisory Commission’s survey, there were nearly 10.5 million Taiwan’s electronic payment users in September of 2020, and the annual growth rate was up to 78.4%. Given the trend towards contactless economy, the proposed amendment of the Act Governing Electronic Payment Institutions would accelerate the digitization of transactions.


1.行政院,〈行政院會通過「電子支付機構管理條例」修正草案〉,2020/07/30,https://www.ey.gov.tw/Page/9277F759E41CCD91/cca2bb19-b8a4-4536-838f-cd4cc9923866(最後瀏覽日: 2020/12/06)。
2.聯合新聞網,〈電支條例修正案初審通過 未來開放小額購買基金〉,2020/11/09,https://udn.com/news/story/7239/5001657(最後瀏覽日: 2020/12/06)。
3.Sean Lin, Executive Yuan approves digital payment proposals, Taipei Times, July 31, 2020, https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2020/07/31/2003740875 (last visited Dec. 6, 2020).
4.〈電子支付機構管理條例修正草案總說明及條文對照表〉,行政院,https://www.ey.gov.tw/Page/9277F759E41CCD91/cca2bb19-b8a4-4536-838f-cd4cc9923866(最後瀏覽日: 2020/12/06)。
(最後瀏覽日: 2020/12/06)。
6.自由時報,〈你也有用嗎?國人使用電子支付達1049萬人 平均每2.25就有1人〉,2020/11/11,https://ec.ltn.com.tw/article/breakingnews/3348094(最後瀏覽日: 2020/12/06)。


  On May 29, 2020, Taiwan Constitutional Court (TCC) in its Interpretation No. 791 holds Article 239 of Criminal Code and Article 239 of Code of Criminal Procedure unconstitutional, indicating the abolishment of the criminal punishment upon adultery in Taiwan. In TCC’s Interpretation No. 791, TCC overturns its previous Interpretation No. 554, indicating a milestone toward a more flexible constitutional court.


  According to Article 239 of Criminal Code in Taiwan, “A married person who commits adultery with another shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year; the other party to the adultery shall be subject to the same punishment.”, and Article 239 of Code of Criminal Procedure in Taiwan, “In a case chargeable only upon complaint, the filing or withdrawal of a complaint against one of several co-offenders has the same effect as a filing or withdrawal of the complaint against all such co-offenders, provided that if the offense is one specified in Article 239 of the Criminal Code, the withdrawal of a complaint against a spouse shall not be considered to be a withdrawal of a complaint against the other adulterer,” Taiwan is still one of the few developed countries that still criminalize adultery.

  From 2019 to 2020, several cases were submitted to TCC, in which the petitioners were sentenced guilty of adultery in their final verdicts by the court according to Article 239 of Criminal Code and Article 239 of Code of Criminal Procedure in Taiwan. After having resort to every last legal remedy possible, the petitioners then pleaded to TCC and petitioned for constitutional interpretation of the above articles.

  TCC held oral argument on the cases on March 31, 2020. Then after several months of deliberation, TCC finally announces Interpretation No.791 on May 29, 2020. In its decision, TCC declare Article 239 of Criminal Code and Article 239 of Code of Criminal Procedure unconstitutional, overrules TCC’s precedent Interpretation No.554.

Details in the Court’s Opinion

  In its opinion to overrule Article 239 of Criminal Code, TCC takes a more liberal and modern approach to define marriage. TCC states that the modern marriage nowadays is based on the mutual consensus of both parties, and the social functionality aspect of marriage is of less importance nowadays. Therefore, the autonomy of personal sex preference shall prevails the social stereotypes toward marriage. Thus, it is therefore out of proportionality to protect the integrity of marriage simply because of social stereotypes toward marriage by means of criminalizing adultery.

  In its opinion to overrule Article 239 of Code of Criminal Procedure, TCC deliberates whether it violates the principle of equality and proportionality when the law states that withdrawal of a complaint against a spouse shall not be considered to be a withdrawal of a complaint against the other adulterer. The question TCC wants to answer is whether such inequitable treatment toward spouse and adulterer will foster the protection of marriage or there is no substantial connection between this kind of inequitable treatment and the protection of marriage.

  TCC states that they find no such connection and that the only function of this inequitable treatment is to satisfy the vengeful will of the betrayed spouse, which has nothing to do with the fostering the integrity of marriage.

  Based on the above rationales, TCC announced Article 239 of Criminal Code and Article 239 of Code of Criminal Procedure unconstitutional.

Other Opinions

  This declaration made by TCC in Interpretation No.791 arouses public debate. Some show disrespect toward TCC’s decision, declaring that TCC is doing nothing more than encouraging adultery in Taiwan by de-criminalizing adultery. However, more support TCC’s opinion on the basis that it is no longer the trend of developed countries to criminalize adultery (e.g. South Korean abolished adultery crimes in 2014), people will not be deterred from committing adultery simply because there is criminal law punishment, and it is ridiculous to have criminal law to step in to remedy a marriage relationship as criminal law method will only worsen the relationship which ironically the same criminal law tries to protect. Furthermore, according to the traditional opinion of Taiwan’s criminal court, the term “adultery” mainly refers to “the physical contact between male and female sexual organs (excluding male and male, female and female sexual organs)”. As a result, in real practice, in order to prove existence of adultery, a spouse usually has to provide direct and explicit adultery video content of his or her spouse having adultery with another male or female. To obtain such video, intrusion of personal privacy, such as breaking into motels and videotaping adultery on the site, and other aggressive methods will usually be utilized, which methods are usually also crimes themselves. Both supports and opponents of TCC’s Interpretation No.791 have their own stance.

  With the declaration of Interpretation No.791, the above debate in Taiwan will come to a recession, at least for now. However, the above TCC’s decision does not exempt a betraying spouse from civil damages, which is usually accompanied by law suits of divorce.


1.Press Release on the Adultery Case, CONSTITUTIONAL COURT, JUDICIAL YUAN, R.O.C., https://cons.judicial.gov.tw/jcc/en-us/contents/show/6wz5yzgnhomwov7s (last visited Dec. 14, 2020).
2.〈釋字第791號解釋〉,司法院大法官,https://cons.judicial.gov.tw/jcc/zh-tw/jep03/show?expno=791(最後瀏覽日: 2020/12/06)。
3.Criminal Code of the Republic of China, https://law.moj.gov.tw/ENG/LawClass/LawAll.aspx?pcode=C0000001 (last visited Dec. 14, 2020).
4.Code of Criminal Procedure, https://law.moj.gov.tw/ENG/LawClass/LawAll.aspx?pcode=C0010001 (last visited Dec. 14, 2020).
5.Noah Buchan, Why does Taiwan still criminalize adultery?, Taipei Times, Mar. 31, 2020, https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/feat/archives/2020/03/31/2003733700 (last visited Dec. 14, 2020).