An Isolated Nation with Global-minded Citizens: Bottom-up Transnational Constitutionalism in Taiwan

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The emergence of transnational constitutionalism, particularly regarding the convergence of international human rights and domestic constitutions, has taken place in many national or transnational jurisdictions. This paper attempts at examining whether and to what extent this trend has occurred in Taiwan. This paper finds that not much constitutional codification of international human rights laws has been undertaken in the Constitution or subsequent constitutional revisions, and that the judicial reference to international human rights laws was very moderate: 1% in holdings or majority opinions and 3.25% in separate opinions. However, this paper discerns that a stronger trend in statutory incorporation of international human rights laws has taken place in Taiwan. By examining the roles of NGOs in their respective rights advocacies, this paper finds that NGOs and citizens have played pivotal roles in mediating transnational/constitutional norms, defined as a rather distinctive model of “bottom-up transnational constitutionalism.” With their domestic/transnational natures of agency, these global-minded citizens and NGOs have built an intermediating transnational/constitutional regime where both international and domestic human rights laws meet with each other.
Translated title of the contribution孤立島國與全球公民:由下而上的跨國憲政主義在台灣的發展
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-235
Number of pages33
JournalNational Taiwan University Law Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Eventthe third Asian Forum for Constitutional Law - College of Law, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Duration: 25 Sep 200926 Sep 2009

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