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CY Delegation led by Vice President Hung-Chun Lee Attends 2023 APOR Conference

  • PostDate:2023-11-15

Control Yuan (CY) Vice President Hung-Chun Lee, together with members of the International Affairs Committee (IAC) Wen-Cheng Lin, Li-Jen Wang and Li-Chung Su, attended the 2023 APOR Conference and the Victorian Ombudsman 50th anniversary on 30 October to 1 November 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. The conference, entitled “Through the Ombudsman Looking Glass: Now and Into The Future” was hosted by Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass OBE as Regional President and discussed current important supervisory and human rights issues. It included panel sessions on the role of an Ombudsman in a crisis, whether the public still cares about integrity, the balance an Ombudsman must strike when exercising powers, and the impact of emerging technologies.

Convener of the IAC, member Wen-Cheng Lin, was invited as a panelist for the Session “Sticks, Carrots, or Both? Exploring Approaches to Holding Government to Account,” which he discussed the operation of impeachment in the CY. He mentioned that in the last year (August 2022 to September 2023), the CY submitted a total of 308 investigation reports, proposing impeachment in 28 cases. Impeachment cases thus accounted for approximately 9%, indicating a cautious approach to exercising impeachment powers. This not only demonstrates the significance of launching impeachment proceedings in relation to the fundamental function of our authority and the reputation of the CY, but also highlights the severity of punishment for those who have violated the law and neglected their duties. Such punishment is based on a strict evaluation principle. Other participants were interested in the procedure of initiating impeachments and raised some questions.

At the Members’ meeting on 1 November, Members agreed to issue a Communiqué from APOR, rereferring to, among other things, the role of an Ombudsman in a crisis, the Venice Principles and UN Resolution, and the importance of supporting the rights of First Nations and Indigenous people.

The conference coincided with celebrations to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Victorian Ombudsman. The CY delegation were invited to attend a reception at the Victoria Government House, and also visited the Office of the Victorian Ombudsman, having an exchange with their complaint and investigation teams and visiting their complaints and enquiring facilities. Vice President Lee cordially presented “Embracing Blossoming Lily” fine china to Ombudsman Glass, congratulating her office passing the milestone of 50 years.

To maximize the effectiveness of the visit, the CY delegation made a call on the Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission, exchanging with Ro Allen, the Commissioner, and Lauren Matthews, Director of Programs, to understand their operations and interactions with other integrity institutions. The CY also inspected the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Melbourne for a general overview of their work on bilateral relations in political affairs, overseas compatriots, cultural exchanges to implement the exercise of supervisory powers.

The Control Yuan is a voting member of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) as part of the Australasian and Pacific Ombudsman Region. By attending the regional conference, the CY delegation were able to discuss contemporary important supervisory, good governance, and human rights issues with peers and accomplish fruitful results, helping the CY to build on our relations with foreign friends and increase awareness of the CY in the international community.