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Discussions on Rights to Family: analysis of the Lo-Sheng Case

With Ms Hui-ling Hung (National Taiwan University)

Series: London Taiwan Seminar|, special series on Law and Society in Taiwan|

Date: Monday 5 December 2011, 10am-12 noon

Venue: Seligman Library (Room OLD 6.05), London School of Economics (LSE)

Chair: Dr Fang-Long Shih (LSE Taiwan Research Programme)

Discussants:  Professor Stephan Feuchtwang (Anthropology, LSE); Ms Chih Hsing Ho (Law, LSE); Dr Hans Steinmuller (Anthropology, LSE)

Abstract

Lo-Sheng Sanatorium was built in 1930 as a government-run leprosy institution, and it was was used for compulsory segregation until 1962. Although admission since then has been on a voluntary basis, the history of segregation continues to have a traumatic impact on patients' reputation, lives, and family relations.

In 2009, the Supreme Administrative Court in Taiwan found a decision by the Department of Rapid Transit Systems to relocate compulsorily the residents of Lo-Sheng Sanatorium to be both lawful and reasonable.  This compulsory relocation would drastically change Lo-Sheng residents' way of life, which had been established for fifty years. However, when this judgment was issued by the Supreme Administrative Court, the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) had already come into force in Taiwan. Signing the ICCPR was meant to signify progress and to emphasise human rights in Taiwan; by contrast, compulsorily relocating the residents of Lo-Sheng Sanatorium amounts to a deprivation of the right to family, and thus represents the opposite from defending human rights.

Investigations have shown an increasing number of similar cases relating to aboriginal tribes which have been compulsorily relocated due to urban planning. The issue common to all these cases, and discussed in this paper, is whether the right to maintain residence in a particular place constitutes a right to family under article 17 of the ICCPR. Further, the Lo-Sheng case can be examined as core research into the function of Taiwan's Supreme Administrative Court.

About the speaker

Ms Hui-ling Hungis a Master of Laws student at the College of Law, National Taiwan University, majoring in public law and international human rights law. She specialises in particular in the application of the ICCPR and ICESCR covenants, which are now in force in Taiwan.

In 2010, Ms Hung was part of a team representing NTU at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, where she won the Outstanding Oralist Award for Taiwan and in which her team came Runners-Up. In 2009 she was also on the team which represented Taiwan at the Seventh Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot, achieving positions in the Top Five Teams and Top Ten Memorials.

Alongside her participation in Moot Competitions, Ms Hung is heavily involved with student affairs. From 2006 to 2007, she was elected as Student Representative, and in the spring semester of 2007 she was elected the Speaker of the Student Congress. In 2010, she was designated as the Student Justice by the Student Association. In 2011, Huiling was recognized by NTU as Outstanding College Youth and as  a member of the Young College Elite of 2011 by the China Youth Corps.

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