MOI to prioritize Urban Renewal Act amendment
By Lauly Li, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Deputy Minister of the Interior Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) said yesterday that given the April ruling by the justices of the Constitutional Court in which parts of the Urban Renewal Act were struck down as unconstitutional, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) will prioritize amending the act during the current legislative session.
September 23, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Hsiao stated that according to Constitutional Interpretation No. 709, two articles of the Urban Renewal Act violated the constitution and noted that in order to amend the two articles, 10 of the existing articles need to be modified as well.
The MOI vice minister added that unless amendments to these 10 articles are passed in this legislative session, the articles in question will become ineffective by April 2014, affecting the country's urban development.
Hsiao said that as far as he knows, the Legislature is unlikely to review every proposed amendment to the act in this legislative session, as the MOI has planned revision of over 60 articles of the Urban Renewal Act, and the Legislature has also considered over 20 amendments to the act.
“The MOI is worried about the unconstitutional articles to be abolished by April 2014 if the articles cannot be amended in time,” Hsiao said.
The justices of the Constitutional Court in April handed down Interpretation No. 709, and ruled that some of the articles in the Urban Renewal Act do not guarantee individuals involved in an urban renewal project full access to relevant information and the chance to express their opinions.
The interpretation also said the act failed to demand the government inform all people involved in related renewal projects of relevant information or require the convening of public hearings.
The current Urban Renewal Act requires that only 10 percent of participants living within the development area agree on a renewal project for the project proposal to be approved by the local government, a ratio which the Constitutional Court believed was too low.
Hsiao argued that the MOI's amendments to the act will serve to ensure the provision of relevant information to all parties involved in a renewal project and require authorities to hold public hearings for people to voice their opinions.
The MOI also proposed to raise the ratio of support required to initiate a project from 10 percent to 30 percent, Hsiao said, adding that the MOI's amendment to the act is proposed in accordance with Constitutional Interpretation No. 709.