Taiwan's criminal law is similar to German criminal law in dogmatic and conceptual terms, a fact that can be attributed to long-standing and intensively cultivated exchanges between the two criminal law systems in both academia and professional practice. The aim of the forum, which was established in 2011, is to intensify the exchange of expertise between Germany and Taiwan in the area of criminal law and procedure. It is held every two years alternately at one of the participating universities in Taiwan and Germany. This year marked the first time the forum was held at the University of Passau.
This year marked the first time the forum was held at the University of Passau, and it was the first meeting after a forced four-year hiatus due to the covid-19 pandemic.The overarching theme of the forum, which lasted a full week, was The Criminal Law of the Future. Topical questions were debated that are likely to remain high on the agenda in Taiwan and Germany over the coming years, such as environmental criminal law/ecocide, deep fakes, identity theft, automated and autonomous systems, digitalisation, best practice guidelines for criminal legislation, corporate criminal law, and decriminalisation.
On the Taiwanese side, six professors from National Taiwan University (NTU) Taipei, National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) Tainan, National Chung Hsing University Taichung (CHNU) and National University of Kaohsiung (NUK) participated as speakers. Also in attendance were Taiwanese Representative to Germany, Professor Jhy-Wey Shieh, Taiwanese Minister of Justice, Ching-hsiang Tsai, Director General of the Taipei Representation in Munich, Professor Ian-Tsing Joseph Dieu, Director General of the German Institute in Taipei, Dr Jörg Polster, as well as external criminal law researchers and early career researchers from the universities participating in the forum.
The state of criminal law is always a meaningful indicator of the degree of modernisation of a society. Sustainable law requires fruitful cooperation between legislators, academia and judicial practice. In this context, all stakeholders must be made aware of which reforms are being planned politically, where there is a need for improvement and where new challenges might arise. The forum will therefore continue to be a platform for the practical and trustworthy exchange of experience-based expert knowledge to address pressing issues of criminal law. This year's forum was financially supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Taipei Representation in the Federal Republic of Germany and the Friends' and Sponsors' Association of the University of Passau.