Crime of adultery wiped from Taiwan statute books

Adultery will no longer be a criminal offense after Taiwan’s parliamentary body, the Legislative Yuan approved the deletion of Article 239 of the Criminal Code on the third reading today, May 31.

The removal of the law comes after Constitutional Interpretation No.791 by the Judicial Yuan’s Constitutional Court May 29, 2020 determined that Article 239 of the criminal code was unconstitutional and thus immediately invalidated.

Article 239 reads: “A married person who commits adultery with another shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year; the other party to the adultery shall be subject to the same punishment.”

In December 2020, the Executive Yuan passed the draft amendments to relevant articles of the criminal code relating to the crime of adultery in order to comply with the ruling. The draft amendments were then passed to the Legislative Yuan to be deliberated, and passed into law.

Upon approval of the third reading of the amendment to the criminal code today, the crime of adultery in Taiwan has officially been thrown into the dustbin of history.

Cover picture: President of the Legislative Yuan, You Si-kun.

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