Taiwan News and other services reported on the Examination Yuan’s defense of the strange questions on the Taiwan Bar Exams this year. I’ve been waiting for the government to speak on this, as the previous articles seem to have been based entirely on claims from the KMT and its supporters (an odd crowd to be crying about exam politicization, as politicization of exams has been part and parcel of KMT policy since day 1). Nevertheless, the complaints seem valid and the exam indeed tainted with some absurd politics this time around (but not the last four times, for the first time since the ROC colonized Taiwan in 1945). In other words, this appears to be an isolated incident, not policy. Perhaps some good will come of this stupidity:

Yao indicated that the controversy could actually expedite the Examination Yuan’s reform of the professional accreditation process for lawyers. Examiners are now likely to expedite a move under consideration to abolish the Chinese essay portion of the test and replace it with a section testing the prospective lawyers on writing legal briefs and other legal documents.

Imagine — testing lawyers on their ability to write legal briefs. What a wild and revolutionary concept! The controversy highlights the way the exam has “politics’” built into it — the idea of a serious essay on the law having no political implications is strange, and the temptation will always exist for the party in power to twist the test to its own agenda. It may well be best to do away with that section as a vestige of the old authoritarian regime, where lawyers were vetted for ideological and political safety…..