If it is stipulated in a teacher's employment contract that if promotion is not achieved within the required period, this will constitute a material violation of the employment contract punishable by termination of employment and if the teacher is discharged for this reason, is the termination of the teacher lawful? Regarding this issue, the Supreme Administrative Court rendered the 103-Pan-431 Decision of August 14, 2014 (hereinafter, the "Decision"), holding thatsince Article 14, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 8 of the Teachers' Law juxtaposes "violation of the employment contract" and "material," this shows that "material" is not a matter that may be stipulated in an employment contract. A school is not allowed to stipulate in an employment contract that a teacher's certain act in breach of the employment contract shall be deemed a material violation and shall, instead, determine the relevant facts associated with the breach of the employment contract in an individual case to determine if such breach is indeed material.

According to the facts underlying this Decision, Appellant A was originally a full-time assistant professor of University B, which is the Intervenor. Pursuant to the last part of Article 14, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 8 (which has currently been amended as Subparagraph 13) of the Teachers' Law before it was amended on January 4, 2012, the school decided that since Appellant A had failed to achieve promotion since he started to teach at that school on August 1, 2004 in material violation of his employment contract, his employment will be discontinued. A resolution was subsequently adopted during the Intervenor's Teachers' Review Board to discontinue the employment of Appellant A. After this resolution was submitted to the Ministry of Education, the Appellee, the Ministry of Education, concurred that the employment of Appellant A should be discontinued (i.e., the original disposition). Dissatisfied, Appellant A filed administrative appeal, which was rejected by the Executive Yuan, before filing an administrative lawsuit, in which University B intervened pursuant to the order of the High Administrative Court. After the administrative lawsuit was rejected, Appellant A appealed.

In this Decision, it was held that if the employment of a teacher is terminated or suspended or discontinued after the teacher is employed, this will not only affect the personal rights and interests of the teacher but also undermine the development of academic freedom and the basic right of students to receive education. Therefore, this is a matter of major public interest. Therefore, Article 14, Paragraph 1 of the Teachers' Law provides that after a teacher is hired, the employment of the teacher shall not be terminated or suspended or discontinued except for any of the statutory reasons set forth in the subparagraphs of the paragraph in order to maintain public interest and imposes public law restriction on the freedom and right of a school to terminate, suspend or discontinue the employment contract of a teacher. Since Article 14, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 8 of the Teachers' Law juxtaposes "violation of the employment contract" and "material," this shows that "material" is not a matter that may be stipulated in an employment contract. A school is not allowed to stipulate in an employment contract that a teacher's certain act that violates the employment contract shall be deemed a material violation and shall, instead, determine the relevant facts associated with the breach of the employment contract in an individual case to determine if such breach is indeed material. If it is stipulated in an employment contract that if a teacher engages in a specific act that breaches the employment contract, the employment of the teacher may be terminated, suspended or discontinued, the restriction of "material" still governs when such stipulation applies. The employment of a teacher shall not be terminated or suspended and discontinued merely on the ground that the teacher engages in a certain act that breaches the employment contract.

It was further indicated in the Decision that when reviewing a resolution adopted during a school's teachers' review board not to continue the employment of a teacher in accordance with Article 14, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 8 of the Teachers' Law, the education authority shall certainly exercise its authority to supervise the legality of the resolution and review whether the school's teachers' review board considered if the violation of the employment contract in an individual case is material in order to determine, if the material violation is based on concrete evidence for the breach of the employment contract and if the standard for establishing such material violation is consistent with general social concepts. If a decision not to continue the employment of a teacher is approved without examining such legal requirements, such approval would be unlawful. Therefore, the decision of the original trial court was reversed.