The Supreme Administrative Court rendered the 103-Cai-1356 Ruling of September 18, 2014 (hereinafter, the "Ruling"), which was resulted from a cancellation lawsuit filed by Taiwan Sugar Corporation (hereinafter, "Taiwan Sugar") for its dissatisfaction with an announcement (hereinafter, the "Announcement at Issue") of the Environmental Protection Administration (hereinafter, the "EPA") that all future lands released by Taiwan Sugar should be subject to environmental impact assessment. The Supreme Administrative Court concurred with the ruling of the High Administrative Court, holding that such announcement does not meet the criteria for an administrative disposition and thus Taiwan Sugar's cancellation lawsuit should be rejected as a matter of procedure.
It was pointed out in the Ruling that an administrative disposition should be an act that targets a specific event. The so-called "specific event" means that the counterparty should be specified and the factual relationship involved should be specific. To wit, an administrative disposition is characterized by "specified" persons and "specific" factual relationship, as opposed to a law, regulation or directive, whose regulatory focus is on "ordinary" people and "abstract" factual relationship. To determine if a counter party is specified, the determination should be based on the timeframe of the disclosure of an administrative act to ascertain if the subject regulated by the administrative act is objectively confirmed or confirmable or if scope of the subjects is still open-ended and may continue to expand.
To determine if a factual relationship is specific, whether a regulation has a one-time effect or can be effectively and repeatedly implemented can basically serve as a standard to facilitate determination.
According to the Ruling, the EPA's announcement on November 13, 2012 indicates: "the establishment of a factory or the development of a park on lands released by Taiwan Sugar Corporation (which do not include factories or parks which have been approved by competent authorities for specified business after land release) is a development act with potentially negatively impact on the environment and should be subject to environmental impact assessment, and this requirement shall go into effect on the day of the announcement." Now that lands which have been released are excluded, this announcement seeks toregulate any non-specified development organization which will set up a factory or develop a park on lands to be released by Taiwan Sugar "in the future." The EPA's contention that since the Announcement at Issue does not intend to conduct one-time regulation over specified people or specific events, it is not an administrative act should be supportable. The ruling issued by the original trial court to reject the complaint in accordance with Article 107, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 10 of the Administrative Procedure Law on the ground of incomplete preconditions for the complaint which cannot be supplemented is not inappropriate.