12/31/2014

Selection of Justices at the Constitutional Court Fundamentally Flawed?

The Korean Constitutional Court has established a research institute that has, recently, criticized the appointment system at the Constitutional of Court of Korea.

The Court has nine justices that are all appointed by the nation's President.  However, three of the justices are selected by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court,  three are selected by the National Assembly and three are directly selected and appointed by the nation's President. 

This Constitutional Court research institute has criticized this system as, potentially, leading to political bias, thus, obviously, believing that some at the Court justices are influenced by those that appoint the Justices.

When I worked at the Court, I never saw bias based on the appointing power, however, the fact that most justices have no or little experience other than being a judge or prosecutor leads to the lack of a nuanced understanding of business and societal dynamics.

The research report of the institute claims that: "Decisions made by the Constitutional Court cannot be free from political underpinnings under the current constitutional system . . . .All parties concerned should debate the changing the selection system to represent society in a more democratic way."

How do you think the justices of the Constitutional Court should be chosen?

Other Articles on Korean Constitutional Law that may be of interest:
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Sean Hayes may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com.

Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty. Sean is ranked, for Korea, as one of only two non-Korean lawyers as a Top Attorney by AsiaLaw.