Public Defenders in Korea: 77.6% of Defendants Satisfied with Public Defenders

The Korean Prosecution Service, recently, conducted a survey of defendants and found that 77.6% of defendants were “satisfied” with their public defender. The survey, only, polled 134 suspects and, only, for a five-week period.  It would be interesting to see how many of the suspects plead innocent.  I would assume most of these defendants plead guilty, thus, the role of the public defender was not as significant of a role as a case when a defendant is pleading guilty. 

Korean Prosecution Services

A few interesting results from the survey:

  •  104 of respondents (77.6%) noted that the appointed lawyer “was a great help to defendants”
  •  28 respondents (20.8%), noted that the appointed lawyer “was not that helpful.”
  • 100 respondents (82%) noted that the appointed attorney “answered requests and advised faithful.”
Overall, the survey is a positive reflection on the Korean public defender system.  The system has, greatly, improved over the past decade. Of course, if you have the necessary funds, it is, always, advisable to hire a private attorney.  The Korean public defenders are, typically, less experienced and connected than private criminal attorneys.  However, for those that do lack the funds, the Korean public defender system has greatly improved and is an adequate solution for the less severe crimes when a defendant is pleading guilty. 

A few more articles that may be of interest:


Sean Hayes 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. He assists clients in their contentious, non-contentious and business development needs in Korea and China. He has, recently, been ranked as one of only two non-Korean attorneys as a Top Attorney working in Korea by AsiaLaw.

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