Dismal Legal Education

Dismal Korean Legal Education By Sean HayesKorea Times 11/20/2007 Korean lawyers are not meeting the expectations of Korean and foreign clients. The problem stems from the poor quality of education in general and legal education in specific. Businesses in Korea know there is a problem. In a survey conducted a few years back, by Lexis-Nexis and the Korea Economic Daily, 97.3 percent of Korean companies stated that Korean law firms fall behind the world standard. Lawyers, in Korea, know there is a problem. Chun Y. Yang, a lawyer at the largest law firm in Korea, stated in a speech that: “Generally speaking, U.S. law practice is significantly more developed and sophisticated … U.S. lawyers are expected and trained to think three, four steps ahead and be proactive … The chances are average local Korean practitioners or even the relatively good ones will not be able to meet the high expectations

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Korean Law School the Shakespearean Tragedy

Korean Law School the Shakespearean Tragedy Appeared in the Korea Times on Nov. 16, 2007 Dear Professor Hayes: As a student of law I am very supportive of the law school system, since it may provide more opportunities to be an attorney, however, I highly doubt the system will create education that nurtures quality legal professionals. Why again are we going astray? Student at Kookmin University. Dear Student: The Law School Bill declares, “Under the current system to nurture legal professionals, a gap exists between legal education and legal practices. Also the current system does not sufficiently nurture legal professionals who have expertise in preventing and addressing legal disputes. Therefore, the purpose of this amendment is to provide legal services which meet citizens’ various needs by introducing a U.S.-style law school system.” The system will fail to meet the objective, since the implementation is comical at best and a Shakespearian

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Inside the Constitutional Court of Korea

Korea Times 10/04/2007by Sean Hayes Dear Professor Hayes: I am studying Korean Law at SNU as an exchange student. I am wondering what is the difference between the function of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court and which court is the higher court. Student at SNU Dear Student at SNU: Since the commencement of my relationship with the Court in 1999, I have noticed a drastic increase in foreigner’s awareness of the Constitutional Court. News stories have been published in all major foreign publications, visitors from around the world have visited the Court, numerous law review articles have been printed in foreign journals and the Court justices and researchers have attended and actively participated in conferences throughout the world. Next week the Court will even host the 5th Conference on Asian Constitutional Court Justices. Some, including myself, have noted that the Korean Constitutional Court is one of or maybe

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Sean Hayes: First expat in Korea’s constitutional court

Article Appeared in the Korea Times in 2003First expat in Korea’s constitutional court2003.04.17 In a homogenous society like Korea, one may suspect the Constitutional Court, one of the nation’s highest constitutional bodies representative of the people, to be homogeneous as well. But when all the members of this exclusive organization gather together, a discrepancy is hard to miss. Meet Sean Hayes. He is the first and only foreigner ever hired by the Court. He is also its youngest member. Sean Hayes is The Korea Herald`s new face in legal advice starting next week in a column called “Legal-Ease.” Ten months ago, he assumed the role of a Constitutional Research Officer (CRO), a position appointed by the president of the Constitutional Court. CROs bear the important responsibility of conducting investigations and research concerning the adjudication of cases under the direction of the Constitutional Court president. “I am not only honored to

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Poor Education Leads to Poor Lawyers

Appeared in Korea Times on May 3, 2007Lex Pro Bono by Sean Hayes Dear Prof. Hayes: My company and I have run into a few legal difficulties when doing business and residing in Korea. I found that the legal fees are very high and the legal representation was poor. I question the education of many Korean lawyers. How are they educated and what do you need to do to become a lawyer?Foreign Resident of Seoul. Dear Foreign Resident: To become an attorney in Korea you need to pass the judicial exam and then attend the Judicial Research and Training Institute (JRTI). At present the system allows only 1,000 students to pass the judicial examination. Facially the cap is to prevent those not qualified from becoming attorneys. After passing the judicial exam all test passers must attend the JRTI. The institute is a two-year study program run by the Supreme Court.

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Honeymoon Divorce to Guam

Appeared in the Korea Times on April 4, 2007 Honeymoon Divorce to Guam Dear Attorney Sean Hayes: I am a soldier stationed atCamp Kim. I am married and am in need of a divorce. We have no children, no property, and my wife does notwant alimony. I am engaged to a Korean woman and wehave planed to get married this summer. I haveexplored getting a divorce in Korea, but the time,cost, and language is a difficulty. My wife also willnot initiate the divorce in the states. She says Ishould initiate the divorce. What is the easiest andmost cost effective way to receive a divorce?Sergeant Hopeful in Korea. Dear Sergeant Hopeful: One of the most expedient,straight-forward, and cost effective ways to receive adivorce is to file your divorce in Guam. Yes, SergeantHopeful –Guam. A suitable option to your situation is to have yourdivorce and honeymoon at the same time in Guam.

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Cabinet to review constitutional bill

Korea Times March 30, 2007 The Cabinet is expected to deliberate Presidential Roh Moo-hyun’s proposal for a constitutional revision as early as April 10, despite lukewarm responses from the public and political circles. “I think the draft revision could be presented to a Cabinet meeting on April 10,” Chief of Staff Moon Jae-in told reporters yesterday. He added that Roh will introduce the change in the April parliamentary session at the latest. The bill designed to allow for two consecutive four-year presidential terms would have to be put to a vote in the parliament within 60 days of the introduction of the president’s initiative. Moon bristled over attacks from the opposition Grand National Party about the government’s publicity campaign for the change. The GNP accused Cheong Wa Dae of engaging in illegal pre-election campaigning by encouraging government agencies to promote its revision drive to the public. A constitutional revision requires

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Conscientious Military Objectors Surpass 12,000

By Park Chung-a Korea Times More than 12,000 people have been imprisoned for refusing mandatory military service over 66 years, according to an association of family members of conscientious objectors. The organization said it estimates that 12,324 conscientious objectors were sentenced to a total of 25,483 years of imprisonment from 1950 until May 31, 2006. The number of those who served twice in prison is 289. The research was done from March to April in 2006 through phone and paper interviews with military objectors including Jehovah’s Witnesses, who account for the largest portion of them. It is the first time that the number has been calculated, as the government has been reluctant to conduct official research on it. About 50 percent or 6,328 of the respondents said that they suffered from at least three kinds of harsh treatment while serving in prison. The most common form of torture was standing

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Truth About Free Trade

Korea Times column Lex Pro Bono Wednesday Korea TimesSean Hayes Dear Professor Hayes: We are not ready to compete with the U.S. in many areas and the FTA will simply lead to the destruction of many Korean jobs including farming and service sector jobs. Why does it seem so many are pushing for free trade against the interest of the Korean people? Angry Korean in Kwangju. Dear Angry in Kwangju: Nearly all non-Marxist economists believe that free trade agreements benefit all countries involved. Those educated in economics are strongly pushing for free trade agreements, while many others are either questioning or strongly opposed to free trade agreements. Our experts in this matter, nearly universally, agree that free trade will benefit both countries, so why do so many in the population question their professional belief? The reason for the discrepancy stems from what I like to call the “intellectual reality’’ vs.

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Lesson III: Korean for Korean Law

Lesson III: Korean for Korean LawI. Daily WordsA. Criminal Law: 형법, 형사법B. Prosecutor: 검사C. Judge: 판사D. Indictment: 기소E. Conviction: 유죄의 판결F. Sentence: 판결, 선고G. defendant: 피고H. jail: 교도소I. rape: 성폭행J. murder: 살인K. robbery: 강도죄II. Daily SentencesA. The prosecutor indicted the man for murder. 검사는 그 남자를 살인죄로 기소했다.B. The judge convicted the defendant of rape. 판사는 피고를 성폭행 혐의로 유죄를 선고했다.C. The defendant was sentenced to three years in jail. 피고는 징역 3년의 선고를 받았다. [email protected] (c) Sean Hayes – SJ IPG. All Rights reserved.  Do not duplicate any content on this blog without the express written permission of the author. [email protected]

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Korea Looks to China and EU for More FTAs

Chosun Ilbo With the free trade agreement (FTA) talks between Korea and the U.S. winding down, the government is now promoting FTA talks with China and the European Union (EU). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT) announced Monday that it will hold a conference for joint research among business people, government officials and scholars on an FTA between Korea and China. An official from MOFAT said the joint research could be seen as a step leading to FTA discussions since such research has in the past been connected to FTA negotiations. The conference would cover basic work to promote an FTA between the two countries such as detailed rules regulating joint research operations and other items to include. MOFAT also announced that it will hold the first round of FTA talks with the EU in May. Kim Han-soo, the director of the free trade bureau at MOFAT, will

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Frequent Constitutional Revision Undesirable

By Ko Seung-kyun Korea TimesThe current debate over the issue of constitutional revision in regard to the presidential term requires careful scrutiny. South Korea has already experienced eight revisions of its constitution since its inception in 1948. High frequency of constitutional revision can cause an unhealthy political environment and instability as well as confusion. Any attempt at constitutional revision should take into consideration not just the presidential term but also a wide range of various factors attributable to democratic principles as well as the maximization of political efficiency and stability. The current proposal under consideration as proposed by the Roh administration appears to be too simplistic to fulfill these conditions. South Korea today faces unique political problems and challenges. The country has to deal with insurmountable challenges from North Korea in a wide range of issues. It has to overcome economic and financial difficulties as well as social problems _

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Lesson II: Korean for Korean Law

Lesson II: Korean for Korean LawI. Daily WordsA. to Sue someone (verb): 고소하다.B. to be Sued: 고소 당하다.C. Lawsuit (noun): 소송, 고소D. Contract Law: 계약법E. Criminal Law: 형법, 형사법F. Civil Law: 민법, 민사법G. Corporate Law: 회사 법H. Tax Law: 세법I. Intellectual Property: 지적 소유권 (재산권)J. Constitutional Law: 헌법II. Daily SentencesA. I am being sued for breach of contract. 나는 계약위반으로 고소 당했다.B. I was sued for violation of the company’s trademark. 나는 회사의 상표 위반 혐의로 고소 당했었다.C. I will be sued for hitting his car. 나는 그의 차를 부셔서 고소 당할 것이다. [email protected] (c) Sean Hayes – SJ IPG. All Rights reserved.  Do not duplicate any content on this blog without the express written permission of the author. [email protected]

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President Roh Takes Aim at Prosecutors

By Ryu Jin Korea Times President Roh Moo-hyun fought prosecutors in his early days in office. A born controversialist, he volunteered to debate with young prosecutors on TV in 2003, though the goodwill event turned into a raw war of words. Four years later, now in his final year, he seems to have taken up arms against the prosecution once more as he believes the country’s powerful investigative body needs to be changed. In a speech on Tuesday, the president cited the press and the prosecution as institutions needing reform. “Our work for reforms has entered a final stage,” he said. “But there are some areas that need more change.” Having sought to break away from the old authoritarian era when those with power and vested rights colluded, Roh takes pride in his achievements in reform and innovation of the private as well as the public sector. Roh’s criticism of

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Scholars Urge Korea to Upgrade System for US FTA

By Yoon Won-sup and Kim Sue-youngStaff Reporters Korea Times Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong, right, and Kim Jong-hoon, chief South Korean negotiator for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States, look pensive during a National Assembly session, Wednesday. /Yonhap Economic and political experts said that a free trade agreement (FTA) between South Korea and the United States, once concluded, will bring great opportunities for South Korea to enter the world’s biggest market.But they warned that the FTA may also pose critical challenges to Korea if it fails to upgrade its economic systems to the level of the United States. Lee Hong-shik, head of the FTA Research Team at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), said, “The most important point of the FTA is that Korea will enter the U.S. market earlier than other nations.’’ Lee said that Korea will have advantage in bilateral trade with the United

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Korea-U.S. Agree in Two More Areas in FTA

Chosun Ilbo Korea, U.S. Make Headway Toward FTA Korean and U.S. trade negotiators reached agreement on the customs and government procurement at their eighth round of bilateral free trade talks, which is under way in Seoul. Including antitrust measures, where the two sides agreed Thursday, they have now concluded negotiations in three out of 19 areas under discussion. By concluding deals in the less critical sectors first, they have been able to move faster in trade negotiations toward complete conclusion in all fields. But thorny issues like agricultural market and auto taxes remain a stumbling block, and the two sides plan to settle them in two rounds of high-level negotiations after this round wraps up. Korean top negotiator Kim Jong-hoon told reporters on Sunday, the fourth day of talks, that Korea’s attempt to protect its agricultural market and the U.S.’ demand that Korea change its car tax regime based on

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Secretary General of Con. Court Retires

So Sang Hong, Secretary General of the Constitutional Court, retired after serving the Court for six years and his nation for over 30 years as judge. He will serve as a practicing lawyer upon his retirement. Mr. So is known for his generosity, passion for law and his nation, intellectual honesty, and a keen awareness of the role of Constitutional Law in Korean society. I wish him a hardy good luck and hope he continues his contribution to this nation through his practice of law. [email protected] (c) Sean Hayes – SJ IPG. All Rights reserved.  Do not duplicate any content on this blog without the express written permission of the author. [email protected]

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U.S. Report on S. Korean Human Rights

The U.S. published its annual report on Human Rights. The report is on Human Rights in S. Korea is generally favorable, with only a few concerns. The U.S. major concerns were: 1. The National Security Law2. Limitations on the freedom of speech3. Violent protests4. Discrimation Against Women, Minorities, Foreigners etc.5. Prostitution and the Increase in Korean men going abroad to purchase sex6. Mistreatment of foreign spouses7. Human Trafficing8. Breach of contract by employers of foreign English teachers [email protected] (c) Sean Hayes – SJ IPG. All Rights reserved.  Do not duplicate any content on this blog without the express written permission of the author. [email protected]

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Song DooHwan Nominated to Con. Court

Song DooHwan was choosen by President Roh on March 2, 2007 to replace retiring Constitutional Court Justice Choo Sun-Hoe. Justice Choo’s term expires at the end of March. Mr. Song is the Representative Partner of Hankyul Law Firm. He graduated from SNU in 1971, the Judicial Research Institute in 1982, was a Judge from 1982 to 1990, Executive Director of the Korean Bar Association from 1996 to 1997, and Independent Counsel in the infamous Remittance of funds to North Korea case in 2003. His expertise in law, according to his firms website, is with commercial transactions and civil litigation. [email protected] (c) Sean Hayes – SJ IPG. All Rights reserved.  Do not duplicate any content on this blog without the express written permission of the author. [email protected]

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