Buy American Dance Goes On

by Sean Hayes (Korea Times 2/21/09) The American stimulus bill is to be signed into law with a “buy-American” provision mandating that stimulus-funded programs only fund those that utilize U.S. manufactured goods. Additionally, it makes it more difficult for banks, which received funds under the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), to hire immigrants. In order to appease free-trade Republicans, President Barack Obama pushed for language noting that the United States

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ASEAN Charter Online

The ASEAN Charter can be found online at: http://www.aseansec.org/ASEAN-Charter.pdf The charter has been ratified by all 10 ASEAN member states (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam). The ASEAN Charter is an interesting step for Southeast Asia. It is interesitng to note that the decision making functions will be decided only through consensus. If consensus is not reached the decision may be made at the

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Female Judges on the Rise

67 of the 96 judges appointed this year are woman. Woman judges now comprise 21.5% of the total judiciary. The selection of judges is determined by averaging the judicial exam score with the grade point average at the Judicial Research and Training Institute (2 year training program). The highest grades are able to be offered jobs as judges and the second highest as prosecutors. Most Korean judges and prosecutors begin

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Bills Pending at National Assembly Concerning the Relationship between Lawyers and Tax Accountants

There are a couple of pending bills concerning the relationship between lawyers and tax accountants at the National Assembly. One bills concerns allowing lawyers to obtain tax accountant licenses and the second bill concerns allowing tax accountants to jointly represent clients with lawyers. The first bill proposed by Lee Sang Min, a assemblyman in the United New Democratic Party, was transferred to the Legislation Judiciary Committee through the Finance and

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New Minister of Justice

Korean President-elect Lee Myung Bak nominated Kim Kyung-Han as the new Minister of Justice. Mr. Kim served as the Prosecutor General at the Supreme Public Prosecitors’ Office and Vice-Minister at the Ministry of Justice. Mr. Kim wrote and interesting law review article entitled: “The Study on the Evaluation of the Korean Government Reform Performance: Focusing to the Introduction of New Management Programs in the Kim Dae Jung Administration (김대중정부의 신관리기법

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Report on Korea-US FTA by Peterson Institute

The Peterson Institute, the most influential nonpartisan think tank dedicated to international economics, published an excellent work assessing the Korea-U.S Free Trade Agreement. All interested in Kor-US FTA should read this report. The summary of the report notes: The Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) opens up substantial new opportunities for bilateral trade and investment in goods and services and promotes important foreign policy interests of both countries. The

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Sailing in Korea

My yacht club, 700 Yacht Club, which I am the vice-commodor of, is commencing an interesting project. We will be building four i550 sportsboats. If anyone is interested in sailing or knows how to build boats, please contact me and we can discuss a membership. The membership fee is reasonable for most (W3.8mil/year) and includes sailing lessons and the use of the boats. Please see the website for more details.

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Law School Plan May Be Delayed

I was photographed, in what I have been told is the “worst hate in the world,” protesting against the Ministry of Justices selection and quota for law schools next to the President of Kookmin University. They forced me to hold up the English sign, but I was not forced to wear the hat. A number of universities have formed a union to protest against the plan, some schools are to

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Lawyer Cap Unconstitutional

This article, written by Sean Hayes, appeared in the Korea Times on February 13, 2008 By Sean Hayes Any numerical limitation on the number of law schools, law students or Korean Judicial Exam passers is unconstitutional under Article 15 of the Korean Constitution. Most of the world’s constitutional democracies don’t impose numerical caps on the number of law schools, law students, and bar passers. Korean people are smart enough to

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First Jury Trial in Korea Held

The first jury trial in Korea was held in Daegu yesterday. The case concerned the aggravated battery and robbery of a woman in her 70s. The first most alarming aspect of the case is that the defendant requested the trial on Jan 10 and the trial was held yesterday. Korea does have an efficient criminal justice system even in the case of their first jury trial. I have spoken to

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Korean Law School List Announced

The Legal Education Committee, a Committee that has been criticized for knowing little about education and even less about legal education has announced its provisional list of “Law Schools.” The 15 schools in Seoul, Gyeonggi and Gangwon: 1. Seoul National 2. Yonsei 3. Korea 4. Sungkyunkwan 5. Hanyang 6. Ewha Womans 7. Chung-Ang 8. Kyunghee 9. Sogang (big surprise) 10. Konkuk 11. Inha 12. Ajou (bigger surprise), 13. Kangwon National14.

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Korea Needs More than 4000 New Lawyers per Year

A Korea Development Institute (KDI) report, published on January 14, 2008, strongly asserts that Korea is in need of at least an additional 4000 new lawywers per year. The KDI report claims that between 1977 and 2006 lawsuits increased by about 13% to 14% per year, while the increase in the number of lawyers only increased by 8.4%, thus, creating a derth in supply. The KDI report furthur claims that

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National Human Rights Commission of Korea Independence in Jeopardy

The Presidential Transition Committee has proposed the placing of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea under the control of the executive branch. One of the arguments of the Transition Committee is that the Commission is in violation of the principle of separation of powers. I will discuss this issue in my weekly column in the Korea Times. The column will appear in the Korea Times on Wednesday of next

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Going Green

Going Green Appeared in the Korea Times on Jan. 16, 2007 By Sean Hayes My father has gone green. No my father has not been transformed by Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth.” He has been transformed by market mechanisms that have encouraged him to go green. My father is a conservative conservationist and he doesn’t even know it. Yes, my father, proudly, has purchased the liberal do-gooder mother ship ― the

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What to Be Thankful For

What to Be Thankful For By Sean Hayes Appeared in the Korea Times on Dec. 27, 2007 Christmas is a time of giving. So we should all give thanks that we live in one of the world’s great nations. I often criticize Korea, in these very pages and elsewhere, for not fully protecting freedoms, favoring the vested elite, excessively taxing, creating and fostering a bloated inefficient bureaucracy, and over-regulating. My

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Impeachment Standard in Korea

Impeachment Standard in Korea Appeared in the Korea Times on Decemebr 13, 2007 Dear Sean: A liberal party has initiated impeachment articles against three prosecutors. I remember reading an article about how impeachment occurs in Korea, but I can seem to find it. How can a government official, like a prosecutor, be impeached in Korea? Allen in Itaewon. Dear Allen: The question brings to light the unique way that impeachment

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Speech Dilemma

Speech Dilemma By Sean Hayes Appeared in the Korea Times on Dec. 11, 2007 An American investigative news program, 20/20, aired a report that sheds light on the dark side of free speech in America and the difference in the treatment of speech in America vs. Korea. The report featured a couple of stories concerning the perils of free speech. One of the stories concerned the 18-year-old daughter of Christos

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Education: Race to the Bottom

Education: Race to the Bottom By Sean HayesAppeared in the Korea Times on 12/04/07 The Seoul government has finally realized that competition in education is not a bad thing. The present “equality” driven educational system has created a mere race to the bottom, while competition naturally leads to a race to the top. Competition in all fields is natural and should be encouraged. The present system of assigning students to

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Right to Privacy: U.S. v. Korea

Brendon Carr has mentioned on his blog that: “The Korean Constitution recognizes a right to privacy. The US Constitution does not—we come from the proverbial “open society”. While both countries subscribe to the idea that the courts do the people’s business’, Korea is much more conservative about balancing the people’s ownership of the judiciary against the individual’s right to privacy.” The U.S. does “recognize the right to privacy.” Roe v.

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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

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