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Retiring judges cripple some courts

Posted October. 04, 2000 20:22,   


With the continuing trend of judges retiring en masse for the past few years, the vacancy rate in some courts has reached 37.1%, threatening even normal court proceedings.

According to audit and inspection material submitted by the Supreme Court to Grand National Party representative Choi Yeon-Hee of the National Assembly's Legislation and Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, the number of retiring judges is increasing every year. In 1997, 65 judges retired, but this figure grew to 78 in 1998, 100 in 1999 and 93 as of Aug. 1, 2000. This is largely due to judges who served over 10 years retiring en masse to open attorney's offices.

This trend has had a detrimental impact on 15 district courts around the nation. In some cases, the vacancy rate reached 18.2%, with only 1,110 judges out of the 1,357 quota working. This has also caused a work overload for the remaining judges.

The Seoul administrative court scored the highest vacancy rate with 37.1%, followed by Jeonju district court with 23.1%, Busan district court with 22.8%, Seoul district court with 19.5% and Incheon district court with 19.0%.

Kong Jong-Sik kong@donga.com