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GIA`s Lawsuit Is Suspected As Unconstitutional

Posted September. 07, 2001 08:39,   


There are controversies in the judiciary circle as to whether Government Information Agency can file a lawsuit against the press companies. When the nation as a litigant file up a lawsuit, the Justice Minister is principally the litigant who can complain to the court.

Thus, the Supreme Court is reviewing in detail whether the GIA could be a litigant who can file a lawsuit. Some judges stated that ``if GIA directly set for the lawsuit, it will shake the judiciary system from the bottom and eventually will be a significant threat to the press freedom.``

According to the Seoul District Court, GIA filed a lawsuit against Chosun Ilbo for the counterargument against an article of Chosun on July 13, `GIA`s unreasonable request for the counterargument`, and the head of GIA set himself as a litigant who filed a lawsuit.

However, the article 2 of the `law about the lawsuits related to the nation as a litigant` the Justice Minister is to represent the nation.

By the regulation, all the institutions of the nation can file lawsuits or be complained only through the Justice department.

However, GIA asserted that, according to `the law about the registration of the periodical publication` since individual departments or local governments are allowed to request for the counterarguments to the Press Arbitration Commission concerning the related works of the organizations, the direct litigation is presumably allowed.

Lee Soo-Hyung sooh@donga.com