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Workers at Court Also Embarks on a Collective Action

Posted August. 15, 2003 21:48,   


Amid the opposition of younger judges and some senior judges over the selection of candidates for a new chief justice by Supreme Court Justice, workers at courts show signs of embarking on collective action. In their meeting Thursday, five senior judges including senior judge Mun Heung-su at Seoul District Court agreed that this incident should not be resolved by a stopgap measure. They decided to announce their official position on the issue next week.

Judge Mun said that they would not stop at just submitting their proposal or complaints. “After watching the selection of candidates for chief justice, we will strongly argue for the judiciary reform by tendering our resignations collectively, if necessary.” said Mun.

The preparation committee for the labor union of officials at court sent e-mails to its 8000 members Thursday to find out their opinions on this controversy. Their opinions will be sent to Supreme Court Justice.

Director Lee Jung-han at the preparation committee said that the operating procedure of the advisory committee for the selection of justice candidates was somewhat flawed.

“The preparation committee is gathering opinions of its members on whether to wage a petition drive or to recommend our opinions on the desirable direction of the advisory committee.” Said Lee.

Chief Justice Choi Jong-yeong is said to be carefully considering justice candidates to be selected and the timing of selection. He was reported to be thinking about announcing his official position early next week.

Son Ji-ho, the speaker of Supreme Court Justice, said that “Supreme Court Justice still maintains its opinion that selection of justice candidates is a right given to a chief justice. The chief Justice Choi Jong-yeong will consider all the opinions including the opinion from junior judges in making his decision.”

Meanwhile, judge Lee Yong-gu at Seoul district court said that 15 more people signed to the document asking for the reconsideration of the chief justice after he sent the document including the signatures of 144 judges to the chief justice Thursday.

Soo-Kyung Kim Jin-Kyun Kil skkim@donga.com leon@donga.com