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[Editorial] Constitutional Court’s Verdict Should Reflect Opinion of Minority

[Editorial] Constitutional Court’s Verdict Should Reflect Opinion of Minority

Posted May. 11, 2004 22:29,   


The day after tomorrow is the day the Constitutional Court will decide the case on the impeachment of the President Roh. For the first time in the constitutional history, we are about to witness the Court making a historical decision. We do not know whether the Court will renounce the impeachment or carry out it. Whatever the decision is, the opinion of the minority is as important as that of the majority.

Written verdict regulations rule out impeachment cases, so it is legally possible to reveal only the will of majority in the verdict. However, the decision handed down should not represent the will of the majority alone in this critical decision of the impeachment of the nation’s leader. The minority’s will should be respected and represented as well.

The reasoning that the minority’s will cannot be revealed because it is a sensitive issue and because national opinion is split cannot be established. A judicial judgment always comes with discontent from the interested parties. The independence of the trial is necessarily accompanied with responsibilities from the judges’ pronouncement.

They can only publicize the will of majority in the written verdict if more than four of the nine judges oppose, or more than six agree, to the impeachment, covering up the minority’s opinion. However, this is like saying a judicial vote of four to five, six to three, or seven to two is equivalent to a nine to zero vote. The ratio of opposition and agreement can imply different meanings to the president, political circles and the people. Therefore, the minority’s opinion should be publicized unless the real verdict comes out as nine to zero.

The Court should carry out the written verdict in a responsible way in front of the people and history. Even though they might be faced with difficulties, they should not deal with the issue in a hurried manner. The Constitutional Court should pay attention to the fact that the impeachment committee of the National Assembly as well as the representative party to the president is supporting the will of the minority.