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Capital Relocation Petition To Be Handled by Constitutional Court

Capital Relocation Petition To Be Handled by Constitutional Court

Posted July. 12, 2004 22:14,   


In regard to the constitutional petition against a special law on capital relocation, the Constitutional Court announced yesterday that it designated Lee Sang-kyung as its presiding justice and began to take the first steps in trying this case.

The third department of the three-member justice team, which includes Lee, Kwon-seong, and Song In-jun, will conduct a prior examination on whether the petition was filed within the given period, if the representatives were designated, and if the petitioners are eligible. It will also decide within 30 days whether it will commit the case to the entire justice department, where all nine justices will try the case.

Prior to this, the representatives for the constitutional petition filed a petition with the Constitutional Court to ask it to review the constitutionality of the special law, and also applied for an injunction to suspend the operation of the Presidential Committee on Administrative Capital Relocation until the court makes a final decision on the constitutionality of the law.

The representatives claimed in the petition that an important affair, which is to be put to a referendum, was carried out and thus violated people’s rights to participated in politics. They also said that expending huge amounts of taxes on capital relocation without the people’s consensus infringes on the people’s property rights and constitutional rights they should be able to enjoy.

They added that the procedure of collecting people’s opinions through hearings or public hearings was omitted, and that the status and rights of public officers working for Seoul City were infringed upon by the capital relocation. They argued as well that the special law infringes on the other province residents’ rights to be treated equally by choosing Chungchong Province as the new capital site.

The group of 169 people that filed the petition included 50 members of the Seoul City Council, professors, entrepreneurs, merchants, industrialists, professionally skilled workers, graduate students, and housewives. The three representatives of the group included lawyer Lee Seog-yeon, a former constitutional researcher, lawyer Kim Moon-hee and Lee Young-mo, former justices of the Constitutional Court.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Construction and Transportation submitted a report document titled: “Government: Sternly Rebut the Constitutional Petition,” and claimed that the constitutional petition lacks requisites and proper reasons.

In addition, the Ministry of Construction and Transportation said, “Enactment of a special law is included in the President’s duties of administration, and the President has the discretion to hold a referendum or not. Therefore, it cannot be a subject of a judicial trial.”

Sang-Rok Lee Kwang-Hyun Kim myzodan@donga.com kkh@donga.com