Posted December. 15, 2004 22:59,
A big change is expected to take place in the Judiciary system that will make the Supreme Court in charge of coordinating legal interpretations and other grave matters, while final appeals (the third appeal) of relatively light civil and criminal cases will be dealt with in a final appeals division that will be formed in five high courts across the nation. Also, a permanent organization is to be established to secure legal ethics.
The Judiciary Reform Committee (JRC) under the Supreme Court of Korea held its 26th plenary session on December 13 and made an announcement on December 15 about its decision to establish a final appeals division at the high court to handle less serious cases in order to revitalize the Supreme Courts function as the policy court.
According to the JRC, the final appellate court at the high court of justice will be organized under three experienced presiding judges of the high court and will be established under five national courts (Seoul, Busan, Daejeon, Daegu, and Gwangju) by 2007 to take care of cases under a certain level of total claims (civil) or sentences (criminal).
The JRC also decided to form a national permanent organization, tentatively named the Central Council of Legal Ethics, as a part of reinforcing measures for legal ethics to continuously oversee, analyze and counter misconduct in legal circles.
The members of the Central Council of Legal Ethics will be nominated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Korea, the Minister of Justice, and the president of the Korean Bar Association. Each will nominate three persons (one being a non-judiciary officer) to form a group of nine.
The JRC will vest the right to request the court, the prosecution, and the bar association for data submission to the council, to give the authority to analyze and oversee lawyers acceptances of cases, or the progress of cases handled by judges or prosecutors.
The JRC will round up other agendas, including measures to reinforce legal ethics and measures to improve criminal justice service at the 27th plenary session to be held on December 27 to conclude its activities of a the past year and two months.