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[Editorial] Law School, an Irreversible Trend

Posted February. 22, 2005 22:56,   


With Cheon Gi-heung taking office as president, the Korean Bar Association’s position that had generated criticism from conservatives of the legal profession for leaning toward the ruling party may take a new turn. President Cheon’s remarks were appropriate when he compared the negligence of monitoring and criticism of power on the part of the Association to salt losing its salty taste.

The Korean Bar Association, being one of the three pillars of the legal world, has to constantly monitor the political powers and the prosecution as the advocate of human rights and guardian of the rule of law. Whatever the political color of the government, the Association must not neglect its duty of protecting human rights and its monitoring power.

The president of the Association acts as a rightful member of the justice advisory committee and gets to exercise some of the lawyers’ rights to recommend judges and public prosecutors once the legal profession is unified. President Cheon is expected to play the role of preventing the judiciary from becoming biased toward certain ideologies. I also agree with President Cheon’s remarks that questions the black and white view of dividing justices into conservatives and liberals

Nonetheless, misunderstandings may occur depending on the perspective over his opinion that said, “I oppose the idea that an individual has to be a justice just because she gave a few off-the-wall verdicts, is young, and female. Throughout the 60-year judicial history, only a single woman has entered the Supreme Court. The number of female justices has to be increased further.

Its is also regrettable that he expressed opposition to the law school system finalized in the Judiciary Reform Committee through a consensus within the legal profession, which was led by the Supreme Court. There were representatives recommended by the Association in the committee. Even though the executive board has been replaced, reform bills presented under a consensus within the legal world must be respected.

The current bar exam system has flaws of turning all of the colleges, including those of science and engineering, into bar exam private schools, and it is also hard to nurture attorneys that are equipped with international competitiveness. Law schools are needed, even for the sake of occupation expansion for attorneys. The reason why the judiciary branch approved the law school system shifting from its initial position may have been that it was difficult to turn a blind eye to recent trends. The judiciary reform bill, including that of the law school system, should head in the direction that meets the interest of the entire public and national development.