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Judge-Turned-Prosecutor Gives Advice to His New Peers

Posted August. 18, 2005 03:05,   


“Court judges have their books increasing by an extra box per year, but there are hardly any for public prosecutors.”

Paik Yong-ha, a judge-turned-prosecutor of the Seoul Eastern District Court ( passed the 35th national bar examination) wrote this in the August edition of “The Prosecutors’ Family” published by the Supreme Public Prosecutor`s Office. Serving as judge for six years from 1999, he took a new position as prosecutor last year as a result of a reshuffling of positions within the Justice Ministry.

Prosecutor Paik said on the transfer, “It is attractive to see such a dynamic and active workplace for a person like myself, who used to work in a court as quiet as a serene temple.”

Prosecutor Paik said on his new position, “While judges struggle to find solutions by looking up various books, public prosecutors tend to do so by asking someone else.”

He pointed out, “Understandably, I even heard that the job of public prosecutors is something not done by your brain, but your body, especially given the organization mechanisms of the investigative agencies,” adding, “However I would like to refute that with the idea that public prosecutors need to read books for critical legal judgment.”

He suggested, “As for criminal case tasks, public prosecutors should enhance their research and skills, persuading judges and setting legal precedents with legal reasoning.

Another area for improvement, according to Paik, is the ongoing coercive interrogation practices toward defendants. He said, “I think some public prosecutors still show a coercive attitude toward defendants by threatening or yelling them.”

Public prosecutor Paik said, “Those coming in for interrogation tend to be depressed, so they deserve to hear kind words,” adding, “In order for public prosecutors to regain trust from the public, humane, yet to-the-point investigative practices need to root down.”