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Judiciary Gets Closer to the People Through the Press

Posted June. 02, 2007 03:25,   


“What this suggests is that the sales price should be disclosed in every housing project carried out by a government institution regardless of when the project was approved.”

Judge Bae Hyeon-tae, a publicity examiner of the Supreme Court, visited a press room on June 1 and explained a Supreme Court ruling delivered that day. Judge Bae answered all the questions asked by the 30 journalists present there.

On June 1 at the briefing room on the third floor of the Supreme Court building, an explanation session was held on the alternative bill to the Family Registration Law. A large number of legal practitioners, including Lim Jong-heon, chief of the family registration division of the court administration, were present at the briefing that lasted over an hour. They kindly answered questions raised by journalists even after the formal briefing and the Q&A session were over.

The briefing room of the Supreme Court was newly prepared next to the existing press room in April at the request of journalists and because briefings could be held at any time.

Besides Press Secretary Byeon Hyeon-cheol, the Supreme Court increased the number of judges in charge of official gazettes to two by positioning judge Bae as an examiner. There is one judge in charge of gazette tasks in each of the regional courts nationwide.

Press Secretary Byeon and Examiner Bae visit the press room almost everyday and give detailed explanations of the issues and rulings to journalists.

While Cheong Wa Dae is leading the plan to block government employees from the press and to merge and abolish the press rooms, the judiciary, which had long been criticized for its closed characteristics, is emphasizing “communication with the people” through the press.

It was the firm will of those at the top that brought such a change to the Supreme Court. President Lee Yong-hun of the Supreme Court, since his inauguration, has continuously ordered the courts to strengthen contact with and services for the press for the sake of communication with the people, saying that, “It is important for the court to communicate with the people if it aims to serve them.”

A large number of judges avoided contact with the press in the past saying, “A judge speaks by delivering a judgment,” but now they actively made time for private discussions and conversations besides public gatherings.

An insider of the Supreme Court says, “The bosses believe that it needs to create an environment where the journalists are able to let the people know what the judiciary is working on.”

Since the inauguration of Chair Lee Kang-guk of the Constitutional Court has been emphasizing contact with the press and publicity raising.

When Lee met with journalists right after his inauguration, he said, “It is only through the press that we can let the people know what we’re doing.”

The Constitutional Court, which newly employed a researcher of constitutional law in charge of gazettes, besides the Press Secretary, has recently held regular sessions of open explanations on major current issues and strengthened the publicity activities toward the people through the press.