[Annual Report 2018] No more delays in judicial reforms of both the Courts and the Prosecutors’ Office
- About PSPD
- 2019.11.15 (16:04:04)
No more delays in judicial reforms of both the Courts and the Prosecutors’ Office
#Judicial branch influence-peddling scandal, #Yang Sung-tae, # Surveillance on the individual judges, #Judicial Reform, #Prosecutors’ office Reform, #Investigation Agency for High-ranking Public officials
Investigation into the judicial branch influence-peddling scandal is required, and Judicial reform is the only answer.
PSPD has kept a close eye on the judicial-branch influence peddling scandal that initially surfaced as the National Court Administration under the Supreme Court tried to attempt to break up an academic society of judges within the Court (International Human Rights Law Society). We raised questions on the poor investigation conducted by the Supreme Court resulting in the second and third investigation, eventually unveiling the judicial branch influence-peddling scandal.
PSPD considered the judicial-branch influence peddling scandal and trial deals by Yang’s Court during the Park Geun-hye administration was a serious infringement on the independence of judges and trials. PSPD focused on bringing the issues of the judicial branch influence-peddling scandal into light, and pushing for judicial reform.
We organized the <Charges by Angry Citizens> campaign that recruited 1,000 citizens to file charges against Yang Seung Tae. The so called “千人共怒” Campaign (1,000 people with rage) is a parody of 天人共怒(the God and people with rage). We also opened the all of the investigation reports on the scandal to the public.
We organized various activities to address the judicial-branch influence peddling scandal such as holding debates, demanding the installation of the special court for the cases regarding the judicial-branch influence peddling scandal, and submitting a legislative opinion refuting claims that the special court violates the constitution.
We also required the impeachment of corrupt judges involved in the judicial scandal. The signature campaign culminated with 6,550 postcards being sent to the National Assembly, which has the right to impeach judges. We also organized events that encouraged participation from the public such as social network hashtag movements demanding the impeachment of corrupt judges. We organized various activities by cooperating with the <Assembly on the current state of affairs of the Yang Sung-tae judicial-branch influence peddling scandal>. We organized assemblies on state of affairs, press conferences, rallies, and single-person protests. In addition, we argued that the judicial reform must not be a self-reform by the court, but must incorporate feedback from academia and the general public. We also put forth various aspects of judicial reform including the abolition of the Office of Court Administration, splitting the authorities of the chief justice, and reinforcing public surveillance of the judicial branch.
“Independent Investigation Agency for High-ranking Public officials Can investigate ★”
Corruption scandals involving high ranking public officials including former presidents continue with no end, and the Prosecutors’ Office that must keep the administration in check has instead cozied up to the government and performed targeted, insufficient, or otherwise inappropriate investigations. Therefore, citizens have long demanded the installation of an independent investigation agency for the corruption of high-ranking government officials (hereafter referred to as the “Independent Investigation Agency”) that could act freely from the influence of the government.
To make legislative members pass a bill for its installment, we visited the head of the special committee for judicial reform, monitored the special committee meetings, and conducted several activities. In particular, we installed the “Independent Investigation Agency for High-ranking Public Officials Can investigate ★” poster in the office of 52 National Assembly members who agreed to it.
We also made many efforts to publicize the issue. We collected 10,000 signatures demanding the institution of the Independent Investigation Agency. Professors and activists wrote 17 columns to the series, and we hosted the <Angry Citizen Podium> conference. The bill has not yet passed the parliament, but we have succeeded in turning the Department of Justice and the Prosecutor’s Office around from their previously opposing stance.
PSPD has recorded the power abuse cases by the Prosecutor’s Office, and required reforms of the Prosecutors’ Office.
PSPD has continued to watch and record the cases of abuse of power and corruption of the Prosecutors’ Office in 2018 and has been publishing the <Report on the Prosecutors’ Office> since 2009. In the report, we recorded the progress of the investigations into the corruptions of the Park Geun-hye government while we also documented the progress of the reform of the Prosecutor’s Office by the Moon Jae-in administration. The report titled <The Moon administration’s 1st year Prosecutors’ Office Report: measured steps of investigations into deep rooted corruptions and the slow steps towards the reform of the Prosecutor’s Office>.
We consistently updated information on the investigations and court decisions of the cases, which was included in the <Report on the Prosecutors’ Office> in the online database called <The Case and the Prosecutors>. We took actions related to many cases of power abuse of the Prosecutors’ Office, including the political influence on the Gangwonland recruiting scandal investigation, the sexual assault scandal of An Tae-gun (the former director of the Prosecutors’ Office), and other cases which were re-investigated by the committee for the past corruptions of the Prosecutors’ Office.
“My first judicial watch activity”
PSPD opened a public discourse course titled <My First Judicial Viewing Activity – Reading the Sentences of the Court Together> that guided participants how to request court sentences and read the sentences of the court with questioning how legal principles were applied to them. We found new possibilities of watching over the judicial branch.
Also, we published 20 issues titled “Critique of Court Sentences” in the name of democracy and transparency of judicial processes. These included special editions on the 5th terms of the Constitutional Court and court rulings regarding the corruption cases of the Park Geun-hye and the government officials, which were elaborations of the court’s decisions to the public.
- 01/29 [Filing Charges] Called for the Investigation of Yang Seung Tae, the former Chief Justice and the masterminds of the illegal judge surveillance activities.
- 03/27 [Press conference] Held press conference titled “If the National Assembly makes it, ‘Independent Investigation Agency for High-ranking Public officials can investigate ★’”
- 05/15 [Report] Published the report <Moon administration 1st year Prosecutors’ Office Report: measured steps of investigations into deep rooted corruptions and the slow steps towards the reforms of the Prosecutor’s Office>
- 06/28 [Press conference] Held an assembly in response to Yang Sung-tae’s judicial branch influence-peddling.
- 08/13 [Emergency debate] Debated the reality of the judicial branch influence-peddling scandal, with emphasis on the supplemental documents revealed by the Office of Court Administration.
- 09/05 [Debate] Debate on judicial reform titled “Who, what, and how must it be done?”
- 10/30 [Press conference] Announced the motion to impeach the six corrupt judges for violating the constitution.
- 12/04 [Opinion piece] Submitted an opinion piece on the Independent Investigation Agency for High-ranking Public officials bill submitted by the National Assembly member Song Ki-hun.