Litigation in Korea

Litigation in Korea

Elgar Korean Law series

Edited by Kuk Cho

This informative book provides an overview of the law and judicial institutions pertaining to litigation in Korea, as well as a selection of important court decisions.

Chapter 3: The Reformed Criminal Procedure of Post-Democratization South Korea

Kuk Cho

Subjects: asian studies, asian law, law - academic, asian law


Kuk Cho I. INTRODUCTION The nationwide June Struggle of 1987 led to the collapse of Korea’s authoritarian regime and opened a road toward democratization.1 Under the authoritarian regime, the ‘crime control’ value had dominated over the ‘due process’ value in regard to criminal procedure.2 The Constitution’s Bill of Rights was merely nominal, and criminal law and procedure were no more than instruments for maintaining the regime and suppressing dissidents. It was not a coincidence that the June Struggle was sparked by the death of a dissident student tortured during police interrogation.3 The new 1987 Constitution brought a significant change in the theory and practice of the Korean criminal procedure. Explicitly stipulating the idea of due process in criminal procedure,4 the Bill of Rights in the Constitution has become a living document.5 The 1988, 1995 and 2007 revisions to the Criminal Procedure Code6 (CPC) have also strengthened the procedural rights of criminal suspects and defendants and have reconstructed the entirety of criminal procedure. Further, the newly established Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court have made important decisions. 1 For information regarding the June Struggle, see James M. West and Edward J. Baker, The 1987 Constitutional Reforms in South Korea: Electoral Processes and Judicial Independence, in Human Rights in Korea: Historical and Policy Perspectives 221 (1991). 2 For information regarding these two competing values in criminal process, see Herbert L. Packer, The Limits of the Criminal Sanction 151 (1968). 3 See Carter J. Eckert et al., Korea Old and New: A...

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