Chief Justice of the Republic of Korea

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politics and government of
South Korea

The Chief Justice of South Korea (Hangul: 대법원장; Hanja: 大法院長; RR: Daebeobwonjang) is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Korea. The Chief Justice is considered the head of the judicial branch of the South Korean government.

The current Chief Justice of the Republic of Korea is Yang Sung-tae.

Appointment and tenure

The Chief Justice is appointed by the President of South Korea, and subsequently confirmed by the National Assembly of South Korea. Like the other Justices of the court, the Chief Justice serves a term of six years. Unlike the other Justices, the Chief Justice may not be reappointed for subsequent terms of office.

By law, the Chief Justice of the Republic of Korea must retire upon reaching the age of 70.

Powers and duties

The Chief Justice is the head of the judicial branch of the government of South Korea, and has both adjudicatory and administrative duties. It is the duty of the Chief Justice to preside over a Grand Bench of the Supreme Court, and he or she participates in rendering the decision of the court.

In addition to the deciding of cases, one of the most important duties of the Chief Justice is in the appointment of people to the judicial bench. The Chief Justice is responsible for recommending Justices to the Supreme Court of Korea to the President of South Korea. In addition, the Chief Justice designates three of the judges who sit on the Constitutional Court of Korea. The Chief Justice also appoints the judges for all of the other courts of South Korea, and these appointments are then confirmed by the Supreme Court Justices Council.

The Chief Justice also holds the responsibility for most of the day-to-day operation of the judicial branch of the government of South Korea. He or she may present an opinion in writing to the National Assembly on the need for changes in the laws governing judicial processes. The Chief Justice also presides over the Supreme Court Justices Council, which provides rules and other important administrative functions for the judicial branch. Additionally, the Chief Justice directs the general administration of the judicial branch.

Many of the day-to-day administrative powers of the Chief Justice may be delegated to various court officials, the most important of which is the Minister of Court Administration. The Minister of Court Administration is technically a Justice of the Supreme Court, but does not hear or decide cases, but rather oversees much of the administration of the courts of South Korea with the direction of the Chief Justice.

List of Chief Justices

Name Tenure
1 Kim Byung-ro 5 August 1948 12 December 1957
2 Cho Young-sun 9 June 1958 10 May 1960
3 Cho Jin-man 30 June 1961 January 1964
4 Cho Jin-man January 1964 19 October 1968
5 Min Bok-ki 21 October 1968 March 1973
6 Min Bok-ki 14 March 1973 21 December 1978
- Yi Young-sup 22 December 1978 22 March 1979
7 Yi Young-sup 22 March 1979 15 April 1981
8 Yoo Tai-heung 16 April 1981 15 April 1986
9 Kim Yong-chul 16 April 1986 19 June 1988
10 Lee Il-kyu 6 July 1988 15 December 1990
11 Kim Deok-ju 16 December 1990 10 September 1993
12 Yun Kwan 25 September 1993 24 September 1999
13 Choi Jong-young 25 September 1999 24 September 2005
14 Lee Yong-hoon 25 September 2005 24 September 2011
15 Yang Sung-tae 25 September 2011 Incumbent

External links

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