A Supreme Court trial is to be streamed online for the first time in Korea to enhance public trust and transparency in the court proceedings.
Korean courts sometimes came under fire for what is perceived as its opaque and unfair judgments.
Scheduled for next Thursday, the trial will be presided over by the chief justice, and at least two-thirds of the 13 Supreme Court justices will be seated.
This kind of trial is held when the cases are important enough to set a precedent for other cases down the road.
“The online broadcast will provide a venue where the public can discuss important issues that require value judgment,” said the Supreme Court through a statement, adding “it will also enable the court to expand its role in setting directions for social unity.”
The trial involves a Vietnamese mother who moved back to the country with her 13-month old daughter allegedly without the consent of her Korean husband.
The prosecution booked her on charges of abduction, but both the first and second trials ruled that she was not guilty.
The courts said in the verdicts that “her acts can be seen as a breach of the husband’s care and custody rights of his child. However, it is hard to see that they infringe the interests of her daughter.”
The prosecutors later appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court said the upcoming ruling would establish a precedent for other cases as it will decide whether infringement by one parent on another parent’s care and custody rights is subject to criminal punishment.
The trial starts from 2:10 p.m. but will be aired with a 20-minute delay to prevent encroachment on human rights and the privacy of the participants.
People can watch the trial on web portal Naver (www.naver.com) and the Supreme Court’s website (www.scourt.go.kr).
“People will be able to learn through the open trial about how law and order are established and justice is realized,” court officials said.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org