The National Judges Representative Meeting kicked off its second regular meeting at 10 a.m. to discuss a resolution demanding the impeachment of judges involved in the power abuse of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Yang Seung-tae. Of 119 total judge representatives across the country, 108 participated in the meeting.
At the meeting, the judge representatives concluded that the power abuse by their fellow judges should be considered “serious violations of the Constitution, for which not only internal penalty measures be considered, but impeachment, also.”
The prosecution is currently investigating the abuse of power by Yang and subordinate judges in which they are suspected of having used politically sensitive trials as bargaining chips to win favors from the Park Geun-hye administration.
The prosecution indicted a former deputy chief of the National Court Administration, Lim Jong-hun, and questioned other judiciary figures for taking actions to influence rulings in several cases under Yang.
On Monday, investigators grilled former Supreme Court Justice Park Byeong-dae, closing in on the high-ranking judges at the center of the massive scandal.
Amid public calls for proper punishment of the judges involved, 12 members of the judges’ group introduced a resolution to urge impeachment at Monday’s meeting.
A resolution can be introduced to the meeting for a vote when supported by more than nine members of the organization. The resolution passes with the approval of more than half the judges.
A justice can only be impeached upon approval from the National Assembly and Constitutional Court. No judge has ever been impeached in Korea. As the judges gathered consent for the impeachment of their fellow justices on Monday, it is expected to prompt corresponding actions at the National Assembly.
At the previous meeting in September, the judges’ group demanded the abolishment of the NCA and to exclude judges from intervening in the court’s administrative work.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org)