[EDITORIALS]Reforming the prosecutionRestructuring of the Public Prosecutors Office is looming as a major task the new government will assume upon inauguration. The prosecution has been the target of criticism and mistrust and its reform can no longer be delayed. Reflecting on the experience of failed attempts, we have to pool the wisdom of reformers to make it a success.
The goal of reform is making the prosecution "a law enforcement authority trusted by people." The basic requirement is to make the prosecutors office independent and free from political intervention. If this goal is met, the right personnel appointments will be made and investigations will be kept free from outside bias. Various reform ideas discussed in and around the Ministry of Justice, prosecutors office and presidential transition committee are all aimed at the same target. There is not much difference as to the necessity and outline of the reform, but there are some conflicting ideas in the details.
Reform ideas such as installing a personnel management council to deal with appointments of prosecutors, introducing a permanent independent council, establishing an agency to investigate irregularities of civil servants and abolishing the justice minister's control of the prosecutor general, among others, were discussed earlier. They were not materialized because of differences of view among government agencies.
To achieve reform, the Ministry of Justice and the Public Prosecutors Office themselves must change. They should be ready to accept self-sacrifice. It is required that they lower their posture and accept humbly a reduction of their power. Also required is driving out political prosecutors. In order to renew circumstances, personnel changes are necessary.
What is more important than systemic restructuring is the will of the political leadership to reform the prosecution. Political leaders should discard the old practice of using the prosecution for political purposes. For an independent prosecution, the will of the president and his entourage is more important than systemic reform.