GNP eyes more judges in top court

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GNP eyes more judges in top court

The Grand National Party said yesterday it will seek to gradually increase the number of Supreme Court judges over the next 10 years, in a move toward judicial reform that follows controversial rulings by the top court in several politically sensitive cases.

The ruling party’s judiciary reform committee proposed adding 10 judges to the current count of 14.

“We finalized a set of 10 measures to improve the judiciary system and plan to submit relevant bills to the National Assembly in two to three days,” said Yeo Sang-gyu, a subcommittee chairman.

The announcement comes amid a standoff between the GNP and the court after the acquittal of a minority party leader accused of violent conduct in parliament. In a separate controversial case, a group of broadcast producers charged with libel against officials involved in the government’s decision to resume U.S. beef imports were found not guilty by a Seoul court.

The GNP also suggested stricter eligibility requirements for Supreme Court nominees. Under the proposal, new judges would be at least 40 years old with 15 years of experience in the legal profession to at least 45 years old with at least 20 years of experience.

In addition, the GNP wants to fill one-third of the Supreme Court seats with legal experts who better reflect diverse backgrounds.

The GNP and the main opposition Democratic Party formed a bipartisan committee aimed at reforming the judiciary last month. The DP is focusing on reforming the prosecution.

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