Justices produce own reform plans

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Justices produce own reform plans

The nation’s highest court yesterday unveiled its own judiciary reform measures, including creating bureaus in the country’s high courts to screen appeals to the Supreme Court and tougher standards for reappointing judges.

The measures come in reaction to a deepening rift between the ruling Grand National Party and the Supreme Court. The GNP has announced it will submit a bill to the National Assembly to gradually increase the number of Supreme Court judges by adding 10 judges to the current 14. The Supreme Court drew a clear line by issuing a statement on Mar. 18 that the “Supreme Court is responsible to decide the terms of judicial reform,” and “the constitutional freedom of the judiciary should be respected.”

The Supreme Court’s revision measures will be submitted to the advisory committee on judicial policies under the Supreme Court today.

The proposed measures would create bureaus in the country’s five high courts that specialize in judging whether handing appeals to the Supreme Court are appropriate.

The Supreme Court has said unnecessary appeals have slowed work tasks and setting up the bureaus will boost efficiency.

Twenty-five current senior judges, attorneys and law professors with over 15 years of legal experience will screen inappropriate appeals.

“Limiting appellate cases by setting up such bureaus in high courts is more ideal than what the GNP offered as a revision plan,” said an official with the Supreme Court.

“The GNP’s idea of adding more judges to increase the number of Supreme Court justices to 24 wouldn’t work in the long term,” the official added.

The Supreme Court also said it will reflect more on performance review reports on judges to decide their reappointments and disclose to the public full texts of court rulings in the first, second and third trials.


By Kim Mi-ju, Kwon Suk-chun [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]
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대법관 증원 등 전면 반대 … “모든 판결문 공개” 자체 개선안 발표


대법원이 고등법원에서 상고 사건을 걸러내고 법관의 연임 여부 심사 과정을 강화하는 내용의 자체 개선안을 25일 발표했다. 대법관 수를 14명에서 24명으로 늘리고, 대법원장의 인사권을 제한하겠다는 한나라당 개선안에 대해 추진 방식뿐 아니라 내용도 받아들일 수 없다는 입장을 분명히 한 것이다. 이에 따라 지난 18일 사상 초유의 법원행정처장 ‘반발 성명’으로 빚어졌던 대법원과 여권의 충돌이 격화될 가능성이 커졌다.

대법원이 이날 발표한 사법제도 개선안에 따르면 1·2심 모든 판결문을 공개키로 했다. 또 전국 5개 고법에 현직 법관과 원로 변호사로 구성된 상고 심사부를 설치해 부적절한 상고를 걸러내는 방안을 추진키로 했다. 대법원 관계자는 “한나라당이 주장한 것처럼 대법관을 24명으로 늘린다 해도 그 효과는 3~5년이면 사라질 것”이라며 “무분별한 상고를 제한하는 것이 바람직하다”고 말했다.
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