Revised law puts rules on former civil servantsJudges and prosecutors who retire from public service to become lawyers in the private sector will be unable to work on cases in the region where they retired from public service for one year after their retirement.
The cabinet, in a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, approved a revision bill enabling the regulation yesterday. The bill, passed by the National Assembly on April 29, will be enacted within 15 days.
Under the bill, lawyers who previously worked as judges, prosecutors and legal officials in the military will be banned from taking cases involving the court, prosecutors’ office and military court where they worked for one year after their retirement.
The regulation will also be applied to lawyers who worked for such public organizations as the Financial Services Commission, Fair Trade Commission and police stations.
The revision was drafted to address the criticism that the government has allowed legal practices to be compromised by allowing former judges or prosecutors to take advantage of their influence over former colleagues and gain favor in the cases they assume as lawyers.
Such practices were so rampant that many local law firms have competed to hire high-ranking judges or prosecutors.
In Korea, people who pass the national bar exam and go through a two-year training program can become a judge or prosecutor, though the process is quite rigorous. After they retire, many judges and prosecutors become lawyers in the private sector.
A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the reason the revision was passed was to “increase trust within the public sector and guarantee fairness and objectivity in public legal affairs.”
By Moon Gwang-lip [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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