[Personal Column] The Korean Prosecutory Authorities: Why Is It Deconstructed?
July 28th, 2022
Roots that were tools of the Japanese colonial period
[Narrator] This article was intended to be published in the media a year ago, but it could only be published in religious media due to the power of the prosecution. At that time, the Hanion was also resting, so now I am writing to publicize it.
Through several seminars the real face of prosecutory authorities was revealed. Its deformation is deeply rooted.; It has inherited the structure of being a tool for tormenting the Korean people under the Japanese colonial period.
Lee Kukwoon, professor of Handong University(constitutions) said, “Prosecutory authorities is an organization of the court of law in administration of justice under the government general of Korea. After the middle of 1930s the prosecutory authorities was much empowered for mobilization orders on a war footing. Thus besides right of indictment and arraignment, it got to have all the right for disposition by legal force: the right to summon, arrest, custody, interrogate the accused (and witness), confiscate, search and inspect the accused as well as the right to give orders to the police.”
This deformed structure was maintained after the National Liberation. Han Insup, professor of Seoul National University asserts in his thesis, “It was Lee In, Prosecutor-General who under the wing of Lee Seungman, interrupted the Special Committee for Punishing the Pro-Japanese driven forward by Kim Byungro, President of the Supreme court which was expected to straighten the national spirit. He who defended the independence-fighters during the Japanese colonial period, following in the steps of the system of the Colonial period, made the present state of prosecutory authorities.”
It is an irony that the sovereign power of prosecutory authorities disappeared after the World War II in Japan, while it became the ideology of the system of Korean criminal law after the National Liberation. So from the beginning the Korean prosecutory authorities was the most powerful administrative organization to monopolize all the rights involved in indictment and inspection, but not to receive any administrative and democratic control. That is, it occupies the position of quasi-judicial powers. It is a deformed structure disregarding the separation of three powers of government, a foundation of democracy.
According to Han Sanghie, professor of Konkuk University, in Germany and France the right of accusation is not monopolized by the prosecutory authorities. What is more, private individual’s right of prosecution to accuse through due formalities is institutionalized. U.S.A. and the United Kingdom directly controls the power of prosecutory authorities through the jury system. In U.S.A. the director of the district prosecutor’s office is chosen by direct election. In Japan judging committee in which general citizens can participate restrains the power of prosecution. That is, in the developed countries the system, whatever it is, in which people’s sovereignty can watch and restrain the power of prosecution comes into action.
Professor Lee Kukwoon says, “The Korean judicial system is different not only from that of U.S.A. which restrains the power of the prosecutory authorities through jury system and the public election of prosecutor’s office, but also from that of the Continental system which gives only the right of arraignment to the prosecutors, giving the right of inspection to the police. In other words, the Korean prosecutory authorities is enjoying the power doubly since it belong to the administrative area in terms of power as well as to the judicial area in terms of social position. The supervising power of justice department on the prosecutory authorities is in name but not in reality. It can exercise not only judicial power but also the power of investigation and prosecution, the very core of administrative power exclusively.”
By now the reason why such a mechanism in this democratic society that prosecutory authorities can exercise the transcendental constitutional power is understandable. Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials is revealed to be useless.
Power is not rational but physiological. The history throughout the world shows that exercise of power is done based not on rational logic but on physiological hormone. The lesson of history is that the power not restrained corrupts itself and gives people much pain.
In the course of modernization we did not have the time to digest and make ours the social systems such as division of three powers of government, journalism and prosecutory authorities that the West has accumulated much efforts to make for a long time. We just uncritically received it through the Japanese colonial period. It seems that we are now paying the price for a free ride on it.
Their immorality is at its height, revealing their bottoms. It is not enough for reforming abuses to separate the right of investigation and that of accusation. The lawyer Jung Chulseung, chairman of Korean Society of Legislation Studies asserts that the system itself should be deconstructed, and rebuilt at the starting point. New wine must be put into new bottles.
-Lee Won-young (professor at the University of Suwon, co-representative of the Press Consumer Sovereignty Action)
Original Article >>> http://www.hanion.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=25704
Translated by O’bog Park
Categories: Media Reports