A Critical Review on Composition of the Constitutional Court of Korea

Sang-Hyeon Jeon

Abstract


The composition of the Constitutional Court is a crucial aspect for the realization of constitutionalism. While the Constitutional Court has been praised for its significant contributions to the establishment of constitutional democracy in Korea, there have been criticisms regarding the composition of the Court in both its institutional structure and operational practices. The Constitutional Court of Korea consists of nine justices. Although these nine justices are formally appointed by the President of Korea, three are elected by the National Assembly, and three are designated by the Chief of the Supreme Court. This means that the President, the majority of the National Assembly, and even the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court can each choose three justices on their own without any consent or approval from other branches. This raises concerns about the lack of democratic legitimacy, judicial independence and the expertise of the Constitutional Court. Additionally, there are constitutional issues such as the relatively short term of office, the reappointment, the absence of a specified term for the Chief Justice, and the potential for prolonged vacancies of seats.

Keywords


Appointment of Justices; Constitutional Court Composition; Constitutional Court of Korea; Democratic Legitimacy; Judicial Independence; Term of Office

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.31078/consrev1011

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