○ Today, Chief Justice Kim Myeongsu recommended Presiding Judge Lee Heunggu of Busan High Court to President Moon Jae-in as a Supreme Court Justice, succeeding Justice Kwon Soon-il who is scheduled to retire due to the expiration of his term of office, in accordance with Article 104 Clause 2 of the Constitution.
How the recommendation was made
○ In order to recommend a person with good character and competence as a candidate for Supreme Court Justice, the Chief Justice received recommendations from the people for a person whom they think is suitable for Supreme Court Justice.
Through transparent and impartial procedures, the Chief Justice announced the list of persons who agreed to go through the candidate screening among persons recommended for appointment, and disclosed detailed information on their educational background, work experience, assets, and criminal records. Then, the Chief Justice collected opinions on those persons comprehensively through a formal procedure of submission of opinions.
○ The Chief Justice presented the list of persons who have no clear grounds for disqualification among the persons who went through the candidate screening to the Committee of Recommendation of Supreme Court Justice Candidates, and made a request for an examination of their eligibility as a Supreme Court Justice. After having a substantial discussion over the persons’ qualification as a Justice on the basis of letters of recommendation, written opinions, and data collected in many ways, the Committee drew up a shortlist of three persons and recommended them to the Chief Justice as a Supreme Court Justice.
○ To recommend the most suitable candidate as a Supreme Court Justice by taking into consideration of opinions from all walks of life, the Chief Justice made public major decisions or particulars of work of the three candidates and gathered diverse opinions from within and outside the Judiciary through a formal procedure of submission of opinions.
○ After all these procedures, the Chief Justice recommended Presiding Judge Lee Heunggu of Busan High Court to President Moon Jae-in for appointment as a Supreme Court Justice. In view of his life and judgments being rendered by him, Presiding Judge Lee was evaluated as having personal qualities and attributes which are appropriate to be a Supreme Court Justice such as a firm belief on judicial independence, the guarantee of fundamental rights, and the protection of the socially vulnerable and the minority. In addition, having served in Busan and nearby regions for a long time, Presiding Judge Lee has gained trust from members of local legal communities as well as within the judiciary for his fair and faithful trials and balanced judgements.