Former Chief Justices historically had pushed ahead with judicial diplomacy with a great interest in international judicial exchanges. Since Chief Justice YANG Sung-tae was sworn in back in September 2011, he has been actively engaged in judicial diplomacy from paying official visits to Asian countries including China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and European countries to inviting a number of Chief Justices of foreign judiciaries and dignitaries from abroad. In 2015, Chief Justice Yang made official visits to the Supreme Courts of the U.K., Denmark and the Netherlands as well as the International Court of Justice(ICJ), the International Criminal Court(ICC) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia(ICTY) located in the Netherlands and thereby expanded the scope of judicial diplomacy. In 2016, with the visits to Kazakhstan and Russia, two of major countries in Central Asia and Europe, Chief Justice Yang built a foundation for continuous judicial exchanges between the countries and Korea. This provides an opportunity to confirm the accomplishments of international exchanges that the Korean judiciary has promoted.
In addition, the Supreme Court of Korea also has tried to invite the heads of foreign judiciaries to visit Korea. In 2016, the Honorable Beverley McLachlin, the Chief Justice of Canada and the Honorable Zhou Qiang, the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme People's Court of China visited Korea. In particular, the Supreme Court of Korea concluded an MOU between the Supreme Court of Korea and the Supreme People's Court of China on judicial exchange and cooperation upon a Chief Justice Zhou Qiang's visit to Korea, and this elevated the relationship and cooperation of the two countries to another level.
Moreover, the Supreme Court of Korea holds seminars with its counterparts in China and Japan by taking turns on a regular basis. Also, the Court has tried to promote the exchanges with the U. S. judiciary on a regular basis. For example, the Court invited Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U. S. Supreme Court to Korea in 2015, and Justice Kim So-young of Korea visited the Supreme Court of the U.S. in 2016.
The Supreme Court of Korea endeavors to introduce the advanced judicial system of Korea and the experience of judicial operation to developing countries. The Court is consistently expanding its own training programs and programs co-hosted with Korea International Cooperation Agency(KOICA) for judges of developing countries. The Supreme Court in cooperation with KOICA has continuously supported the Vietnamese judiciary since 2008, implementing ‘the First Assistance Project Advancing Vietnamese Judges' Training' and ‘the Second Capacity Strengthening Project for the Vietnamese Training Institute for Judges and Court Officials (TIJC)' from 2013 to 2016, both of which include the construction of the Vietnamese TIJC. As a result, the Vietnamese TIJC elevated as "Judicial Academy” in July 2015, demonstrating its higher status.
The Supreme Court hosted the 2014 International Symposium on July 8, 2014 under the theme of ‘International Judicial Cooperation for the Rule of Law and Human Rights’. Among the 16 eminent legal professionals from home and abroad who participated as presenters ad panelists were the former President SONG Sang-hyun of the ICC, Judge KWON O-Gon of the ICTY and the former Judge CHUNG Chang-ho of Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia(ECCC). Hosting the 1st International IP Court Conference with the theme of "Court, IP and Innovation" in 2015 and the 2nd Conference with the theme of "Court, IP and future" in 2016, the Patent Court of Korea provided an arena for renowned IP judges and legal professionals around the world to compare IP litigation practices of different countries and to seek for the measures of improvement and cooperation.
In line with the trend of globalization, the Supreme Court has constantly expanded international activities of judges to nurture legal professionals equipped with international perspectives and to support the judiciary to play its role commensurate with Korea’s national prestige in the international arena.
Judge CHUNG Chang-ho has been serving as a judge of the ICC since February 2015., and also Judge BAIK Kang-jin has been serving as a judge at the Pre-trial Chamber of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia(ECCC) since June 2015. The Supreme Court annually seconds a judge to the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) to keep track of the recent trends in multilateral conventions which the HCCH takes initiative. Also, the Court is continuously making efforts to enhance Korean judiciary’s standing in the world by annually seconding a judge as a legal adviser to the Korean Embassy in the Netherlands and Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, respectively.