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Lawyer named to Constitutional Court post

Mar 07,2017
Lee Seon-ae
The chief of the Supreme Court on Monday named a lawyer to succeed the outgoing acting chief justice of the Constitutional Court, which is currently reviewing the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

Lee Seon-ae of law firm Hwawoo was tapped by Yang Seung-tae to replace Lee Jung-mi, who is set to retire next Monday upon completing her six-year term, the Supreme Court said.

“We thoroughly reviewed the candidates’ preparedness to serve the people, their ethics, as well as the basic qualities required for a Constitutional Court justice,” the Supreme Court said.

“In particular, placing priority on the Constitutional Court’s functions and roles, we adopted as our main criteria a candidate’s ability to speak for and integrate such issues as protection of minorities and care for the socially disadvantaged.”

Lee, 50, is a former judge who currently specializes in constitutional disputes and commercial arbitration, among other areas.

The nominee will have to receive parliamentary confirmation before being appointed by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who is acting president, a process that could take about a month.

In the meantime, the Constitutional Court will have seven justices on its bench following the retirement of Chief Justice Park Han-chul in January and Lee Jung-mi next week. The court is expected to deliver its ruling on the impeachment in the coming week.