There are pros and cons whether live coverage of important event trials will be expanded to the first and second trials. Some officials in legal circles say that live coverage of the first and second trials is the issue that needs to have a thoughtful discussion. So, they voice opposition to the Supreme Court’s reforming of the rules of live coverage of trials. Some people who agree with live coverage argue that the people’s right to know will be guaranteed. However, it is still asked whether the people’s right to know has the power of influence and to what extent. Can it lead to a fair trial if personal information of the accused is open to the public for the people's right to know?
First, the independence of the judge can be damaged. Due to the trait of live coverage of the trials being open to all people, there are a growing number of things that judges need to be concerned about when they pass sentences. The judgement was passed by the presiding judge’s independent decision in earlier days, but now, they can offer lighter or harsher sentences to the accused in consideration of the public’s opinion. Also, Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong’s warrant was rejected in the actual examination of the warrant for some time. Many of the public were outraged at this, and they find out the personal information of the judge who turned down the warrant. Many other judges showed this example, and said, “We are reluctant to have our names bandied as judges that offer judgements contrary to public opinion, so it may be hard to offer judgements by conscience caused by the live coverage.”
Second, it can be against the presumption of innocence. What is “the principle of the presumption of innocence”? It means that before convicted, the defendant has to be considered as innocent. As a defendant can be convicted in the first trial and this information is broadcasted, yet has not gone through the upper trials, the ruling could be overturned in the upper trial. But if there is not broadcasted live in the upper trial, the public can still assume the defendant is a criminal. It is clearly against the principle of the presumption of innocence. Therefore, after all of trials are finished, as the defendants have social lives, their rights to live ordinary lives can be disturbed. So, defendants have to be protected under the law through this principle before the final judgement is determined.
Third, the human rights of the accused can be violated. As previously stated, presiding judges have the right to permit live coverage of trials. If judges decide the public benefit is much bigger caused by the live coverage of the trial, the broadcast live is possible without the agreement of the defendant. In the case of a lower trial criminal case, its result isn’t definitely decided yet, so the trial proceeds centered on the stance of the accused. However, due to the live coverage of the trial, the defendant’s face can also be broadcast. Also, when presiding judges explain reason why they deliver such judgement, the defendant’s sensitive areas including important personal information, can be exposed to the public. Therefore, these points can make the defendant weakened and violate his or her rights to defend himself or herself, so finding the truth can be much harder.
When it comes to considering the progress of trials, we need to prioritize the stance of the defendant who is directly involved in the trial. It seems that the Supreme Court simply allowed live broadcasts for the first and second trial important events compared with their importance. It is necessary to have careful consideration regarding how the rights of the defendant will be affected by the live broadcast of the trial, so many have to carefully re-examine the live coverage of the trial.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >