Lawyer Jung Ji Eun
As South Korea is a constitutional country, all the institutions and authorities should be exercised in accordance with the law. Recently, new legislation was made. On July 25th, the Supreme Court decided on an amendment to the "Regulations on Court Audiences and Broadcasting" to allow the broadcasting of trials. This is not surprising, considering that in many countries, broadcasting trials is already quite common. In the United States for example, most of the states allow broadcasting in principle. Also in England, Australia, Canada, and China, trials in the lower court can be broadcast.
Previously the regulation banned the shooting of the first and second trials. In the case of the final trial, it was left as an exception, limiting broadcasting only to the part where the pleading comes. Therefore, in the first trial of former President Park and Choi Soon-sil, the press were only allowed to take pictures and videos in the courtroom before the trial began and instructed to leave before the court proceedings. However, as more and more people argued that such high profile trials should be broadcast, it can be said that the Supreme Court reflected the public’s demand into expanding the people’s right to know.
The Supreme Court revised the court proceedings to be broadcast by the court's ruling. It is up to the judge who is overseeing the case to decide whether or not to allow the broadcast. The most important standard of allowance is the sake of public interest. Thus, if the court recognizes the necessity to broadcast the trial for public interest and the right to know, it is permitted whether or not the parties involved in criminal cases or civil cases consent to the matter. Thus, as the court no longer requires the defendants’ consent over deciding the broadcast of the trial, the new regulation is deemed to carry more weight on the side of the public. However, because the revision holds the possibility that it can lead to populism and infringement on the independence of the judiciary, the court should take a cautious and fair measure on the decision. < 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >