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Provincial judge system to be scrapped

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Published : 2014-04-02 18:13
Updated : 2014-04-02 18:17

The nation’s top court said it is considering abolishing the provincial judge system in the aftermath of the scandal surrounding former business mogul Huh Jae-ho.

The Supreme Court is mulling over scrapping the system in light of the controversial ruling that would have allowed former Daeju Group chief Huh to pay off 25.4 billion won ($23.8 million) in fines with 50 days of prison labor. 

Park Byoung-dae, chief of the top court’s administrative body, speaks in a press conference at the Supreme Court in Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)

“We’re seeking to phase out the system,” Park Byoung-dae, chief of the top court’s administrative body, said at a press conference Wednesday.

Under the system, judges commissioned in metropolitan cities outside Seoul remain within the same jurisdiction until their retirement. The system was adopted in 2004 on the assumption that judges who grew up in the provincial areas would be better for handling legal cases involving regional differences.

Park said the details will be announced in the first half of the year, with the changes applied from next year.

The plan to abolish the local judge system came after Gwangju District Court chief Chang Byong-woo offered to resign amid accusations that he had illicit ties with Huh, whose business career had been based in Gwangju.

By Suk Gee-hyun (

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