President Park Geun-hye nominated Lee Seong-ho, chief judge of the Seoul Central District Court, as new head of the nation’s human rights watchdog, her office said Monday.
Lee Seong-ho (Yonhap)
Lee, 57, replaces Hyun Byeong-chul whose term ends next month. The nominee is required to go through a parliamentary hearing, but does not require the legislature’s approval.
A native of Yeongdong, North Chungcheong Province, Lee served as a judge for about 30 years, handling high-profile trials including the Hwang Woo-suk scandal.
He also drew public attention for apologizing on behalf of his senior judges by acquitting the victims of the “Aram-hoe Incident” who were falsely accused as pro-communists and tortured by a state law enforcement agency in the early 1980s.
Lee is known as an expert in the field of international intellectual property.
“Lee is the right person to lead the National Human Rights Commission with his firm belief in the protection of human rights,” presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook said.
Established in 2001, the commission is an independent body to protect, advocate and promote human rights. Lee’s term ends in 2018 and he can pursue a second term.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org