The Korea Herald


Yoon names Lee Jong-seok as Constitutional Court chief

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : Oct. 18, 2023 - 17:10

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Constitutional Court Chief Justice nominee Lee Jong-seok. (Yonhap) Constitutional Court Chief Justice nominee Lee Jong-seok. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol has named Lee Jong-seok as the nominee for the President of the Constitutional Court of South Korea on Wednesday, according to Yoon's office.

Lee is currently one of the nine justices at the Constitutional Court. He started his role there in 2018 and now has one year left in his term. Presidential Chief of Staff Kim Dae-ki told reporters Wednesday that it had not yet been decided if the nomination of Lee means that his term as a justice would be extended.

Both Yoon and Lee are Seoul National University law alumni who entered the college the same year.

Lee started his career as a judge in 1989 in Incheon and has spent over 30 years in the field, with his expertise ranging from court administrative affairs to bankruptcy court cases, according to the Korean Bar Association.

Lee is tasked with addressing the Constitutional Court's trial delays. It takes about two years on average for the Constitutional Court proceedings to reach a final verdict in the past two years, according to Rep. Kim Seung-won, a lawmaker of the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea. Of 1,576 pending cases, 30 percent of them have been through over two years of trials, Kim added.

Lee will replace the incumbent President Yoo Nam-seok, whose term ends on Nov. 10, if Lee gets a parliamentary nod through a majority vote with over half of National Assembly lawmakers present there.