Thursday, April 14, 2005

More on Class Actions

It turns out Korea is not the only country that is about to experience class action lawsuits for the first time (see my previous post here). France, too, is planning to introduce the format.

(Thanks to How Appealing.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Jury Trials in Japan

Professor Robert Bloom at Boston College Law School posted "Jury Trials in Japan." Professor Bloom discusses the current efforts in Japan to institute the jury system and expresses some skepticism about how effective the jury system will turn out to be in Japan. Japan and Korea are both in the process of introducing two major legal reforms. One is the jury trial, which I mused about here, and the other is the law school system (some background information here and here and here). The idea behind both proposals, in both Japan and Korea, seems to be to enhance the legitimacy of the legal system through democratization by opening up both the legal profession and the process of legal decisionmaking to more people.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Death Penalty Debate Continues in Korea

Saturday, April 09, 2005

"North Korea" as a Legal Concept?

Here is an interesting, brief story (in Korean) about a legal argument in a contract dispute. The basic question at issue appears to be this: Is there a contract if a party to the contract was so inexperienced that the party did not understand the nature of the contract he or she was entering into? The particular twist in this case is that the party challenging the validity of the contract is a defector from North Korea. He is claiming that because of his unfamiliarity with the legal system (said unfamiliarity being due to his status as a recent defector from the North), he did not understand the contract that was about to bind him. The Court did not buy his argument.

This has nothing to do with Korean Constitutional Law at the moment, but stories like this are interesting because they foreshadow a much larger issue that the Korean legal system will have to confront as the two Koreas move towards reunification: "North Korea" as a significant legal concept/category.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Plea Bargaining

Another interesting development in Korean criminal procedure -- plea bargain. According to this report, prosecutors have expressed some support for the idea of instituting plea bargaining and are studying various options. Here is an editorial criticizing the idea.