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The Justice
The Korean Society of Law first published The Justice on October 1, 1957 as a monthly report. Currently, “The Justice” is published as a journal. Formatted 4 x 6 (i.e., B6), this 16-page journal was the most technologically advanced publication at the time and included both Korean and English text. The cover of the issue was an image of Lady Justice (Justitia) standing on three law books with “The Justice” written above. The same image appeared on the back cover with “The Korean Legal Center” written beneath. This was the work of Lee Tae-hee, Eom Min-young, and Dr. Murray Gray, an American legal professional who helped establish the Society.

In February 1960, The Justice expanded to 42 pages (volume 4, issue 1). Its format and length remained consistent through the mid-60s at approximately 70 pages until volume 9, issue 1 (1965). At this point, publication was paused. In 1972, Yang Joon-Mo took office as its sixth director and set his operational goals in three areas: 1) legal education; 2) legal research; and 3) law-based service. He also began reissuing The Justice. Beginning with volume 10 (Serial Number 15), The Justice expanded from approximately 40 to 300 pages and adopted an annual publication cycle. In January 1996, with the inauguration of Director Park Seung-seo, The Justice, which had been published biannually, became a quarterly publication. Under Director Park Woo-Dong, inaugurated in 2000, the journal was organized into the current system of six publications per year.

The Justice has published a total of 163 issues including the December 2017 issue, and a total of 2,956 papers. It is the only journal in korea that covers both legal practice and academia. It is the representative jurisprudence of Korea and reflects the future of Korean law as well as its current growth and development.
Korean Society of Law Monthly Report
The monthly report by the Society was first published on July 15, 1972, with a statement by Dr. Yang Joon-Mo, the director of the Society at the time, stating: "In order to proactively participate and cooperate with all members, we will announce the news of the Center once a month regarding the activities, participation and demands of its members, and provide further information about the Center.” The monthly report contained not only news regarding the Society but also articles from its members. However, the monthly reports were discontinued after the 69th issue published on March 20, 1978. On August 1, 1996, Director Park Seung-Seo reissued monthly reports beginning with the publication of the 70th issue. However, reports were once again discontinued on February 25, 2000, following the 85th issue.

The monthly report provides a glimpse of the situation and atmosphere of jurists in the early 1970’s, and is highly significant in terms of its academic value. Throughout its history, the Society has published a total of 163 issues of The Justice and a total of 2,956 articles. The Justice is the only journal in Korea covering news from both legal practice and academic circles. It shares its history with the emergence and development of law in Korea. It is the leading legal scholarly journal and provides direction regarding the future of Korean law.
1. The first publication of Korean Law in English (1964) Beginning in 1958, the Korean Society of Law Research and Translation Departments have translated Korean law and regulations into English in order to promote interest in the Korean legal system. Translations were distributed to domestic and overseas institutions. Foreign institutions, embassies, and foreign scholars studying the Korean legal system had urgently requested the translation into book form. Therefore, in 1964, the Society took on the task of publishing an English version of Korean law (1,327 pages). This was the most extensive effort of its kind in Korea at the time. Baek Nam-Eok, the Head Commissioner of the National Assembly, as well as Bae Young-Ho, Secretary General of the National Assembly, K. C. Crawford, Judge advocate of the Eighth United States Army, and Denny F. Scott, General Counsel, provided significant support in its publication.

2. The Second Edition (1969) After the first publication in 1964, there were numerous revisions to the law, as well as a reduction in the scope of the legislation over a period of five years. In 1969, the second edition was published after a significant expansion from 29 to 61 laws and ordinances. Under an agreement with the U.S. Embassy, the second translation was distributed to US embassies, foreign missions, and institutions both domestic and overseas. There were 2,151 translated items in the 1960's, as well as translations of 789 presidential decrees and 170 cases.

3. The Third Edition (1975) The Society has greatly contributed to the domestic and international body of knowledge regarding the Korean legal system by first publishing Korean law in English in 1964, and a revision in 1969, which was distributed to government agencies, foreign corporations, as well as to general companies. On March 13, 1974, director Yang Joon-Mo organized the first editorial board to issue the third edition. Director Kim Du-Hyeon initiated the project, and attempted to raise donations and funds from economic giants including conglomerate groups. Funding was secured from organizations including the Asia Foundation, Samsung, Hanwha, Hanjin, Hyundai, LG, Daewoo, and Sunkyung. Approximately 3,000 total pages of all three editions of Korean law were published in English for the first time in a format which allowed for revisions.

4. The Fourth Edition (1983) The publication of Korean Law in English was achieved through the collective support of all members of the Korean Society of Law including judges, prosecutors, lawyers, law professors, legal judges, and military judge advocates, as well as domestic and overseas benefactors. The publication is an effort to contribute to the development of the national economy and world peace through the improvement of the Korean legal culture. While there were three prior editions, the scope of the statutes included was relatively narrow, the books were bound in hardcover, and previous revisions of the ordinances had become outdated. For these reasons, in the fourth edition, the scope of the statutes was greatly increased, and authorized editorial committees translated legislation according to topics. Furthermore, the binding provided space for revisions, a first in Korea to allow the scope of the enactment of laws and regulations to be expanded as necessary. This publication was an essential addition for domestic and international judges, prosecutors, lawyers, law professors, law enforcement officials, military judge advocates, as well as executive departments, legislative branches, financial institutions, state-owned corporations, foreign institutions, trading firms, overseas construction companies, and libraries.
The Address
The year 2006 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean Society of Law.

On July 16, 1956, a group of Korean legal professionals gathered at the Supreme Court in Seosomun, Seoul to hold a General Assembly for the Promoters of the Establishment of the Korean Society of Law. On July 31, they received permission from the Minister of Justice to establish the Society.

The founders of the Korean Society of Law believed that Korea was in dire need of a democratic rule of law and the establishment of a modern legal system. Further, the country was caught in a transitional phenomenon. The Korean legal system was based on the Chinese system and its founding theories. Most legal professionals at the time did not have the resources to familiarize themselves with the Anglo-American legal system, which is an adversarial system compared to the existing system at the time. The traditional Chinese legal system is at times incompatible with concrete facts. By integrating Anglo-American and other foreign law that emphasized concrete validity, there was potential to create a holistic Korean legal system based on law and order. With the support of our American peers, the Korean Society of Law was established as a joint research organization by and in support of Korean legal professionals.

During the modernization of the Joseon Dynasty, Korea fell under Japanese colonial rule for 36 years. It was not possible to fully adopt a modern democratic rule of law during this time, but Korea did experience aspects of the Western European legal system during colonial rule.

Liberated from Japan on August 15, 1945, the Republic of Korea was established on July 17, 1948, with a modern democratic constitution that incorproated values such as Jugwonjaemin (Popular Sovereignty), the protection of basic rights, and the separation of powers. However, a lack of resources and experience in handling a democratic rule of law prevented the Judicial administration from advancing.

Political and economic difficulties were heightened due to the Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950. Following the ceasefire agreement in 1953, the founders explored the idea of introducing Anglo-American common law, as England, by this point, had developed close ties to Korea. With the support of various lawyers and institutions in the United States, including Dr. Robert G. Storey, Dean of the Southern Methodist University Law School in the United States, a research institute where all legal professionals such as judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and law professors could participate was formed and resulted in the establishment of the Korean Society of Law in July of 1956.

As a group of legal professionals in Korea whose members are from academic and non-academic circles, the Society has led the development and globalization of judicial administration and legal culture in many ways. It established the information provision of legal libraries, offers lectures on topics such as Anglo-American law, set up law societies, organizes academic symposia, publishes Korean law in English, publishes The Justice, organizes international conferences, arranges overseas education programs, and acknowledges noteworthy juridical papers.

When the Society was established, Korea had a population of approximately 21.5 million people. There are approximately 47 million people today. Korea has achieved remarkable economic success becoming the world's tenth largest trading partner with an export value of US $254.2 billion and a per capita income of over US $10,000. A member of the WTO and OECD, Korea has entered the ranks of developed countries and participates in the world economy.

The legal profession in Korea has grown in proportion to economic development. The profession, with less than 1,000 individuals at the time of the establishment of the Society, now includes over 12,000 individuals. Furthermore, the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, Ministry of Justice, Prosecutor's office, the bar association, law schools, and various other law societies have gained an international foothold. With this increase in international status, Korean lawyers have become judges in the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and the International Court of Justice.

Alongside the rapid growth of the Korean judicial system, there remain deficiencies and the discussion of judicial reform continues. To increase public confidence in the judiciary and become a frontrunner in implementing the rule of law, the introduction of advanced legal systems as well as predictability, transparency, and legal stability must be ensured in all legal proceedings. Efforts to further elevate the public’s consciousness by establishing fairness and strictness in law enforcement are necessary. The introduction of an Anglo-American legal system to a legal framework based on Chinese law has resulted in the globalization of Korean law. However, it is necessary to reflect on the inherent values of our legal system particularly those aspects that may serve as examples to developing countries.

The goal of the 50th anniversary of the Korean Society of Law is to reflect on the past and look toward the future.

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Dr. Chung Sung-Jin, the current Head Commissioner of the National Integrity Committee and a former director of the Korean Society of Law for his generous financial support throughout 50 years of publication of The Justice, as well as Professor Choe Jong-Go of Seoul National University, College of Law, for providing an overview of the Society's 50-year history. I would also like to thank the Secretary General of the Society, Dr. Kim Wan-Soo, for organizing the information in detail.

May 15, 2006
Korean Legal Center Director Lee Jae-hoo

50th Anniversary of the Korean Society of Law Learn More