S-Space College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원) The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) 법학 법학 Volume 40, Number 3 (2000)
한국의 민주화에 있어서 헌법재판소와 기본권의 실현 -1988년부터 1998년까지-
The Democratization of South Korea and the Contribution of the Constitutional Court: 1988-1998
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 법학연구소
- 법학, Vol.40 No.3, pp. 226-253
- The Constitutional Court of Korea began its operation from 1988. The Court is an important working mechanism of the 1987 Constitution, which itself is the symbol of the people's victory against the authoritarian regime. From its inception the Court had to face the almost antagonistically unsympathetic attitudes of the judiciary and the prosecution. However, the Court has successfully overcome the hurdles to play an important role during the transition period to the full democracy.
This article aims at legally evaluating the degree of the Constitutional Court's contribution in the realization of people's constitutional rights for the first decade of its operation(1988-1998). To achieve this goal, the decisions of the Court have been analysed with focuses on the problematic issues as habeas corpus, the rights in the criminal procedure, the rights of expression, the labor rights, and the right to know. Generally speaking, the Court' attitude has been active to expand the traditional span of liberties, the rights of the prisoner and the right to know, as contrasted with the cases involving the labours' rights. In conclusion, this article shows that the contribution of Constitutional Court as the guardian of the human rights, although fall short of the high public expectation, has been significant by legal standards. The spirit of judicial activism persistent within the Court since its inception has played as an important factor in its successful working.