S-Space College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원) The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) 법학 법학 Volume 42, Number 1/4 (2001)
한국에서의 법의 지배 : 조선시대의 권력분립과 법치주의 -그 시론적 고찰-
An Essay on Separation of Powers and Rule of Law in the Chosun-Dynasty
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 법학연구소
- 법학, Vol.42 No.4, pp. 27-65
- Rule of Law may be defined as the regulation of absolute power or as
governance by objective rule announced in advance. It has been recognised
that until now there was no tradition of rule of law in Korea, but in this
paper I will show the factors of rule of law in the former term of the
Chosun-Dynasty because the doctrine of rule of law is necessary to smooth
the rule of a country.
The new ruling elite who overcame the chaos of the decrepit
Koryo-Dynasty and established the Chosun-Dynasty emphasized rule of law in
order to set up social order. The ruling system of the Chosun-Dynasty was
completed with the perfection of the Kyungkuk-Daechun(great codes established
for the purpose of governing the nation forever) in 1484, and was maintained
till the end of the 19th century.
The central administrative organ consisted of Ryukcho(the six departments)
and its subordinate offices, and the local one was an unitary system which
was made up of the King, Kwanchalsa(or Kamsa; Province Ministry), and
Suryung(District Officials). The King was checked by institution and custom.
First, institution-wise, Uechungpu, the committee of the highest civil officials,
checked the king and Ryukcho. The relations between the king and Uechungpu
were various according to the power of the king. In principle Ryukcho
reported to Uechungpu before the king, and Uechungpu intervened and
rejected Ryukcho's opinions. From late 16th century, Pipyunsa, the committee
of highest civil and military officials, had become the most powerful
institution, and checked the king. The king was also checked by public...