The Korea Herald


Constitutional Court Justice Lee retires

By 천성우

Published : March 13, 2011 - 19:08

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Constitutional Court Justice Lee Kong-hyun retired on Friday, completing his six-year term.

His retirement ceremony took place at an auditorium of the court in Jongno-gu, Seoul on Friday.
Lee Kong-hyun Lee Kong-hyun

“Democracy cannot be achieved without constitutional court trials,” the 62-year-old Lee said in his retirement address. “Were it not for the court as it is, there would be no guarantee that we could not return to a gloomy authoritarian past when the constitutional court system remained only in name.”

Referring to criticism that the court lacks democratic legitimacy, he said that majority vote should not have a place in deciding on the common virtues of a society. “Liberty, equality and justice pursued by the constitution cannot be determined by the majority vote or the public opinion,” he said.

Lee graduated from Seoul National University with a law major in 1971, passed the 13th annual judiciary examination in 1971 to become a judge, and took office as a constitutional court justice in March, 2005.