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This book looks at the history of the courts in South Korea from 1945 to the contemporary period. It sets forth the evolution of the judicial process and jurisprudence in the context of the nation's political and constitutional transitions.
The focus is on constitutional authoritarianism in the 1970s under President Park Chung Hee, when judges faced a positivist crisis as their capacity to protect individual rights and restrain the government was impaired by the constitutional language. Caught between the contending duties of implementing the law and pursuing justice, the judges adhered to formal legal rationality and preserved the fundamental constitutional order, which eventually proved essential in the nation's democratization in the late 1980s.
Addressing both democratic and authoritarian rule of law, this volume prompts fresh debate on judicial restraint and engagement in comparative perspectives.