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Korea needs Mandatory Civil Mediation

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Due to the lack of judges and increased litigations, Korea suffers a significant delay in the litigation process.

Korea needs to increase the permanent civil mediators and adopt mandatory civil mediation after researching offshore cases and discussions.

Please read the news article (Link) and the English translation at the bottom.

Recently U.K. government revealed its plan to divert thousands of civil legal disputes away from the court to mandatory “mediation.” (Link)

Three Canadian cities in Ontario have proved the effect of mandatory civil mediation for over 20 years. A recent survey of Ontario Bar Association members showed that 90 percent of respondents favored expanding it further.

Jennifer Egsgard, an executive member of the Ontario Bar Association's Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, said:

A major early study on Ontario's mandatory mediation programme showed that it significantly reduced the time to dispose of cases, decreased costs to litigants, and led to a high proportion of cases being completely settled earlier in the process.

It also found that both the people and lawyers involved in these cases experienced considerable satisfaction with the process.

Please read Jennifer's article about “Mandatory Mediation in Ontario” 😊 (Link)


<Justice Kim Myung-soo said, “Delayed trial” is severe>

On the 27th, the number of “long-term unsolved” cases, which courts across the country did not judge within two years, has tripled in civil lawsuits and doubled in criminal lawsuits over the past five years, respectively. The law stipulates that the first trial of civil trial should be completed within five months, but the court is over the deadline and crushing the case. In particular, the “ultra-long-term unsolved” issue, which has not been ruled by the Seoul Central District Court, the nation's largest court, for more than five years, has soared nearly five times. Moreover, the “delay in the trial,” which is hard to find, has been getting worse for five years since Chief Justice Kim Myung-soo took office.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Kim Myung-soo is sitting down to declare an entire agreement held at the Supreme Court in Seocho-gu, Seoul, on the afternoon of the 21st./Yonhap News Agency.

“We have to wait too long to see the judge's face,” the trial's lawyers said. According to the Supreme Court statistics received by this newspaper through Jeon Ju-hye, a lawmaker of the People's Power, it took 150 days to file a civil case last year and stand in the court of the settlement department. This period was 120 days in 2016, but it increased by 30 days (25%) in five years. As the start of the trial is delayed, the ruling is also delayed. In 2016, the first trial of the Civil Agreement Department of the National Court was completed in 322 days on average, but the period increased to 386 days in the first half of this year. The processing period of the second trial of the Civil Agreement Department also increased from 239 days to 323 days. The first and second trials of the Criminal Settlement Department were also delayed by 53 days and 58 days, respectively.

The people who file a lawsuit alone said, “The trial is delayed because they only ask the court to supplement the documents every time they submit them, but they do not give details.” In the lawyer industry, it is said that “the last place where the people who have suffered unfairness appeal is the court, and if the judge delays the trial for no reasonable reason, only the suffering of the people will increase.”

The delay in the trial is attributed to a significant reduction in the reason for judges to work hard due to the abolition of the promotion system for senior judges at the high court and the introduction of a recommendation system for candidates for the chief justice. Even the court says, “The judges in attendance across the country agreed implicitly, saying, 'I will only write three rulings a week'.” Inside and outside the court, it was pointed out that “the trial is a judicial service for the people, but if the delay in the trial gets worse, the public's dissatisfaction will inevitably increase.” “The court should take practical measures for a quick trial.”

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