As the possibility of prosecutors working through the Yoon Seok-yeol administration’s first minister and vice-minister of the Ministry of Justice increased, the “de-prosecution” of the Ministry of Justice promoted by the previous Moon Jae-in administration entered a new phase.
In particular, there is a diagnosis that the ‘reinforcing status’ of the prosecution, which was expected after the launch of the Yun Seok-yeol government, will become a reality. Above all, there is a forecast that the ‘Yun Seok-yeol line’, which was excluded from key personnel at the time of the Moon Jae-in administration, will occupy important positions such as the Ministry of Justice and the prosecution.
On the 13th, President Yoon Seok-yeol appointed Attorney Lee No-gong (53, 26th class of the Judicial Research and Training Institute) as the Deputy Minister of Justice in the appointment of 21 people including the deputy minister, vice minister, and foreign affairs chief. At the time of President Yoon’s first appointment as a prosecutor, Lee worked with the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office (Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office) at the Seongnam Branch.
The prevailing view is that President Yoon requested the National Assembly to resend the hearing progress report for Justice Minister candidate Han Dong-hoon by the 16th, effectively entering the process of ‘forced appointment’.
As a result, it is speculated that both the Minister of Justice and the Vice Minister of Justice are from the prosecution and that President Yoon’s ‘close associates’ will be present. Under the previous Moon Jae-in administration, prosecutors were thoroughly excluded from key positions in the Ministry of Justice. It is the first time in five years that the system of former prosecutors and vice ministers has been recreated.
Attorney Lee Wan-gyu, who is known as President Yoon’s ’40-year ally’ in the personnel affairs of the Ministry of Justice as well as the Ministry of Legislation, was appointed as the new head of the Legislative Council.
Regarding this, it is said that they are building a ‘pro-government system’ with former prosecutors and aides at the fore to prepare for the follow-up work related to the so-called ‘examination and complete deprivation of the prosecution’s investigation authority’ (completely deprived of the prosecution’s investigation rights), which was enforced by the Democratic Party just before the launch of the Yun Seok-yeol government. .
As the ‘Prosecutor’s Office’ and ‘Yun Seok-Yeol line’ take over key positions in legal ministries, the observation that a large number of President Yoon’s aides will appear in key figures in the prosecution is gaining strength.
Prosecution personnel appointments are expected to be carried out one after another, starting with the deputy chief of the prosecutor’s office after President Yoon enforced the appointment of a candidate after the 16th.
As the average number of heads of the Ministry of Justice, such as one candidate (Judicial Training Institute 27th class) and Vice Minister Lee No-gong, has decreased, there is also an analysis that the leadership of the prosecution will be drastically changed in the future.
One candidate is expected to speed up the nomination of the prosecutor general, which is currently vacant after the appointment of the minister. Daejeon High Prosecutor’s Office Chief Yeo Hwan-seop (24th class), Daegu Prosecutor’s Office Chief Kim Hu-gon (25th class), Incheon Prosecutor’s Office Chief Lee Du-bong (25th class), and Gwangju Prosecutor’s Office Chief Chan-ho Park (26th class) are nominated as candidates for the Prosecutor General’s office.
First female vice minister in the history of the Ministry of Justice in 74 years
Meanwhile, the new vice minister is the first female vice minister in the 74-year history of the Ministry of Justice. Following the title of the first female deputy chief prosecutor of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, Vice Minister Lee was named again as the first female vice-minister of the Ministry of Justice, breaking the ‘glass ceiling’ twice.
Vice Minister Lee was born in Incheon in 1969 and graduated from Youngnak High School in Seoul and the Department of Law at Yonsei University. In 1997, he was commissioned as a prosecutor at the Seongnam Branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office, and served as the 2nd Detective Manager of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, a professor at the Judicial Training Institute, the Human Rights Policy Manager of the Ministry of Justice, the 4th Deputy Chief of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, and the Suwon District Prosecutor’s Seongnam Branch.
The new Vice Minister Lee expressed his aspirations, saying, “I will do everything I can to carry out the Ministry of Justice’s state affairs.” “I feel a heavy responsibility to be appointed as the first vice-minister of justice in the new government,” said Lee. “I will do my best not to neglect the government’s assistant for the establishment of legal order, human rights, and global standard legal administration by quickly identifying tasks.” said.