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  1. Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years(2)

II. Introduction to the Commission

 

 

 

(2)

 

Introduction to the Commission

 

 

Outline

 

 

Objective of the Commission

 

Under the「Framework Act on Clearing up Past Incidents for Truth and Reconciliation」, the Commission’s purpose is to foster national legitimacy and reconcile the past for the sake of national unity by honoring those who participated in anti-Japanese movements and by exposing the truth through investigation of incidents of human rights abuses, violence, and massacres that occurred throughout the course of Japanese rule until the present time, especially under the nation’s authoritarian regimes. In order to fulfill this purpose, the Commission investigates within the following areas of interest.

 

Anti-Japanese movements during Japanese rule as well as immediately preceding movements

 

Koreans residing abroad and their efforts to protect Korea's sovereignty and enhance Korea's position against Japanese rule spanning throughout the Japanese colonial period until Dec. 1st. 2005, when the Truth and Reconciliations Commission Act was formed

 

Massacres occurring from August 15, 1945 to the Korean War period

 

Incidents ranging from August 15, 1945 to the end of the authoritarian regimes, including deaths/injury/missing persons incidents due to illegal acts such as the disruption of constitutional order or the unjust use of public power, other significant human rights abuses, and allegations of manipulation

 

Terrorist acts, human rights abuses, massacres, suspicious deaths by groups that opposed the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea or were hostile to the Republic of Korea, spanning from August 15, 1945 to the period of authoritarian regimes

 

Other Incidents: Incidents that are historically important and deemed necessary for investigation by the Commission and those incidents that fits within the intent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act

 

.※ Formation of the Framework Act on Clearing up Past Incidents for Truth and Reconciliation (Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act)

Sept.~Oct. 2004: Three parties, including the ruling party and two opposition parties, propose the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act

May 3, 2005: The National Assembly approves the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act

 

May 31, 2005: Promulgation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act (Law No. 7542)

Dec. 1, 2005: Enforcement of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act

 

 

The Commission's Mandate

According to Article 3 of the Framework Act on Clearing up Past Incidents for Truth and Reconciliation, the Commission independently addresses matters that fall within the purview of its authority. The President of the Commission can recommend a government bill to the President of Korea in relation to its work. Designated with the authority of a ministerial caliber mandate, the President of the Commission can administer the budget. The Commissioners shall independently exercise their authority independent from any outside intervention or orders. The Commissioners cannot be dismissed against their will.

 

 

Characteristics of the Commission

 

The Commission investigates all relevant historical incidents, apart from investigations conducted by commissions established in accordance with individual Acts. The Commission is an independent body, not belonging to any ministry. Similar independent commissions are the National Human Rights Commission and the Korea Broadcasting Commission. The Commission, after concluding its investigation, proposes recommendations to rectify damages, restore honor, and promote reconciliation between victim and offender. It also supports the establishment of a research foundation for historical incidents.

 

 

Organization and Budget

 

 

Organization

 

Commissioners: 15 members (8 members recommended by the National Assembly, 4 members appointed by the President, and 3 members nominated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court)

① Standing Commissioners: 4 members (2 members recommended by the National Assembly, 2 members nominated by the President)

President: Ministerial caliber (1 member)

Standing Commissioners: Vice ministerial caliber (3 members)

② Non-standing Commissioners: 11 members

 

Nomination of President and Commissioners of the Commission: President of the Republic of Korea

 

Proceeding and Quorum for Resolution: The resolution thereof shall require the

Division

‘05 Year Budget

‘06 Year Budget

‘07 Year Budget

‘08 Year Budget

Total

Personnel Expenses Operating

Expenses

2,416

 

65

 

2,351

9,410

 

5,092

 

4,318

12,519

 

4,668

 

7,851

19,657

 

9,844

 

9,813

 

consent of a majority of the incumbent commissioners.

 

Publication of Proceedings: The proceedings of the Commission shall be accessible to the public unless deemed otherwise by the Commission or sub-commissions

 

Period of the Commission

① Basic period of investigation: The Commission shall investigate petitions for two years with a possible two year extension if needed.

② Procedure to extend the period: The Commission reports its extension to the President of the Republic of Korea and the National Assembly three months before the expiration of the investigation. The Commission may conclude the investigation before the expiration date if it decides it is unnecessary to continue: The extension of the investigation may be concluded by resolution of the Commission.

 

 

Financial Operation and Budget Statues by Year

 

Trend of Financial Operations by Year: The Commission's  financial  operation trend         from         2005         to         2008         is         depicted         below.  Financial Operation Trend by Year (Unit: KRW million)

Exchange Rate for USD 1 = KRW 1,385 (As of Feb. 3, 2008)

 

 

Budget: The Commission's total budget in 2008 is approximately KRW 19.7 billion: 50% of this budget is assigned to personnel expenses while the remaining portion is assigned to operating expenses. Due to the introduction of a new personnel expense system in 2008, 60 public officials' salaries (KRW 32 billion) are paid from the Commission's budget. Due to this, the Commission’s staff personnel expenses increased sharply in 2008 from 2007.

 

Introduction to the Commissioners and Staff

 

 

Commissioners

 

President

Ahn, Byung-Ook

Professor of Korean History at the Catholic University of Korea Commissioner of the Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths President of the Truth Commission of the National Intelligence Service Commissioner of the Cultural Heritage Administration

 

Standing Commissioners

Lee, Young-Jo

President, Capitalism Economy and Nationalism Research Center Secretary General, Citizens United for Better Society

Professor, Kyunghee University

 

Kim, Dong-Choon

Associate Professor, Sungkonghoe University

Director, Human Rights and Peace Center of Sungkonghoe University Policy President, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

 

Kim, Jun-Gone

Member, Minbyun-Lawyers for a Democratic Society

Standing Commissioner of the Presidential Truth Commission on Suspicious Deaths Secretary to the R.O.K. President for Civic and Social Affairs

 

Commissioners

Choi, Il-Sook

Commissioner, Ombudsman of Korea Lawyer, Hanwul Law Office

Member, Minbyun- Lawyers for a Democratic Society Judgment Commissioner, Seoul Regional Labor Commission

 

Chung, Jae-Geun

Buddhist Priest, Bukhan Mountain Kumsonsa, Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism Commissioner, Ombudsman of Korea

Commissioner of National Human Rights Commission

 

Hong, Soon-Kwon

Professor, Department of History, Dong-A University President, Korean Association of Genocide Scholars President, Pusan-Kyungnam Historical Studies

 

Jung, Byung-Joon

 

Professor of History, Ewha Woman's University Professor, Mokpo National University

Research Fellow, National Institute of Korean History

 

Jung, Byung-Seok

Principal, Department of Law, Chonnam National University Jurum Doctor from Seoul National University

Professor, Department of Law, Chonnnam National University

 

Kim, Oe-Sook

Lawyer, Law Office of Busan

Member, Minbyun - Lawyers for a Democratic Society Lawyer, Law Office of Uri Hapdong

 

Lee, Kee-Yuk

Lawyer, Representative Attorney for the law office of Changjo

Vice-President, Truth Commission of the Ministry of National Defense Vice-Chairman of Minbyun-Lawyers for a Democratic Society

Human Rights Commissioner, Korean Bar Association

 

Park, Sang-Hoon

Lawyer, Law Office of Yoon Yang Kim Shin & Yu Senior Judge, Seoul Administration Court

Chief Judge, Jeonju District Court Judge, Seoul High Court

Judge, Seoul District Court

 

Park, Yo-Chan

Lawyer

Ph.D. of Science in Taxation (With Emphasis on Tax Law) Lecturer in Tax Law, Judicial Research Training Institute

Lecturer in Tax Law, Korea University Graduate School of Policy Studies Lecturer in Tax Law, University Of Seoul

 

 

Term of the Commissioners: Each term of the commissioner, including the President, is two years, with the possibility of reappointment. In the case of a vacancy, a successor is immediately appointed after an election or nomination is conducted within 30 days of the vacancy. The successor's term of office shall start anew on the day he or she is appointed.

 

 

Prohibiting the participation of a commissioner: Below are a list of factors that may prohibit participation of a commissioner in the deliberation and resolution: If the commissioner or any person who is or was the commissioner’s spouse is an offender or victim involved in a case under investigation by the Commission. If the commissioner is a blood relative of the offender or victim in a case under investigation by the Commission.

 

If the commissioner was involved in any criminal investigation or trial procedures with respect to the relevant investigation by the Commission. If the commissioner has testified or made an evaluation with respect to the relevant investigations by the Commission. If the commissioner participates or participated in the relevant investigation as an agent of the party concerned. If the commissioner receives a refusal request from a petitioner or respondent.

 

 

Human Resources

 

As of September 30, 2008, the Commission is staffed with 241 persons.

The President’s Office is comprised of six staff members. The Standing Commissioners’ Offices are comprised of nine staff members. The Secretary General’s Office is comprised of two staff members. The Legal Affairs and Audit Team is comprised of five staff members. The Policy Planning and PR Team is comprised of eight staff members. The Bureau of Administration Management is comprised of fifty-four staff members. The Bureau of National Independence is comprised of thirty-nine staff members. The Bureau of Massacres is comprised of sixty-six staff members. The Bureau of Human Rights Abuses is comprised of fifty-two staff members.

 

Department                                                   Staff Members

President’s Office                                           6 (Incl. President) Standing Commissioners’ Offices                                  9 (Incl. Commissioners) Secretary General’s Office                                             2 (Incl. Secretary General)

Legal Affairs and Audit Team                       5 (Incl. Chief)

Policy and PR Team                                       8 (Incl. Chief)

Bureau of Administration Management: 54 (Incl. Director General) Bureau of National Independence                                 39 (Incl. Director General) Bureau of Massacres                                                       66 (Incl. Director General) Bureau of Human Rights Abuses                                   52 (Incl. Director General)

 

Eighty-four of the staff members are dispatched from the central and local governments which include the National Intelligence Service, Board of Audit and Inspection, Office for Government Policy Coordination, Department of Veterans Affairs, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ministry of Unification, Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of National Defense, and National Police Agency.

 

26 staff members hold PhD degrees, 5 staff members hold lawyer certificates and 2 staff members are public prosecutors.

 

Composition and Operation

 

Bureau and Mission

 

Bureau of Administration Management

① Coordination and Planning Division

Regulates tasks regarding the National Assembly

Conducts general investigation work

Comprises of an operational committee, advisory committee, and sub-commission

Responsible for preparing the overall report and collecting data

② Management Support Division

Responsible for appointment, service, education, training, and pension

Regulates administration of documents and official seals

Maintains the administration information system

Responsible for procurement and administration

Manages and balances annual income and budget for annual expenditure

Regulates ethics of staff members and registration of property

③ External Affairs Division

Includes the International PR and Cooperation Team

Receives petitions for investigations and managing general civil affairs

Cooperates with similar institutions or organizations

Works on enhancement of regulations and recommendations

④ Investigation Cooperation Division

Responsible for management and operation of information and data, as well as collection, analysis and maintenance of investigated and administrative data

Responsible for construction, management and operation of administrative information system

Conducts psychological evaluations and surveys on the present status of victims

Provides support for preliminary investigations

Responsible for exhumation, rehabilitation and reconciliation

Responsible for the establishment of the research foundation for past incidents

 

Bureau of Investigation on National Independence

Investigation Team 1~3

Responsible for the investigation of incidents involving the anti-Japanese movement, history of overseas Koreans, and other incidents determined by the Commission

 

Bureau of Investigation on Massacres

Investigation Team 1~5

Responsible for the investigation of incidents involving Massacres, incidents by groups that oppose the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea, and other incidents determined by the Commission

 

Bureau of Investigation on Human Right Abuses

Investigation Team 1~5

 

Responsible for the investigation of incidents involving the misuse of power, court convictions, suspicious deaths, unsatisfactory investigations, and other incidents determined by the Commission

 

Legal Affairs and Audit Team

Regulates adherence to acts, rules and provisions

Manages organization and staff members

Operates panel committees including audits

 

Policy Planning and PR Team

Plans and set policy, media PR and strategy

Builds coalitions with the press and relevant organizations

Conducts investigations, analysis, and planning on past incidents-related system and policy

 

 

Classification and Assignment of the Cases

 

A total of 10,860 petitions have been received by the Commission, and every petition is automatically assigned a case number for one of the three committees to review: Committee on Independence Movement, Committee on Massacres, and Committee on Human Rights Abuses. Divided into sub-categories, the Committee on Independence Movement was assigned 274 cases on the independence movement against the Japanese, 14 cases on the history of Korean expatriates during colonial times, and 1,678 cases on groups opposing the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea. The Committee on Massacres was assigned 7,992 cases of civilian massacres. The Committee on Human Rights Abuses was assigned 612 cases related to human rights violations. The Commission's remaining 351 cases, which failed to fit into a particular category, were divided and reviewed by each committee depending on the relevancy of the petitions.

 

Assignment Classification by Committee (Case, %) / As of Nov. 30 2006

 

No. of Cases

Ratio

Total                                               10,860

100.0

Committee on Independence         1,975

18.2

Anti-Japanese independence       274

2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Committee on Human Rights        612                                 5.6

Abuses

Human rights violation

612

5.6

Others

351

3.2

 

 

 

 관련기사

Truth and Reconciliation Activities of the Past Three Years (1) I. Historical Background of Korea's Past Settlement

 

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