High Court Armed Forces Republic of Korea

The Convening Authorities are the commanding generals of the unit where the military court is established, who will command and supervise the judicial administration of the trial proceedings. The Minister of National Defense has such authority over the general military court and the High Military Court of Korea established in the Ministry of National Defense. Both Minister of the National Defense and each service’s Chief of Staff have such authority over all general military courts established under their command.

 

The Convening Authority appoints military judges for the bench and, in exceptional cases, includes and appoints lay judges. The Convening Authority exercises his/her appointment power with advice and counsel from his/her staff judge advocate.

 

The Convening Authority also confirms the court’s judgment. If he/she finds the sentence excessive in case of death penalty, imprisonment (except for probation) or fines, the authority may mitigate the degree of sentence with an advice and counsel from the staff judge advocate. With the new legislation, in order to mitigate, the authority must find that the accused committed the crime in the course of sincere and active performance of duty, such as during operations, education and training, and the degree of mitigation is limited to one-third. Recent trend shows diminished instances where the authority actually mitigates the sentence. The authority has no right to mitigate the sentence determined by the appellate court.

 

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