SEOUL-- New Constitutional Court chief Lee Jin-sung said Monday he will ensure the court excludes any political dichotomy of conservative or liberal thinking and brings a balanced perspective to any case.
"I will focus on reaching a balanced resolution of every major case, including the very oldest one, through which the court will further build public trust if we do our job in the right and honest way, at the right time," he said in an inauguration ceremony held earlier.
The former chief of a high court in Gwangju was formally appointed by President Moon Jae-in on Friday, after the parliament approved his nomination following a confirmation hearing.
The appointment ended a 10-month leadership void at the Constitutional Court, after the National Assembly voted down Moon's first nominee Kim Yi-su over his ideological orientation, which conservative lawmakers claimed to be left-leaning.
Lee also vowed not to let the court be blinded by its own self-righteousness.
"We need to look back and see if we are in 'our own league,'" Lee said. "Having no competitor makes us settle for the status quo and prone to self-justification."
He also promised to keep the door open for public as well as outside opinions, so that the court prevents itself from arbitrary execution of law and reinforces its role in serving justice.
Lee, 61, is expected to accelerate the court's deliberations on a range of sensitive cases, such as abortion and religion-based rejections of mandatory military service.
He has been part of the court's nine-member bench since September 2012, which leaves him with only another year to serve as the court's chief justice, since there is no legal specification as to whether the fresh appointment makes him eligible for another six-year term.
Lee has said he will end his service at the end of next year unless there is a clear statutory definition of the chief judge's term.
Source: Yonhap News Agency