Introduction & History : Ministry of Justice Republic of Korea in Pursuit of Law and Order

The Ministry of Justice serves the people of the Republic of Korea by guarding and enforcing the Constitution and laws of the Republic. In addition to rendering legal advice to the President, Prime Minister, and other Ministers, the Ministry supervises the prosecution. It is also in charge of correctional and rehabilitative administration and immigration. The following introduces the history, vision & mission and organization.

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2016
  • The Psychological Treatment Division for intensive care of special prisoners was established in the Korea Correctional Service.
  • The North korean Human Rights Documentation Office for the improvement of North Korean human rights was established.
2015
  • The High-Risk Off ender Management Division was established to step up management and supervision of high-risk offenders.
  • The Personal Infomation Management Center id launched.
2013
  • The Refugees Division was created to protect human rights of refugees.
  • The Human Rights of Women & Children Division was created to reinforce protection of women & children’s human rights.
  • <The Second Basic Plan for Immigration Policy> was established and implemented(2013~2017).
  • <The Refugees Act> entered into force.
2012
  • Four Juvenile Misdemeanors Prevention Centers were established in Seoul('s southern and western districts). Incheon and Daegu as part of the measures to eradicate school violence.
2011
The Law & Order Advancement Division was created to firmly establish law and order and lay a foundation for legal education.
2010
  • The Korea Information System of Criminal-Justice Services was created.
  • The promotion project for legal policies supporting the working class and the socially vulnerable was launched.

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2009
The Legal Support Group for Small and Medium Enterprises was launched.
2008
The Ministry's organization (5 Bureaus, 2 Services, 10 Offices, 48 Departments) was improved: Planning & Coordination Bureau, Legal Affairs Bureau, Criminal Affairs Bureau, Crime Prevention Policy Bureau, Inspector General, Human Rights Bureau, Korea Correctional Service, Korea Immigration Service, Spokesperson, etc.
2007
  • The Corrections Bureau (1 Bureau, 1 Deliberation Offi cer, 6 Divisions) was reorganized and expanded into the Korea Correctional Service (1 Service, 2 Policy Groups, 9 Teams), and the 「Framework Act on Treatment of Foreigners Residing in the Republic of Korea」was enacted and entered into force.
  • The Korea Immigration Bureau (1 Bureau, 6 Divisions) was reorganized and expanded to the Korea Immigration Service (1 Service, 2 Policy Groups and 10 Teams).
  • The Korean Government’s first comprehensive plan on human rights policy, the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, was set up and enforced.
  • Judicial reforms, including the introduction of the Civil Participation in Criminal Trials System, were made.
  • The Commercial Legal Affairs Division that exclusively oversees economic legal affairs was created under the Legal Affairs Bureau in order to improve corporate legislation to the level of the developed countries.
2006
The Human Rights Bureau in charge of national human rights policy was established to improve human rights of citizens.
2005
The Office of Inspector General was created to improve the transparency of judicial affairs and the prosecution.
2003
The position classification of prosecutors was abolished and eligibility screening was introduced to reinforce prosecutors’ independence and autonomy.
2001
The Legal Profession Division that oversees bar examinations was established under the Legal Affairs Bureau.
2000
  • The High-Tech Crime Investigation Division was established under the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office to tackle cybercrime. The educational system of juvenile reformatories shifted its focus to foreign language, computer skills and open character-building education. Specialized schools opened at 11 reformatories across the country.

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1998
Office of Women's Policy that aims to improve women-related laws and systems was created under the Planning & Management Office.
1992
  • The Inter-Korean Law Division was established to modify related legislation in preparation for the reunification of the two Koreas.
  • The Forensic Science Planning Office and the Narcotics Division were created under the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office for scientific investigation.

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1989
The probation system was introduced to supervise criminals to abide by guidelines while allowing them to go about their daily lives; the Probation Division took charge of this duty.
1988
The open prison system was adopted for prison inmate’s smooth reintegration into the society by enhancing their independence. (Cheonan Open Prison was established.)
1987
  • The Korea Legal Aid Association was revamped and reestablished as a special corporation, the Korea Legal Aid Corporation.
  • The Medical Treatment & Custody Facility opened for the systematic and professional care and rehabilitation for mentally-ill defendants.
1981
The Protection Bureau was established to improve treatment of criminals and to guide juvenile delinquents to a future-oriented mindset.

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1970
The Korea Immigration Service was established to actively respond to a changing immigration environment in the wake of the government's open diplomacy policy.

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1963
The Planning & Management Office was established.
1962
The Penal Administration Bureau was renamed the Correctional Bureau to strengthen the Ministry’s commitment to correctional education.
1961
Immigration Affairs was transferred from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the newly established immigration Management Division in Criminal Affairs Bureau.

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1948
The Ministry of Justice was created at the time of the establishment of the Korean Government (1 office, 4 bureaus and 21 divisions).