▲ Former Constitutional Court Justice Lee Jung-Mi during her lecture. Photographed by Choi Hyunbin.
At 12:30 P.M. on June 7, 2017, former Constitutional Court Justice Lee Jung-Mi gave a lecture at Korea University (KU), her alma mater, to commemorate her appointment as Chaired Professor. She presented advices for students and information on the Constitutional Court and its role, as well as recounting her experiences during her time as a judge both in constitutional and district courts.
Through her lecture, Professor Lee suggested students not to fear failure and to try for themselves. “Even failures can be a fortune. One cannot succeed without failures and mistakes,” she said. Professor Lee then advised students to cherish one’s connections, to think and to act but be responsible for one’s actions, to be professional, to be appreciative, and to be prepared. Professor Lee provided a story for each advice, stemming from both her and her associates’ experience.
Professor Lee then presented about the Constitutional Court and her time as justice. She described the constitution as “the highest law in existence” and that the Constitutional Court is where “infringement of rights is corrected.” In order to perform its role, the Constitutional Court considers five different kinds of cases: determining constitutionality, determining the scope of the constitution, hearing accepted complaints to the court, dissolving political parties, and impeaching leaders. According to Professor Lee, the Constitutional Court has determined the constitutionality of 840 cases, 620 of which were deemed unconstitutional.
Professor Lee Jung-Mi graduated KU in 1984 and has since served as a judge for 24 years and Constitutional Court Justice for 6 years. She presided over the impeachment trial of former President Park and was the justice who sentenced the decision to impeach on March 10, 2017.