Constitutionalization of Transitional Justice and the Constitutional Identity in Korea

Since the establishment of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea in 1948, Korea has sought constitutional democracy in its unique constitutional political context. In such path, the nation experienced two military coup d’états with ensuing authoritarian regimes, then has incrementally achieved citizen-initiated democratization process. Most conspicuously noted idiosyncrasy in Korea’s democratization process is the mandate of constitutionalization requiring integration of transitional justice and democratization process, in the effort to maintain nation’s constitutional identity. This process encompasses criminal punishment of two presidents, impeachment of presidents in two cases, dissolution of a political party, all through law and judicial process. This paper will analyze the core elements and factors constituting the notion of transitional justice and mandating their “constitutionalization” in Korea, in light of Korea’s constitutional identity.