Half of Accused Stand Trial Without Attorney: Data | Be Korea-savvy

Half of Accused Stand Trial Without Attorney: Data

A court house (Yonhap)

A court house (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Oct. 25 (Korea Bizwire)Close to 50 percent of the accused standing before criminal courts in South Korea were found to proceed without hiring an attorney, data showed Monday.

Rep. Park Ju-min of the Democratic Party referred to a Supreme Court report indicating that 45 percent of the accused proceeded in their first-instance criminal trial without hiring an attorney between 2017 and 2021.

The proportion of the accused proceeding with a trial without an attorney was the highest at the Daegu District Court (50.9 percent), followed by the Suwon District Court (48.4 percent) and the Incheon District Court (48.2 percent).

The Seoul Central District Court, the largest court in the country, had the lowest proportion at 35.3 percent.

Trials in which defendants choose to represent themselves have been shrinking in number every year while more people hired private attorneys.

“Self-representation in court indicates that the public still struggles with accessing legal services. We should make improvements to the public defender system,” Rep. Park said.

M. H. Lee (mhlee@koreabizwire.com)

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