The Korea Law Center congratulates Cho Kuk on his appointment as Senior Presidential Secretary for Civil Affairs in South Korea by newly-elected President Moon Jae-in. Cho, who is a professor of law at Seoul National University, received his J.S.D. degree in 1997 and his LL.M degree in 1995 from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
As one of the senior officials in Blue House (the Korean equivalent of the White House), Cho will be responsible for combating corruption among high-ranking government officials and reforming the prosecutor’s office. The role is particularly significant in the wake of the impeachment of President Park Geun Hye for corruption. The appointment of Cho, one of the most well-known legal scholars in Korea, drew particular attention in the South Korean media because his position is traditionally held by senior prosecutors. Moon’s decision to appoint Cho reflects a commitment to an anti-corruption program.
Cho received his LL.B and LL.M. from Seoul National University College of Law before receiving his LL.M. and J.S.D. from Berkeley. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Leeds Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, a visiting research fellow at the University of Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, and a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Harvard Yenching Institute. After his return to Korea, Cho served as a member of the Inspection Committee of the Ministry of Justice from 2005 to 2007, as a commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission from 2007 to 2010, and a member of the Sentencing Committee of the Supreme Court of Korea from 2009 to 2011.