Despite strong protests by the main opposition party and conservative groups, on January 14, 2020, the Korean National Assembly passed a controversial bill setting up an independent investigation agency dedicated to investigating corruption among high-ranking public officials (the “Corruption Investigation Office,” or the “CIO”). And on July 15, 2020, the Act on the Establishment and Operation of the Corruption Investigation Office for High-Ranking Officials (the “CIO Act”) is set to take effect.

In an effort to reform the country’s judicial system and distrust of public prosecutors, President Moon Jae-In’s top campaign promise in the 2017 presidential election was the establishment of the CIO.

Existing Criminal Investigation System

What is the CIO?

Potential Implications


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