Supreme Court to Hold Hearing on Conscientious Objectors Cases

The full bench of the Supreme Court will hold a hearing in August to deliberate on two cases regarding conscientious objectors.

For the first time in 14 years, the full bench will decide whether or not such conscientious objectors should be subject to criminal punishment. In 2004, the full bench ruled that those who refuse mandatory military service based on their religious beliefs should face criminal punishment.

The Supreme Court said on Monday that it referred the two cases to the court’s 12- member bench and a hearing will be held on August 30th.

The two cases involve members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religious denomination that disapproves of any exercise using guns. The members were indicted for refusing the mandatory military service and mandatory reserve forces training.

After the hearing in August, the top court will hold a series of debates for two to four months which will be attended by the chief justice and justices before issuing a ruling. 
[Photo : YONHAP News]