Statement of Purpose
Foundation : The Current Landscape
Today, we live in a world that is in a constant state of economic change. In Korea although it is widely accepted that we should move forward based on a market-driven economy, however, there are no definitive policy directions in place while every group advocates only its own interests. In the meantime, the global world has not been able to escape the negative effects created by the recent Financial Crisis and Korea is no exception. If Korea, now nearly a top 10 global economic power, is not able to overcome these difficulties wisely, there is a possibility that it may regress to its lesser past.
Now we need to reflect on how much Korean Legal Studies has contributed to the economic growth. It is true that as Korea fostered its democracy and its legal system, the concept of “Rule of Law” has become well-established. We reckon, however, that Korean Legal Studies might have played a more full and active role in this regard.
The Constitution of Korea adopts the principle of free market as its underlying premise. At the same time, the Constitution stipulates that law can “regulate and control economic issues”. This Constitutional spirit runs along the basic concepts of a market economy. In other words, despite a principle of a market economy being that economic agents solve economic issues by free competition, if those solutions reach their limitations, governments should act with due regulation. We believe that it is only when these two (2) forces reach a healthy balance that a systematic base for economic growth is formed. Moreover, we are of the opinion that active growth brought about by various innovations is an essential force in this equation.
We accept that a fundamental duty of a legal scholar living this chaotic age in the spirit of the Constitution is to inquire into the substance of and study the progress of the three (3) basic principles of a market economy: Market Competition, Governmental Regulation and Innovation, from a legal standpoint.
The ICR Law Center: Purpose and Initiatives
To serve that duty, we launch the Innovation, Competition & Regulation Law Center (the “ICR Law Center”). Our researchcenter shall seek to further the Korean economy by research and development of these three basic principles individually and as a whole.
Above all, The ICR Law Center shall emphasize the significance of market competition and innovation. We maintain that when market competition and innovation is attainable, governments should refrain from interference as much as possible. And when there are burdens on market competition and innovation, we hold that those obstacles should be regulated in due time and with appropriate means. Nonetheless, we do realize that in some instances, market competition and innovation reach their limits and governmental regulation is a necessary substitution. Thus, we understand that the concepts of market competition and governmental regulation are complementary principles in solving economic issues. We recognize the equal importance of governments acting swiftly and properly and within an essential extent when such regulation is required.
Now the key initiatives the ICR Law Center proposes to undertake.
First, the ICR Law Center shall respect openness and diversity.
Yet, we shall not discriminate based on nationality and/or association in any of our initiatives. We plan to invite researchers from all of Korea and all over the world. In addition, many experts who are not affiliated with Korea University shall participate in the operation of the Center. Moreover, research subjects shall not be confined to a domestic context. We shall not stay within the settings of Korea University but shall strive to reach beyond and achieve synergetic results. Only then, we shall feel that we have accomplished something worthwhile.
Second, the ICR Law Center shall emphasize integration and interdisciplinary studies.
We intend to research Competition, Regulations, Telecommunications and Intellectual Property Law individually while also synthesizing these fields into a unified framework. We also regard collaboration with the academic fields of Economics and Public Administration as an essential element. In any respect, we believe that in order to solve real economic issues, we must amalgamate all the insight necessary notwithstanding which academic field it is derived from.
Third, the ICR Law Center shall extend our core initiatives to practical issues.
We understand that in an ever-changing reality of unanticipated developments, academic legal studies cannot remain in its ivory towers. We shall continue to address issues on execution of law while pursuing practical applications so that we may play an instrumental role in rational critical thinking and the search for valid solutions. Furthermore, we shall build a network among government, business entities, legal circles and academic communities for active collaboration on such practical applications. We believe that our contribution to real world issues shall become more meaningful through such collaboration.
Fourth, the ICR Law Center shall carry out our initiatives on a global scale.
In the current world of global economics, territorial boundaries no longer mean anything. This remains true for Legal Studies. We intend to cooperate with foreign universities, research institutions and international organizations in various forms. We also plan to publish a significant amount of our research product in English so that Korean work may be publicized on a global scale.
Fifth, the ICR Law Center shall provide educational opportunities and look to inspire and develop students domestic and abroad so that they may grow into expert professionals in relevant academic fields.
To fulfill this purpose, we intend to invite students from all over the world to be educated at our Center.
Hence, The ICR Law Center shall establish and operate a legal research center founded upon an unprecedented concept in Korea.
We believe that if we succeed in our authentic and bold venture, we shall become a major contribution to the Korean economy, and beyond that, to Asia as a whole. We hope many of you will decide to give support to our efforts.
September 9, 2010
Innovation, Competition and Regulation Center (ICR Center)
Director LEE, Hwang