The highest judicial court is the Supreme Court, under which are five intermediate appellate courts. Lower tribunals include district courts, of which there are 15, and a family and administrative court. There are 103 municipal courts in South Korea. Since 1988 constitutional challenges go to the Constitutional Court.
The president, with the consent of the National Assembly, appoints the chief justice, the other 13 justices of the Supreme Court, and the Constitutional Court. The chief justice in consultation with the other justices of the court, appoints lower court justices.
The constitution provides for a presumption of innocence, protection from self-incrimination, the rights to a speedy trial, protection from double jeopardy and other procedural due process safeguards.
The constitution provides for an independent judiciary. There are no jury trials. The legal system combines some elements of European civil law systems, Anglo-American law, and classical Chinese philosophies.