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An Analysis on Court Writers at State Tribunal in Late Chosŏn : A Focus on Regulations and Case Studies of Court Writers

LEE, Ha-kyoung 1

1한국학중앙연구원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This research examines the political role of court writers of the Interrogation Records at the State Tribunal in late Chosŏn Korea. The court writers were officials temporarily assigned to the State Tribunals, responsible for drawing up interrogation questionnaires, reciting the interrogative documents to the accused and witnesses, and recording testimonies and statements throughout the judicial process. Current literature on the Chosŏn interrogation has not paid due attention to these writers. For a new approach to the Interrogation Records, this research argues that it is imperative to understand the political aspect of the court writers. Studies on Interrogation Records have questioned the validity of the testimonies under duress and examined problems arising from organizing oral testimonies into written statements. In contrast, this research deals with cases in which court writers actively shaped narratives of the testimonies and statements while recording the judicial procedures of the Tribunal. In some cases, the writers were impeached or brought to State Tribunals for fabricating or omitting specific words in the testimonies and statements from the written records. Through these case studies, this research attempts to analyze the political meanings of judicial space in the Chosŏn era and explore methodological considerations on the Interrogation Records.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.