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Chief Director’s Letter

Welcome to  Korean Research Center for  Guardianship and Trusts.

We were  established as of 1st September 2016 under the auspice  of  Korean Research Foundation.
The purpose of our research center is to conduct research on current legal and social environment surrounding persons with impairments to decision making ability in Korea to improve their  human  rights  and  facilitate their  integration  into  communities.  

Our research center makes much of the self-determination right of persons with  mental  illness,  developmental  disabilities,  dementia  and  other  kinds of disabilities related to decision makings, but  we  do  not  make  little  of  the  necessity of preventing  those  persons  from  imminent serious   dangers.  Emphasizing   the   right   to   self-determination   necessarily   entails   the   responsibility for the results coming from self-determinations. Those results might be disadvantageous to the persons who exercise their own rights to self-determination. Even the persons with impairments to decision making ability are worthy of risking such disadvantages because it can have educational effect on their personal development unless those disadvantages are seriously dangerous to their life, body and important property. It  means  that  the  protection of those  persons  from danger might be a last resort. What is needed to those persons is assistance and support rather than protection. We will conduct research  on  the social and legal systems for persons with dementia, mental illness and developmental disabilities who are situated at the danger of deprivation of their own rights to self-determination by surrogate decision makers such as legal  protectors  and  guardians.

We are absolutely against the application of full guardianship to disabled persons, moreover we are against any type of guardianship which limits and deprives the legal capacity of persons under guardianship. We are for various kinds of alternatives to legal guardianship, whereby the self-determination can be fully exercised for the  care  and  daily  lives  of  persons  with  impairments  to  decision  makings.

For that  purpose, we have conducted  and  will  conduct research on lasting or enduring power of attorney, advance directives to care and medical treatment, trust schemes for care and daily life, representatives for social benefits and social services and proper use of court-appointed guardianship services  as a last resort. For that purpose, we  have  cooperated  and  will  cooperate  with foreign   institutes   and   academics   and   practitioners.  We welcome any kind of contribution and cooperation to our work.

  Professor Cheolung Je

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