Roles and Functions of Local Council
Boeun County Council - Rights of Local Council
The Local Autonomy Act and relevant laws grant local councils various rights such as the the right of decision-making, right to vote, the right to administrative supervision, the right to autonomy, the right to consent and the right to receive and process petitions so that they can fulfill their rights and responsibilities. These rights have certain limits and are not applied to all works of local governments.
Thus, the rights of local councils must be exercised within the boundaries of the Local Autonomy Act and relevant laws. They are valid only when they are exercised within legitimate authority and by due process of law. If the rights are exercised and decisions are made without legitimate authority or without due process, those rights and decisions shall be invalid. The rights of a local council are granted to local government’s legislative body called local council as a whole and are not rights granted to individual members of the council.
Right of Decision-Making (Autonomous Legislative Power & Constituent Power)
The right of decision-making is the most fundamental and essential right of local councils. Local councils represent their citizens and they have the right to enact, amend and abolish laws, deliberate and make decisions on budget and adopt key policies and regulations. However, since the Local Autonomy Act of the Republic of Korea are based on a limited positive list system, local councils only have the power make decisions for basic matters and important matters of local government’s works which the Local Autonomy Act and relevant laws stipulate to be deliberated and decided on at local councils.
Right to Vote (Right to Organize Council Body)
Local councils have the right as election bodies. Their right to vote is stipulated under the Local Autonomy Act and relevant laws. Local councils have elections for the chairman and vice chairman of the council.
Right to Administrative Supervision(Right to Administrative Audits and Right to Administrative Inspections)
Local councils are granted with the right to administratively supervise executive agencies and this right is divided into a general and comprehensive right to administrative supervision called the right to administrative audits and the right to administrative inspections for more specific and individual matters. Local councils also have the right to summon the heads of local government and other public officials for questioning over general administrative affairs or specific matters of local governments.
Right to Autonomy
Right to autonomy refers to local councils’ right to regulate themselves free from controlling interferences by executive agencies. This right includes the right to enact the rules of meetings, opening and closing of councils, decide the terms, maintain order, take disciplinary actions and examine qualifications of council members.
Right to Consent
The executive actions of the heads of local governments and other executive agencies do not require the consent or decision of local councils. However, relevant laws grant local councils the power to participate in executive procedures with the expression of agreement and disagreement in important matters.
Right of Approval
Right of approval is local councils’ right to give approval ex post facto of the actions taken by executive agencies. Local councils can give approval of prior consideration actions and reserve fund spending and balancing of executive agencies.
Right to Receive and Process Petitions
Local councils represent their citizens and to meet the public opinions, local councils are granted with the right to process general works of local government in addition to their own council-related matters. Petitions to local councils must be introduced by more than 1 council member and include the purpose, date of submission as well as the name and address of the petitioner.