A Seoul appellate court ruled Thursday that the top national university’s 2006 dismissal of disgraced stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk was illegal, overturning a lower court’s previous decision.
Hwang, a former veterinary professor at the Seoul National University, filed a suit against the school chief in November 2006, demanding his dismissal from the school be rescinded.
“The dismissal was made in violation of the proportionality principle or beyond (the school’s) discretion,” Seoul High Court Judge Kwak Jong-hun said, indicating the termination was an excessive response to what Hwang was then accused of.
The ruling disagreed with an earlier Seoul district court decision that endorsed the dismissal.
SNU stripped Hwang of his position as professor in April 2006 after ground-breaking academic success he published in the Science journal in 2004 and 2005 was found to be fraudulent.
Amid local media speculation over Hwang’s research results, SNU launched an investigation, which found that the scientist’s claim that his team cloned a human embryo from which they extracted stem cells was fabricated.