I am very pleased to announce that the question of who are the legitimate leaders of the ITF has been settled by a court in Austria, where the International Taekwon-Do Federation is legally registered. This legal victory is the result of a number of legal procedures we have taken in the last two years.
On October 27th 2005, Mag. Susanne Korn of the Provincial Court for Civil Law Matters in Vienna handed down her decision on this question. She ruled that the change in the legal registry of clubs and associations carried out by Mr. Chang Ung and his supporters in the summer of 2004 and all the resolutions passed at the meeting held in July of that year are null and void.
Judge Korn ascertained that the members of the Executive Committee of the ITF elected according to the ITF Constitution are:
In addition, Mag. Korn ordered Mr. Chang Ung’s organization to pay the costs of the proceedings, an amount of €2,706.44.
The Chang Ung group subsequently filed an objection to this judgment, but that objection has been rejected by the court.
It should be noted that this judgment of the superior court confirms who are the leaders of the ITF. It overrides the previous judgment rendered by the district court, which addressed only the question of the occupation of the building by the Chang Ung group.
What it means for the future
The ITF is now taking the necessary legal steps to regain possession of the ITF headquarters building in Vienna that was taken over by Mr. Chang Ung’s group in 2003, based on their fraudulent claim that they were the officers of the ITF.
Some of you will recall that in my speech to the 14th ITF Congress Meeting in Warsaw (Poland) in June 2003, after I was elected President of the ITF, I addressed the problem by saying the following:
The group in question had tried to impose their will on the ITF by overriding the democratic process, but we have remained true to our value system. History teaches us that democracy is the only way to ensure the long-term development of our organization. Depriving people of their democratic rights is like navigating against the current; you don’t get anywhere in the long run. It is just a matter of time before this issue will be completely resolved.
While there has been some confusion in the Taekwon-Do community in recent years – with two other groups claiming to be the leaders of the ITF – the elected leaders of the ITF have now been recognized by the court. The issue has been settled, and there is no longer be any question about which is the "real" ITF.
It is essential that we make sure that everyone who received erroneous information in the past is informed about these recent developments. I will be writing to organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) to make them aware of the judgment in our favor.
I am pleased to announce that recently the All European Taekwon-Do Federation (AETF), an ITF-affiliated organization, was legally registered and granted the exclusive use of the ITF name and logo in the countries of the European Union. We are encouraging all National Associations to obtain legal registration of their organizations, the ITF name and logo in their countries.
Last October when Master Paul Weiler, in charge of the legal case in Vienna, was in Lublin, Poland to present the report of the Court Decision by Mag. Susanne Korn at the ITF Executive Meeting Master Paul Weiler is here seen with Master Trân Trieu Quân and Master Pablo Trajtenberg.
Although over the last two years we have devoted a certain amount of time and money to clarify the legal status of the ITF, this has not been the focus of all our efforts. We have concentrated on transforming the ITF by giving it a more efficient structure. The ITF Constitution has been revised, By-Law No. 1 has been approved and implemented, and various policies and procedures have been introduced.
One of the policies we have issued is the Policy for Recognition of Degrees Earned with Other Organizations (Click here to read the policy 51 Ko), which will be of interest to everyone who wishes to join the ITF.
The ITF opens its doors to all who wish to practice Taekwon-Do in a democratically operated organization. Those who are interested in joining the ITF are encouraged to contact Mr. Juan Ferrando, Vice-President and Chair of the Welcome Committee, (Click here to send an e-mail message to Mr. Ferrando) or an ITF-affiliated organization in their area.
A summary of what has been accomplished over the last two years is presented in the President’s Report to the Congress Meeting held in Dortmund (Germany) in July 2005.
The recently-completed survey of our National Associations revealed a high level of satisfaction with the changes that have been made and the services offered. (read more bellow about this survey.) We will continue to make improvements to the structure and the operations of the organization, responding to the needs of our members as identified by the survey.
We want to make the ITF the best it can be in order to offer more and better services to our members, so that everyone will be proud to say that they are members of the ITF. It is my sincere hope that with this clarification of our legal status, many of those who had chosen to follow others will decide to rejoin the ITF.
Then the great ITF Taekwon-Do family will no longer be divided by controversy. We will be united in our common goal of building a better and peaceful world, following in the footsteps of our Founder General Choi Hong Hi.
Master Trân Trieu Quân