Laws of Korea




Cover page of


“K-Law®” Global


“K-Law is a registered trademark of the U.S.-Korea Law Foundation”


The opinions or comments expressed in the articles do not necessarily represent the official views of the Ministry of Justice, the Republic of Korea, or U.S.-Korea Law Foundation.


  Greetings ………


Ryul Kim, Esq.

Chair, US-Korea Law Foundation, U.S.A.


The Korean legal system has developed to meet the socio-economic needs of the Korean people and society. In the process, it has adopted the value and character of Korean culture. The Korean legal system not only reflects the indigenous culture and history of Korea but also incorporates the geopolitical influences from Korea’s neighbors. This book does not seek to provide a detailed outline of the full history and current structure of the entire Korean legal system. Rather, it will provide a general introduction to Korean law, legal history, and legal system.


In chapters 1 and 2, this book will present a historical overview of the Korean legal system, current legal education system, legal professions, court system and prosecution service, legal service market openings, and methods to research Korean laws. These topics will provide the reader with the “big picture” of the Korean legal system.

In chapter 3, the Constitution will be discussed. The historical development and constitutional revision will also be covered. The key articles will be examined in order to draw a basic legal structure behind the principles, rights, and government institutions of the Republic of Korea. Furthermore, the Constitutional Court and its significant decisions will be covered in this chapter.

In chapter 4, the Civil Law of Korea will be addressed. Given the scope and nature of this book, it does not go into different theories on Civil Law, but rather offers an overview of the current structure, which is associated with the major articles and chapters of the Civil Code. This is done for the purposes of deepening the reader’s understanding of the general picture and the governing principles of the Civil Law.

In chapter 5, the Civil Procedure of Korea will be discussed. This chapter will focus generally on the civil litigation process of Korea. Litigation procedures, ruling principles, evidence regulations and appeal process will be touched upon in this chapter.

Chapter 6 will address Criminal Law. This chapter will discuss the historical development of the Criminal Code as well as the governing principles of criminal law. The discussion will be advanced with governing articles and cases behind key criminal offenses as they are regulated under the Criminal Code of Korea.

Chapter 7 will focus on Criminal Procedure Law in Korea. The investigation, trial process and the evidence rules will be followed. Furthermore, the introduction of the experimental jury system will be explained.

Chapter 8 will cover Corporation Law. It will mainly focus on general principles of the law, the corporate formation, issuance of stock, and the rights of shareholders. In addition, limited liability companies and partnership companies are also touched upon in this chapter.

In Chapter 9, the Employment Law will be discussed. The fundamental rights of employee and the major principles of the Labor Code will be followed.

Lastly, Chapter 10 will present Private International Law. The main articles of Korean Private International Code, such as international civil law, international jurisdiction and venue, foreign judgment recognition and enforcement will be discussed.


A. The character of the book: What is this book about?

This book is characterized in substance and form as follows:

First, this book, as represented by its title, “Laws of Korea”, is not intended to serve as a legal treatise or law school casebook but rather as an introductory yet comprehensive text for the study of the Korean legal system. The central theme of this book is an examination of the substantive aspect of Korean law. The substantive law is analyzed in relation to the branches of the Korean government, which consists of legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

The legal system is not equal to the judicial system. The Korean legal system will be introduced in relation to the laws of Korean society. Therefore, the Korean judicial system will be discussed briefly and not as the exclusive component of its legal system. Therefore, the book will primarily address Korean law and legal structures in a broader sense, including how laws are made, construed, and carried out beyond the limited scope of the adjudicatory role of the judiciary in Korea.

Second, the contents of this book are mainly aimed at assisting Anglo-American lawyers, law students, law professors or business executives cultivated in the Anglo-American legal setting to understand the basic structure of the Korean legal system. The philosophical and academic approaches will be limited, although the historical, empirical, and political approaches are employed where applicable and appropriate.

Third, this book is written to be of use to scholars and students in undergraduate or graduate levels in the Korean study, as well as legal professionals. Therefore, the genealogy of cases, often found in the casebooks, will be minimized to be fair to those whose primary interest may be not in studying the discipline of law.

Fourth, this book is written in “plain English”.

A major challenge is linguistics. Resentment in the English-speaking world to legal jargon has its counterpart in Korea. Many average Koreans, as well as Korean jurists, are discontent with Korean legal terms which were bred through archaic 19thcentury Korean, Chinese, and Japanese terminology and which are still prevalent in the Korean law books and legal setting. Even to native Korean jurists, some Korean legal terms are difficult to understand.

Given the linguistic challenge, the authors have used plain American-English with the utmost effort to digest and convey the concept of Korean legal terminology for English-speaking readers.

Fifth, some of the Korean written letters are converted to Romanized form. The 2007 U.S. Consensus shows that the Korean language is the 7th most used one in the U.S. and is spoken by approximately 90 million people worldwide. We hope some of our readers with a certain level of written Korean language proficiency will benefit from this approach. (Frequently, this method results in awkward wording which we find more confusing than helpful.)

B. Why are we writing this book? What has hindered us?

1.Solid Academic Foundation Indispensible to Studying Korean Law and Legal System

We are writing this book to re-educate ourselves and to comprehend the basic background and system of Korean law from the perspective of common law practitioners. (The more the jurists attempt to define it, the more disputes arises on what “common law is and/or was”)

Those with an Anglo-American legal background must realize that their knowledge in the Korean law in comparison to common law is fragmented to the extent that its application and utilities have reached its own limitation due to a lack of concrete academic or theoretical foundation. Unfortunately, we have found that there is no law book written for common law practitioners who seek a broader perspective of Korean law and its legal system.

2. “Archive Fever Disease”

In olden days of Britain, lawyers functioned frequently as scribers and were paid for their services by the exact number of words jotted on the paper. Naturally, they must have been tempted to resort to verbatim. Modern lawyers have a similar vice, as often evidenced in their padded hourly billing statements.

Have we written too little? Since we began writing, we have become frustrated by not knowing where to stop. Some scholars call it “Archive Fever Disease”. People with such infirmities incessantly conduct research and are never able to produce an end result. We do not wish to be accused of this occupational disease. Hence, we should admit a mortal’s limitation and contradiction—that is—we pursue but cannot reach perfection. Therefore, we are obliged to finish this book as-is, with all flaws known or unknown at this time.

C. Dedication: For whom are we toiling to write this book?

English common law has been proved to possess monetary value as American and British law firms have explored. The Korean legal system must have such potential value to a certain extent among those with an open and adventurous mind.

In the recent years, Korea has achieved economic success at a remarkable speed against all odds, even to their own astonishment. However, some of the non-tangible yet valuable elements which have been built over decades have not received due attention domestically or abroad. There is no doubt that certain intellectual property, such as copyrights or patents, is known to possess some degree of intrinsic commercial value. So does the Korean legal system.

What is the value of the Korean legal system to the global community? This question cannot be answered until we fully understand its potential and use in global arena. Therefore, Korea itself should initiate to capitalize on the merits of her legal system after examining it for her own as well as other nations’ benefit.

Therefore, the significance of Korean law and the Korean legal system should be diligently studied, not only in terms of a limited geopolitical sense, but also in terms of its global value. We hope that this book will spark further discussion on the impact of Korea law.

1. For the Koreans

The Koreans were unfairly forced to pay for the self-interests of foreign powers during the Sino-Japanese War in 1894, the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, and World War II in 1945. The Korean people are still bearing the horrendous burdens which are disproportionate to their own wrongs, as the Korean War has been on-going since 1950.

The following is an excerpt from a book Exciting Experience in the Japanese-Russian War by Marshall Everett, 1904:

“…Korean empress is a white female…neither Russia nor Japan appeared to care about the Emperor of Korea or his people… defenseless monarch… his wife being an American girl sent forth a wailing appeal to the Christian powers…”

As illuminated in the above passage, most Westerners were so ignorant of Korea and were therefore willing to belittle Korea in the 20th century.

From the perspective of the United States, Imperial Russia, Imperial Japan, and China, Korea was deemed disposable. Korea was merely a pawn in their war game which they bargained off to any foreign power’s pleasure and interests. History repeated itself at the end of World War II. The foreign powers of the United States and the Soviet Union were not inclined to respect the interest of Korea above their own and were willing to sacrifice the interests of the Korean people. Therefore, they agreed to divide the Korean peninsula into North and South Korea in 1945. The Koreans suffered to-date as a result of foreign powers’ failure or refusal to appreciate Korea for anything other than military strategic importance.

The modern Korean law and legal system is a living embodiment of collective wisdom of the Korean people, born out of the undue hardships of many major wars and political turbulence. Studying the Korean legal system is opening a window for outsiders to understand, with sympathy, her pageant toward mankind’s universal goals: freedom and security. The Korean legal system is the product of her people’s strife between survival and prosperity; betrayal and loyalty; war and peace; confusion and order; compromise and principle; hatred and charity; greed and sacrifice; despair and hope; wrong and right; and finally, destruction and construction.

We hope that this book will enlighten the world to assess what is truly at stake in the Korean peninsula at the present time continued from the dormant Korean War.

2. For Her Neighbors

Korean Law should be studied and understood as a model not only by theUnited States, Russia, Japan, and China, but also by economically and politically developing countries.

Imperial Japan in the 19th century adopted Western institutions across a broad spectrum of her society, especially in her military, law, and education. However, Imperial Japan wrongly expanded its power so as to afflict pain on its Asian neighbors. We hope that Korea’s democratic law and legal system, established and reinforced by its people after many wars and authoritarian governments, would serve her noble goal of sharing with others.

The Japanese democracy imposed by the Allies after World War II was an untested species, like a tender orchid cultivated in greenhouse. On the other hand, Korean democracy is an oak tree which has matured outdoors and which has deep scars from weathering harsh existential challenges. In this day, it can flourish and germinate the “seeds” of a different type of democratic government for the next generation.

Many developing countries are experiencing internal and external challenges in searching for equilibrium between liberty and security. Their situation has been experienced in Korea as well. The Korean people have endured and overcome the political oppression which dictators justified for the purposes of security since liberation in 1945. Facing the imminent military threat from North Korea, Korean law was cultivated at the expense not only of blood and tears, but also compromise. Therefore, the study of modern Korean legal history should offer encouragement and hope for those fighting for liberty in the developing world.

3. For Unknown Chinese “Tank Soldier

While the whole world watched Tiananmen Incident in 1989 on TV, an astonishing scene occurred. A Chinese protestor, later known only as “the Tank Man”, stood fearlessly in front of an advancing military tank on the streets of Beijing. Surprisingly, the tank kept making a series of conscious moves in order to avoid running this brave soul over. It was an awesome event. The soldiers inside the military tank deserve admiration alongside with the Tank Man. Words and descriptions can only do so much to portray this extraordinary event. The readers should personally view this video footage (i.e. YouTube)to truly understand how remarkable this eventwas.

Many incidents like this were reported and observed where protestors throw their bodies to hinder the advancement of mechanized military units. Most of thesedesperate efforts sadly result in the military disposing of the protestors with little regard for human life. To us, the unknown tank operator is an unsung hero who assured mankind of our undying humanity even under the extreme circumstances. It was a moment when human value would have been easily reduced to insignificant road kill.

We dedicate this book to this unknown Chinese “Tank Soldier”.

Ryul Kim

In Irvine, Orange County, California, USA

September 28, 2012 A.D.


Special Thanks to:

 Chan-Woo Kang (강찬우)

Honorary Director, US-Korea Law Foundation

Public Prosecutor

Chief of Legal Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Justice

Republic of Korea

Editorial Board



Ryul Kim, Esq. (김 률): (Editor-in-Chief): Chair, US-Korea Law Foundation


Woo-Jung Shim (심우정): (Co-Editor):Public Prosecutor; Ministry of Justice, ROK*


Chul-Soo Kim (김철수): (Production Editor): Public Prosecutor; Ministry of Justice, ROK


Harold Y. Surh (서영원): (Production Coordinator): Executive Director,

US-Korea Law Foundation


Chapter Contributors (Subject)


Ryul Kim, Esq. (김 률): (Chapter 1. Historical Background of the Korean Legal System, Chapter 2.Modern Legal Source and Legal System, and Chapter 3.Constitution):


Woo-Jung Shim (심우정): (Chapter 1. Historical Background of the Korean Legal System, and Chapter 2. Modern Legal Source and Legal System)


Dong-Un Lee (이동언): Public Prosecutor; Ministry of Justice, ROK (Chapter 3. Constitution):


Sung-Yong Kang (강성용): Public Prosecutor; Ministry of Justice, ROK (Chapter 4. Civil Law):


Won-Ki Yoon (윤원기): Public Prosecutor; Ministry of Justice, ROK (Chapter 5. Civil Procedure):


Jong-Oh Ahn (안종오): Public Prosecutor; Ministry of Justice, ROK (Chapter 6. Criminal Law and Chapter 7. Criminal Procedure):


Dong-Wan Ahn (안동완): Public Prosecutor; Ministry of Justice, ROK (Chapter 8.Corporation Law):


Joon-Young Park (박준영): Public Prosecutor; Ministry of Justice, ROK (Chapter 9.Employment Law and Chapter 10. Private International Law):


ROK*(The Republic of Korea)


Ryul Kim, Esq. (김률)

Chair, US-Korea Law Foundation

Professional Experience

  • Arbitrator and Mediator: ADR Services, Inc., California Superior Court, Orange County and San Diego County; Orange County Human Relations Council (Present)
  • Adjunct Professor, Trinity Law School: “ Alternative Dispute Resolution” and “Mediation Clinic” course
  • Founding Executive Chair and Special Academic Faculty: “Survey of the U.S. and Korean Law and Legal System” Korea Law Center, University of California, Irvine, School of Law
  • California State Bar, Executive Committee, International Section (2002)
  • Licensed and Practiced in California since 1984 ;Admitted in U.S. Court of International Trade(1985)


  • J.D. School of Law, Western State University (1983)
  • B.A., in Economics, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (1980)
  • College of Trial Advocacy, Orange County Bar Association (1999)
  • National Litigation Academy, London (2006)

Awards/ Honors

  • Alliance Defense Fund (Honor Guard) (2005)
  • The Wiley Manuel Award Recipient for Pro Bono Services (1993)
  • The State Bar of California Board of Governors Award for Pro Bono Services (1989)


Woo-Jung Shim (심우정)

Public Prosecutor, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Korea


  • Passed California Bar Examination (2011)
  • Visiting Scholar, School of Law, UC Berkeley(2004)
  • Judicial Research and Training Institute (1997)
  • Bachelor of Law, Seoul National University (1995)
  • Passed Korean Bar Examination(1994)

Professional Experience

  • Director, Criminal Affairs Division, Ministry of Justice, ROK (2013)
  • Director, Criminal Intelligence Division, Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, ROK (2012)
  • Consul, Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles (2010-2012)
  • Prosecutor, Prosecution Service Division, Ministry of Justice, ROK (2007-2009)
  • Prosecutor, Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office etc.(2000-2006)
  • Judge Advocate, Korean Army(1997-2000)



ChulSoo Kim (김철수)

Public Prosecutor, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Korea


  • Visiting Fellow, The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (2010-2011)
  • Visiting Scholar, School of Law, Santa Clara University(2004-2005)
  • Judicial Research and Training Institute (1996-1998)
  • Bachelor of Law, Seoul National University (1995)
  • Passed Korean Bar Examination(1995)

Professional Experience

  • Consul, Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles (2012-present)
  • Senior Prosecutor, Gangneung Branch, Chuncheon District Prosecutors’ Office (2011-2012)
  • Prosecutor, Seoul Northern District Prosecutors’ Office (2008-2011)
  • Prosecutor, Criminal Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Justice (2005-2008)
  • Prosecutor, Yeoju Branch, Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office (2003-2004)
  • Prosecutor, Seoul District Prosecutors’ Office (2001-2003)
  • Public Attorney, Korean Navy(1998-2001)

Awards/ Honors

  • Presidential Citation for the 4th Local Election (2007)



Harold Y. Surh (헤롤드서)
Executive Director, US-Korea Law Foundation


  • Master of Arts in East Asian Studies, 1990: St. John’s University, Queens, New York
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, 1989: St. John’s University, Queens, New York

Professional Experience

  • Executive Director, US-Korea Law Foundation, 2011 – Present
  • Council Executive Assistant to City of Irvine Mayor Steven S. Choi, Ph.D. 2011 – Present
  • Production Director, US-Korea Law Journal
  • Executive Coordinator, The US-Korea Law Day at KIA
  • Executive Coordinator, The US-Korea Law Day by UC Berkeley School of Law
  • Planning Committee, The US-Korea Law Forum by UC Irvine School of Law
  • Principal, SJR Professional Services, 2005 – Present
  • Chief Operating Officer, Embedded Lab Technologies, LLC., 1999 – 2001
  • Director of Operations, Kiss Products, Inc., 1994 – 2001 (New York)
  • General Manager, J&R Intercontinental, Inc., 1990 –1994 (New York)
  • Multicultural Student Recruitment, St. John’s University, 1989 – 1990 (New York)


Dong-Wan Ahn (안동완)

Public Prosecutor, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Korea


  • Visiting Scholar, Santa Clara University, School of Law (2011)
  • Master of Law, Seoul National University (2000)
  • Bachelor of Law, Seoul National University (1993)

Professional Experience

  • Judicial Research & Training Institute, Supreme Court (2003)
  • Passed Korean Bar Examination (2001)

Awards/ Honors

  • “Excellent Prosecutor of the Organized Crime Department” Award, Ministry of Justice(2008)

Jong-Oh Ahn(안종오)

Public Prosecutor, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Korea


  • Visiting Scholar, UC Irvine, School of Law, Korea Law Center (2011-2012)
  • Doctor of Laws, Kyung-Hee University, Seoul, Korea (2004)
  • The Judicial Research and Training Institute (2000)
  • Passed Judicial Examination (1998)
  • Master of Laws, Kyung-Hee University, Korea (1998)
  • Bachelor of Laws, Kyung-Hee University, Korea (1994)

Professional Experience

  • Prosecutor, Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office (2013)
  • Prosecutor, Uijeongbu District Prosecutor’s Office (2010-2012)
  • Prosecutor, Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office (2008-2009)
  • Prosecutor, Jeongup Branch, Jeonju District Prosecutors’ Office (2006-2007)
  • Prosecutor, Seongnam Branch, Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office (2004-2005)
  • Lecturer, Kangnam University, Korea (2003)
  • Public Defender, Korea Legal Aid Corporation (2001-2003)

Awards/ Honors

  • Prosecutor General’s Citation for Outstanding Performances on Public Security Prosecution (2007)

Joon-Young Park (박준영)

Public Prosecutor, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Korea


  • Passed NY Bar(2012)
  • Master of Law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law(2012)
  • Judicial Research and Training Institute (2003-2005)
  • Bachelor of Law, Seoul National University(2003)
  • Passed Korean Bar Exam(2002)

Professional Experience

  • Prosecutor, Cheonan Branch Prosecutors’ Office(2010-Present)
  • Prosecutor, Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office(2008-2010)
  • Judge Advocate, Military Prosecutor, ROK Army(2005-2008)

Won-Ki Yoon(윤원기)

Public Prosecutor, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Korea


  • LLM, University of Washington, School of Law (2011-2012)
  • The Judicial Research and Training Institute (2003-2005)
  • Passed Korean Bar Exam (2002)
  • Bachelor of Law, Seoul National University (1998-2003)

Professional Experience

  • Prosecutor, Criminal Legislation Division, Ministry of Justice (2013-prsent)
  • Prosecutor, Seosan Branch, Daejeon District Prosecutors’ Office (2010-2013)
  • Prosecutor, Seoul District Prosecutors’ Office (2008-2010)
  • Judge Advocate at Korean Army (2005-2008)


Sung-Yong Kang(강성용)

Public Prosecutor, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Korea


  • LLM, University of San Diego, School of Law (2011-2012)
  • Judicial Research & Training Institute (2000-2002)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Seoul National University (2000)
  • Passed Korean Bar Examination (1999)

Professional Experience

  • Prosecutor, Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office (2010-2013)
  • Prosecutor, Seoul Northern District Prosecutors’ Office (2007-2010)
  • Prosecutor, Busan District Prosecutors’ Office (2005-2007)
  • Prosecutor, Gonju Branch, Daejeon District Prosecutors’ Office (2004-2005)
  • Prosecutor, Incheon District Prosecutors’ Office (2002-2004)


Dong-Un Lee(이동언)

Public Prosecutor, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Korea


  • B.A., in Political Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea (1995-2000)
  • Admitted to the Korean Bar Association (2000)
  • Judicial Research and Training Institute, Seoul, Korea (2001-2003)
  • LL.M. School of Law, University of California, Davis (UC Davis) (2012)


  • Prosecutor, Sunchon Branch, Kwangju District Prosecutors’ Office (2010-2012)
  • Prosecutor, Mokpo Branch, Kwangju District Prosecutors’ Office (2008-2009)
  • Prosecutor, Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office (2006-2007)
  • Military Prosecutor of Korean Army, Seoul, Korea (2003-2005)


Table of Contents

   Chapter 1: Historical Background of the Korean Legal System                66


I. Pre-Modern Korean Legal Systems (B.C. 2333 ~ A.D. July 17, 1948)             69


A. Ancient Chosun Nations                                                                                        69

1. Old “Chosun”: also known as Gojoseon: B.C. 2333 ~ B.C. 108

2. Puyeo: B.C. 200 ~ A.D. 494

B. Three Kingdoms                                                                                                     72

1. Goguryeo: B.C. 37 ~ A.D. 668

2. Paekche: B.C. 18 ~ A.D. 660

3. Shilla: B.C. 57 ~ A.D. 937

4. Goryeo Dynasty: A.D. 918 – 1392: Establishment of Central and Local                         Courts


II. “Chosun” Dynasty (A.D. 1392 ~ A.D. 1910)                                                     82


A. Overall Character of Legal System                                                                        83

B. Neo-Confucianism and Reorganization of Korean Law in Early Chosun             84

C. Codification of Law and Customs                                                                                    89

Kyungkook Daejun “The Great Governing National Codes”

D. Criminal Law and Procedure                                                                                 93

E. Interpretation and Enforcement of Law                                                                94

F. Birth of Modern Jurisprudence in the 17th Century                                              95

1. Critique of Neo-Confucian orthodoxy

2. Economic Growth, Freedom, and Equality

3. Emergence of Modern Jurisprudence

G. Reformative Law in the 17th Century                                                                   98

H. Introduction of Christian Jurisprudence                                                                99

1. Confucianism and Christianity

2. Exploration of Christian Idea of Equality and Salvation

I. Introduction of European Legal System in the 19th Century                                 101

J. Tonghak Peasant Revolution of 1894 and Demand for Reform                            102

1. Trade Deficit and Rice Shortage

2. Tonghak Peasant Revolution

K. The Gabo Reform Period (A.D. 1894) :                                                                106

Introduction of Modern Day Rule of Law


III. Japanese Occupation (A.D. 1910 ~ A.D. 1945)                                                106


A. Forced Treaty and International Law against Korea                                             106

B. Japanese Military Law                                                                                          108

C. Economic deprivation under Currency Law                                                          108

D. Legal Reform                                                                                                         108

1. Modern Trial Court System

2. Legal Reform or Legal Repression


IV. The Provisional Government of Korea in Exile and the Provisional 109     Constitution


V. Modern Democratic Legal System (A.D. August 15, 1948 – to the present)   112


A. Chosun Interim Government under U.S. Military Occupation Period                  112

(August 15, 1945        – August 15, 1948)

B. The Constitutional Day: A.D. July 17, 1948                                                         115

                        Chapter 2: The Modern Legal Source and Legal System             117


I.Source of Modern Korean Law                                                                      117


A. Major Source: The Constitution                                                                       117

B. Primary Legal Source                                                                                       117

1. The Constitution (Level 1)

2. The Acts (Level 2)

3. Presidential Emergency Order (Level 2)

4. International Treaties (Level 2)

5. Administrative Laws (Level 3)

a. Executive Branch (Presidential Enforcement Decrees)

b. Other Constitutional Branches

6. Prime Minister and Ministry Ordinances (Level 4)

7. Ministerial Enforcement Rules & Guidelines (Level 5)

8. Municipal Self-Government Ordinance (Level 5)

C. Secondary Source: Unwritten Law (Uncodified law)                                     122

D. Legislative Law Making Process                                                                     133

1. National Assembly Member Initiated Bill

2. Executive Branch Initiated Bill

3. Bill Examination Process by National Assembly

E. Administrative Law Making Process                                                               125

1. The Presidential Enforcement Decree Making Process

2. Primary Ministerial Decree Making Process:

3. Ministerial Decree Making Process

F. Revision of the Existing Law (“Acts”)                                                                        126

G. The Statistics on the Statutory Laws in Korea                                                            127

H. Korean Internet Legal Research Resources                                                     128

1. Overview

2. Korean Laws, Regulations, and Legal Databases


II. The Judicial System &The Court Organization                                         128


A. Introduction                                                                                                     128

B. Judiciary (The Court)

1. The Organization of the Judiciary

2. Judges

3. Supreme Court

4. High Courts

5. District Courts

6. Special Courts

a. Patent Court

b. Family Court

c. Administrative Court
7. The Constitutional Court

8. The Brief History of Organizations of Judiciary

a. The First Republic (1948-1960)

b. The Second Republic (1960-1961)

c. 5.16 Military Coup and Military Regime (1961-1962)

d. The Third Republic (1962-1972)

e. The Fourth Republic (1972-1980)

f. The Fifth Republic (1980-1987)

g. The Sixth Republic (1989-Present)

C. Prosecutor’s Office (Prosecution Service)                                                       144

1. The Organization of the Prosecution Service

a. Overview

b. The Supreme Prosecutor’s Office

c. High Prosecutor’s Office

d. District Prosecutor’s Office

2. Prosecutors

3. Role and Function of Prosecutors

4. The Brief History of Organization of Prosecutor’s Office

a. The First Republic (1948-1960)

b. The Second Republic (1960-1961)

c. The Third Republic (1962-1972)

d. The Fourth Republic (Yushin) (1972-1980)

f. The Fifth Republic (1980-1987)

g. The Sixth Republic (1989-Present)

D. Lawyers                                                                                                           152

1. The Qualifications for Lawyers

2. The Brief History of Lawyers’ Profession

a. First Republic


III. Legal Education                                                                                            156


A. Overview                                                                                                         156

B. Traditional Legal Education                                                                            156

1. Legal Education in the University

2. Korean Judicial Examination

(1) Administration of the Examination

(2) Eligibility of Applicant

(3) Judicial Exam Format and Subjects

3. Judicial Research and Training Institute (“JRTI”)

C. Introduction of the Law School System                                                          158

1. Overview of Introduction of the Law School System

2. The Background for Adoption of an American Style

D. Current Law School System                                                                            160



Chapter 3: Constitution                                           167


I. Introduction                                                                                                           173


II. The Brief Summary of the Constitutional History                                            174


  1. The Founding Constitution                                                                             174
  2. The First Revision (“Pusan Political Incident”)                                              175
  3. The Second Revision                                                                                      175

(The “Rounding-off” Constitutional Revision Incident)

  1. The Third Revision: The Constitution of the Second Republic                      176
  2. The Fourth Revision                                                                                       177
  3. The Fifth Revision: The Constitution of the Third Republic                          177
  4. The Sixth Constitutional Revision (“The Third Term Revision”)                   179
  5. The Seventh Revision: The Constitution of the Fourth Republic:                  180

“Yushin Constitution”

  1. The Eighth Revision: The Constitution of the Fifth Republic                        181
  2. The Ninth Revision: The Constitution of the Sixth Republic                         182


III. Separation of Powers (통치구조, 권력분립)                                                    184

A. The Legislative Branch: National Assembly (입법부).                                         184

  1. Organization of National Assembly Under Constitution
  2. Legislative Power (입법권)
  3. Budget Power (예산,결산안에대한심의,의결권)
  4. The Right of Consent for Treaties (조약체결에대한동의권)
  5. The Right of Electing and the Consent for Appointing the Important Officials (임명권, 임명동의권)
  6. The Motion of Impeachment (탄핵소추권)
  7. Investigation Power (국정감사, 조사권)
  8. Immunity and Privilege of Members of the National Assembly (불체포, 면책특권)
  9. History of the Legislative Branch Under the Constitution
    1. The First Republic
    2. The Second Republic
    3. The Third Republic – The Fifth Republic
    4. The Sixth Republic

B. The Executive Branch (집행부)                                                                            193

  1. The President (대통령)
  2. Executive Power (집행권)
  3. The Right of Proposing Bill and Veto Power (법률안제출권, 법률안거부권)
  4. Emergency Powers (긴급입법권, 긴급재정경제처분권, 계엄선포권)
  5. The Right of Amnesty (사면권)
  6. The Privilege Related With Criminal Charge (형사상특권)
  7. History of Executive Branch under Constitution
    1. The First Republic
    2. The Second Republic
    3. Military Junta Period &The Third Republic
    4. The Fourth Republic (“Yushin” Period)
    5. The Fifth Republic
    6. The Sixth Republic

C. The Judicial Branch (사법부)                                                                                207

  1. Court (법원) and Supreme Court (대법원)
  2. Independence of Courts and Judges (법원과법관의독립)
  3. The Competence of Courts (법원의관할)
  4. The Court Organization resulting from Constitutional change
    1. The First Republic, Second Republic, and 5.16 Military Coup
    2. The Third, Fourth and Fifth Republic
    3. The Sixth Republic

D. Constitutional Court (헌법재판소)                                                                       212

  1. The Establishment (구성)
  2. Independence of Constitutional Court (헌법재판소의독립)
  3. The Competence of Constitutional Court (헌법재판소의관할)

a. The Decision as to the unconstitutionality of law (위헌법률심판)

b. The Decision as to the Impeachment (탄핵심판)

c. The Decision as to the Dissolution of a Political Party (정당해산심판)

d. The Decision as to the Disputes about the Competence between State  Agencies and Local Governments (권한쟁의심판)

e. The Decision as to the Constitutional Complaint (헌법소원심판)

4. Constitutional Courts and Constitutional Change

a. The First Republic and 5.16 Military Coup

b. The Second Republic

c. The Third Republic

d. The Fourth Republic

e. The Fifth Republic

f. The Sixth Republic – Present

E. The Election Management Committee (National Election Commission )             220

  1. The First Republic
  2. The Second Republic
  3. The Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Republic(Present)

F. Municipal Government under Constitution                                                            222

  1. The First Republic
  2. The Second Republic
  3. The Third, Fourth, and Fifth Republic
  4. The Sixth Republic (Present)

G. Election & Referendum                                                                                         223

  1. The First Republic

a. Presidency

b. National Assembly

  1. The Second Republic

a. Presidency

b. National Assembly

  1. The Third Republic

a. Presidency

b. National Assembly

  1. The Fourth Republic

a. Presidency

b. National Assembly

  1. The Fifth Republic

a. Presidency

b. National Assembly

  1. The Sixth Republic

a. Presidency

b. National Assembly

  1. Referendum


IV. The Protection of Fundamental Rights (기본권의보장)                                 226

A. The Guarantee of Human Dignity and the Right of Pursuing Happiness                        230

(인간의존엄성, 행복추구권)

  1. 1.Fundamental Principal of Constitution (헌법의기본원리)
  2. 2.Derivative rights (파생권리)

B. Equal Protection (평등권)                                                                                     230

  1. Highest principal of Constitution (헌법의최고원리)
  2. Interpretation of “Equality” (평등의해석)
  3. Discrimination Causes Prohibited by Constitution (헌법상금지되는차별사유)

C. Due Process of Law and Fundamental Rights in Criminal Procedure                  233


1. The Principal of Legality (죄형법정주의) and Due Process of Law


2. The Prohibition of Double Jeopardy (이중위험금지, 일사부재리)

3. The Warrant of Court (영장주의)

4.The Prohibition of Torture (고문금지) and the Right of Refusal to Testify

(진술거부권, 자백의증거능력, 증명력제한)

5. The Right to Assistance of Counsel (변호인의조력을받을권리)

6. The Principle of Presuming Innocent (무죄추정의원리)

D. Freedom of Speech and Press (언론출판의자유)                                                            242

E. Freedom of Assembly and Association (집회결사의자유)                                  243

F. Political Freedom of Speech and Right to Vote (정치적표현의자유와투표권)  244

G. Freedom of Conscience and Religion (양심과종교의자유)                                246

H. Right to Property (재산권)                                                                                    247

I. Right to Trial (재판청구권)                                                                                    247

J. Right to the Welfare (생존권, 복지에대한권리)                                                  248

K. Right of Employee (근로자의권리)                                                                     249

L. The Restriction of Fundamental Rights (기본권의제한)                                      250

M. The Duties of Citizen (국민의의무)                                                                     251


Chapter 4: Civil Law                                           253


I. Overview                                                                                                                261


A. Meaning of Civil Law                                                                                            261

B. Source of Civil Law                                                                                               261

1. Regulations on Source of Law of Civil Act

2. Statutory Laws on Civil Affairs

3. Customary Law

4. Sound Reasoning

5. Precedents

C. Principles of Civil Act                                                                                            263

1. Principle of Private Autonomy

    1. Freedom of Contract
    2. Respect for Ownership
    3. Liability with Fault

2. Principle of Social Equilibrium

D. Organization of the Civil Act                                                                                264


II. Real Rights Law                                                                                                   265


A.Overview of Real Rights Law                                                                                265

1. Object of Real Rights

2. Principle of Legality of Real Rights

3. Types of Real Rights

B. General Effect of Real Rights                                                                               266

1. Distinction between Real Rights and Claims

    1. Real Rights and Claims
    2. Remedy for the Infringement
    3. Protection in Disposition and Succession
    4. Real Right as a Right to Control and Claim as a Right to Demand

2. Right to Claim based on Real Right

C. Transfer of Real Rights                                                                                          268

1. Requisites for Transfer of Real Rights

2. Notice Requirement in Real Right Transaction

    1. Necessity of Method of Public Notice
    2. Method of Public Notice
    3. Principle of Public Notice
    4. Principle of Good Faith

3. Transfer of Real Rights over Immovables

    1. Obligation to Transfer a Registered Ownership by a Purchaser of an Immovable
    2. Register Book and Registering

4. Transfer of Real Rights over Movables

a. Obligation of Delivery by a Seller of a Movable

b. Possession

1) Significance of Possession

2) Possession as Legal Requisite

3) Types of Possession

c. Types of Delivery

5. Special Type of Transfer of Real Rights – Acquisitive Prescription

a. Prescription System

b. Acquisitive Prescription of Ownership of Immovables by Possession

1) Significance of Acquisitive Prescription by Possession

2) Requisite of Acquisitive Prescription by Possession

3) Effect of Acquisitive Prescription by Possession

c. Acquisitive Prescription by Registration of Ownership of an Immovable

D. Real Rights Granted by Way of Security                                                              277

1. Overview

2. Right of Retention

3. Pledge

4. Mortgage

a. Establishing Mortgage

b. Exercise of Mortgage


III. Claims                                                                                                                  281


A. Formation and Effect of Contract, and Transfer and Termination of Claim         281

1. Formation of Contract

a. Formation of Contract of Sale

b. Meeting of Intention

1) Meaning of Meeting of Intention

2) Interpretation of Intention

3) “A Wrong Description does not void formation”

c. Agency

1) Agency as Method of Forming Contract

2) Types of Agency

3) Requisites and Effect of Agency

4) Unauthorized Representation and Apparent Representation

2. Effect of Contract

a. Binding Force of Contract

b. Exception Non Adimpleti Contractus (defense of simultaneous performance)

3. Transfer of Claim – Assignment of Claim

4. Termination of Claim (Fulfillment of Contract)

a. Performance

b. Tender of Performance

c. Set-off

1) Significance of Set-off

2) Requisite and Effect of Set-off

d. Extinctive Prescription

1) Significance of Extinctive Prescription

2) Basis for Extinctive Prescription

3) Period of Extinctive Prescription

4) Interruption of Prescription

5) Effect of Completion of Extinctive Prescription

B. Void and Voidance of Contract                                                                             290

1. Overview

2. Flaw in the process of Formation of Contract

a. Mental Incompetency

b. Legal Incapacity

1) Need for Legal Incapacity

2) Types of Legal Incapacity

3) Content of Legal Incapacity

c. Voidance of Contract

1) Significance of Voidance

2) Effect of Voidance

3) Decision of Voidance

d. Fictitious Declaration of Intention in Collusion

1) Significance of Fictitious Declaration of Intention in Collusion

2) Effect of Fictitious Declaration of Intention in Collusion

3) “Nullity cannot be set up against a third person acting in good faith”

e. Declaration of Untrue Intention

f. Mistake

g. Fraud or Duress

3. Flaw in Content of Contract

a. Overview

b. Compulsory Provision

c. Contract against Social Order

1) Significance

2) Types of Violation of Social Order

3) Limit of Restitution – Performance for Illegal Cause

d. Profiteering

e. Contract whose objective is initially unattainable

C. Non-performance of Obligation                                                                             301

1. Types of Non-performance of Obligation

a. Significance of Non-performance of Obligation

b. Types of Non-performance of Obligation

c. Impossibility of Performance

1) Significance

2) Types of Impossibility

a) Initial Impossibility and Subsequent Impossibility

b) Impossibility with/without Fault

c) Related Issue – Burden to Bear Risk

d. Delay in Performance

1) Significance

2) Time for Performance

3) Responsibility for Delay

e. Other Types of Non-performance of Obligation

1) Refusal of performance

2) Incomplete Performance

3) Breach of Incidental Obligation

2. Compulsory Performance

a. Compulsory Performance of Claim

b. Fundamental Guarantee of Compulsory Performance

3. Compensation for Damages

a. Significance

b. Expectation Interest and Reliance Interest

c. Compensatory Damage and Compensation for Delay

d. Scope of Compensation for Damage

4. Rescission of Contract

a. Significance

b. Occurrence of Right of Rescission

c. Effect of Rescission

d. Rescission and Compensation for Damage

5. Seller’s Liability for Warranty

a. Significance

b. Sale of Right of Third Party

c. Liability for Warranty against Defect

1) Defect in an Object

2) Liability for Warranty against Defects and Non-performance of  Obligation

D. Security for Claim                                                                                                  318

1. Overview

a. Methods to satisfy the Claim

b. Method to Secure Satisfaction of Monetary Claim

2. Preservation of Nonexempt Property

a. Nonexempt Property

b. Obligee’s Right of Subrogation to Obligor

1) Significance

2) Requisite to an Obligee’s Right of Subrogation to an Obligor

3) Exercise of an Obligee’s Right of Subrogation to an Obligor

4) Conversion of Obligee’s Right of Subrogation to Obligor

c. Obligee’s Right of Revocation

1) Significance

2) Requisite for Exercise of Obligee’s Right of Revocation

3) Exercise and Effect of an Obligee’s Right of Revocation

3. Security in Person

a. Overview

b. Surety

1) Significance of Surety

2) Establishment of Surety Obligation

3) Nature of Surety Obligation

4) Indemnification from Principal Obligor

5) Joint and Several Suretyships

c. Joint and Several Obligations

1) Significance of Joint and Several Obligations

2) Effect of Ground Set up by One of the Obligors Jointly and Severally Liable

3) Indemnification from the Other Obligors Jointly and Severally Liable

E. Tort Law                                                                                                                 328

1. Overview

a. Significance

b. Requisites for Liability of Torts

c. Status as General Law

2. Types of Damage

a. Economic Damage and Non-Economic Damage

b. Active Damage and Passive Damage

3. Special Tort

a. Employer’s Liability

1) Significance of Employer’s Liability

2) Content of Employer’s Liability

3) Meaning of “in the course of the execution of the undertaking”

b. Product liability

1) Background for Introduction of Product Liability

2) Recognition of Product Liability

3) Main Content of Product Liability


IV. Family Law/ Law of Succession                                                                        336


A. Family Law                                                                                                            336

B. Relative Law                                                                                                          336

1. Marriage

a. Significance

b. Requisite for Formation of Marriage

c. General Effect of Marriage

d. Effect of Marriage on Property

2. Divorce

a. Divorce by Agreement

b. Judicial Divorce

c. Effect of Divorce – Claim for Division of Property

1) Claim for Division of Property as Property Effect of Divorce

2) Exercise of Claim for Division of Property

3) Property subject to Division

4) Effect of Division of Property

C. Law of Succession                                                                                                 341

1. Significance

2. Fundamental Principle in Law of Succession

a. Freedom of Will

b. Inheritance by Relatives

3. Will

4. Scope and Order of Inheritor

5. Share of Inheritance

6. Claim to Return Forced Share

a. Tenor of Forced Share System

b. Right to Forced Share

c. Claim to Return of Legal Reserve of Inheritance



Chapter 5: Civil Procedure                                      346


I. Introduction of Korean Civil Procedure                                                             351


II. Civil Procedure Act in General                                                                           352


A. Meaning of Civil Procedure                                                                                   352

1. Definition of Civil Procedure

2. Ideal of Civil Procedure and Principle of Good Faith

B. History of Civil Procedure Act                                                                              353

C. Courts                                                                                                                     354

1. Jurisdiction

a. Meaning of Jurisdiction

b. Classification of Jurisdiction

1) Subject Matter Jurisdiction
2) Territorial Jurisdiction

3) Jurisdiction by Agreement

4) Jurisdiction by Pleading

c. Effect of Lack of Jurisdiction

2. Exclusion, Challenge and Avoidance of Judge

D. Parties                                                                                                                    362

1. Meaning of Party

2. Capacity to be a Party

a. General Principle

b. Foreigners’ capacity to be a Party

c. Effect of Lack of Capacity to be a Party

3. Standing to Sue or be sued

a. General Principle

b. Effect of Lack of Standing to sue or be sued

4. Litigation Capacity

a. General Principle

b. Litigation Capacity of Foreigners

c. Effect of Lack of Litigation Capacity

5. Joinder of Parties

a. Meaning of Joinder of Parties

b. Permissive Joinder of Parties

c. Compulsory Joinder of Parties

d. Preliminary or Selective Joinder of Parties

6. Appointed Party

7. Intervention

a. Meaning of Intervention

b. Supplementary Intervention

c. Supplementary Intervention alike of Joinder of Parties

d. Notice of Lawsuit

e. Intervention as Independent Party

f. Intervention into Joinder of Parties

8. Attorneys

a. Meaning of Attorneys

b. Qualification of Attorney

c. Scope of Powers of Attorney

d. Termination of Powers of Attorney

E. Costs of Lawsuit                                                                                                    386

F. Litigation Aid                                                                                                         386

G. Litigation Procedure                                                                                              387

1. Pleadings

a. Meaning of Pleading

b. Principles of Trial

c. Powers of Presiding Judge

d. Interpretation

e. Recommendation of Compromise

f. Rights of Parties

2. Designation and Alteration of Date

3. Service

a. Principle of Service Ex Officio and Service by Delivery

b. Method of Service in Foreign Country

4. Judgment

a. Final Judgment

b. Pronouncement of Judgment and Time When Judgment becomes Final and Conclusive

c. Effect of Judgment

d. Effect of Foreign Judgment

5. Recommendation for Compromise by Ruling

6. Judicial Conciliation of Civil Disputes

7. Interruption and Suspension of Proceedings


III. Proceedings in Trial Court                                                                                406


A. Institution of Lawsuit                                                                                            406

1. Method of Institution of Lawsuit

2. Classification of Lawsuit

3. Procedure after Filing a Lawsuit

4. Prohibition of Double Lawsuit

5. Alteration in Claims

6. Withdrawal of Lawsuit

7. Counterclaim

B. Pleading and Preparation Therefore                                                                       413

1. Principle

2. Preparatory Proceedings for Pleadings

C. Evidence                                                                                                                416

1. Introduction

2. Examination of Witness

3. Expert Testimony

4. Documentary Evidence

5. Inspection

6. Examination of Parties

7. Other Evidences

D. Compromise Procedure before Institution Lawsuit                                               424


IV. Appeal                                                                                                                  425


A. Introduction                                                                                                           425

B. Appeal from Trial Court

1. Meaning and Object of Appeal from Trial Court

2. Proceedings of Filing Appeal

3. Trial of Appellate Court

4. Judgments of Appeal

C. Appeal to Supreme Court                                                                                       429

1. Meaning and Object of Final Appeal

2. Procedure of Filing Final Appeal

3. Grounds for Appeal to Supreme Court

4. Trial of Final Appeal

5. Judgments of Final Appeal

D. Appeal from Rulings or Orders                                                                              432


V. Retrial                                                                                                                    433


VI. Demanding Procedure                                                                                       435


A. Meaning of Demanding Procedure                                                                        435

B. Requisite for Application                                                                                       435

C. Procedure                                                                                                               436

D. Effect of Payment Order                                                                                       436


VII. Electronic Litigation                                                                                         437


VIII. Conclusion                                                                                                        437


                                                Chapter 6: Criminal Law                                    440


I. Introduction                                                                                                           444


II. General Rules                                                                                                       444


A. Major Sources of Criminal Law and Procedure                                                    444

1. Constitution

2. Criminal Law and Special Criminal Law

B. Crime Requirement                                                                                                446

1. Correspondence to the Requisite for Crime

a. Criminal Behavior and Causation

b. Criminal Intent and Negligence

1) Meaning of Criminal Intent

2) Kinds of Criminal Intent

3) Negligence

4) Consequential Surcharged Criminal

2. Illegality

a. Self-defense

b. Necessity

c. Self-help

d. Consent of Victim

e. Justifiable Act

1) Conducts in accordance with Acts and Subordinate statues

2) Conducts acceptable as Business Practice

3) Conducts acceptable as Social Rules

3. Responsibility

C. Criminal Attempts                                                                                                  454

1. General Rules

2. Special Attempts

a. Voluntarily Ceased Crime

b. Impossible Crime

3. Preparation

D. Complicity                                                                                                             454

1. Co-Principal Offender

2. Instigator

3. Accessories

4. Principal through Innocent Human Agent

E. Classification and Severity of Punishments                                                           459

1. Classification of Punishments

a. The Death Penalty

b. Liberty Penalty

c. Property Penalty

d. Honor Penalty

2. Determination of Punishment

3. Suspension of Extension of Sentence, Suspension of Imposition of Sentence, Parole


III. Offenses against the Person                                                                               463


A. Crimes of Homicide: Murder                                                                                 463

1. Common Murder

2. Killing Ascendant

3. Other Kinds of Murder

a. Infanticide

b. Murder upon Request or with Consent

c. Instigate or Aid to commit Suicide

d. Murder upon Request through Fraudulent Means, etc.

B. Crimes Inflicting Bodily Injury and Violence                                                       465

1. Bodily Injury

2. Violence

3. Crime of Inflicting Bodily Injury and Death through Negligence

a. Death and Injury by Common Negligence

b. Death and Injury by Occupational Negligence

C. Rape and Infamous Conduct                                                                                 468

1. Rape

2. Infamous Conduct


IV. Property Offenses                                                                                               469


A. Larceny and Robbery                                                                                            470

1. Larceny

a. Object of Larceny

b. Acting of Larceny

c. Subjective Requisites

d. Requisite for Aggravated Larceny

2. Robbery

a. Violence, Intimidation

b. Taking Property or Pecuniary Advantage by Force

c. Commencement and Completion

d. Quasi-Robbery

e. Requisites for Severe Punishment of Robbery

B. Fraud                                                                                                                      473

1. General Provision

2. Special Provision of Fraud

a. Fraud by Use of Computer, etc.

b. Quasi-fraud

c. Unjustifiable Profit

C. Embezzlement                                                                                                        475

a. General Embezzlement

b. Occupational Embezzlement

D. Breach of Trust                                                                                                      476


V. Offenses against Public and National Security                                                  478


A. Insurrection                                                                                                            478

B. Arson                                                                                                                      479

1. General Arson

2. Aggravated Arson

3. Fire caused by Negligence

C. Document Forgery                                                                                                 480

1. Counterfeit of Private Document

2. Counterfeit of Official Document

D. Crime of Check                                                                                                      481

E. Perjury and Destruction of evidence                                                                      482

1. Perjury

2. Destruction of Evidence

F. Bribery                                                                                                                    483



                                                Chapter 7: Criminal Procedure                              485


I. Introduction                                                                                                           492


A. Overview                                                                                                           492

B. Source of Legal Regulation                                                                               493


II. Participants in the Criminal Justice System                                                      493


A. Judges                                                                                                              493

B. Public Prosecutors                                                                                            494

1. Status of a Public Prosecutor

2. Authority of a Public Prosecutor

C. Defendants                                                                                                       495

1. Meaning of a Defendant

2. Status of a Defendant in Criminal Procedure

a. Status as a Participant

b. Status as Evidence

c. Status as a Procedural Object

3. Rights of a Defendant

a. The Principle of Presumption of Innocence

b. Right to Remain Silent

D. Counsel                                                                                                            498

E. Victims                                                                                                             499


III. The Purpose of Procedural Rules                                                                     500


A. The Truth Finding Function                                                                             500

B. Rule of Due Process of Law                                                                            501

C. Rule of Speedy Trial                                                                                        502


IV. Investigation                                                                                                        503


A. Distinctive Feature                                                                                           503

1. Meaning of Investigation

2. Investigatory Agency

a. Police Official

b. Relationship between the Public Prosecutor and the Police Official

3. Condition of Investigation

B. Starting of Investigation                                                                                  506

C. Investigation Process                                                                                       506

1. Non-compulsory Investigation

a. Overview

b. Interrogation of a Suspect

c. Examination of Third Party

2. Compulsory Investigation

a. Arrest and Detention

(1) Distinctive Feature

(2) Arrest

(3) Detention

(a) Meaning of Detention

(b) Requirement of Detention

(c) Right of Detained Offender

(i) Right to Interview

(ii) Review of Legality of Arrest and Detention

(iii) Bail

b. Search, Seizure and Inspection

(1) Overview

(2) Seizure and Search

(a) Meaning

(b) Objection of Seizure and Search

(c) Procedure of Seizure and Search

(i) Issuing of Warrant for Seizure and Search

(ii) Execution of Seizure and Search Warrant

(d) Exception to Rule of Warrant

(i) Investigation of a Suspect to Detain and Arrest

(ii) Seizure, Search or Inspection at the Locus of the Arrest

(iii) Seizure, Search or Inspection on the Spot of the Detention

(iv) Seizure, Search and Inspection at the Scene of Offence

(v) Seizure, Search or Inspection in Emergency Arrest

(vi) Seizure of a Voluntarily Submitted Thing

(3) Inspection

D. Closing of Investigation                                                                                 519

1. Closing Investigation by a Public Prosecutor

2. Disposition of Prosecutor for Closing

a. Public Prosecution

b. Decision of Non-Prosecution

c. Case Transfer

3. Notice of Public Prosecutor’s Disposition

a. Noticing toward a Complainant

b. Noticing toward a Suspect

c. Notice of Non-Prosecution

4. Appeal against Non-Prosecution Decision

a. Petition Filing

b. Appeal and Re-appeal

E. Prosecution (or Indictment)                                                                            524

1. General Rules

2. Method of Prosecution

3. Effectiveness of Prosecution

4. Limitation of Periods for Public Prosecution


V. Trial                                                                                                                       527


A. General Rules                                                                                                 529

1. Principle of Open Trial

2. Principle of Oral Pleading

3. Principle of Immediacy

4. Principle of Concentrative Examination

B. Preparatory Proceedings Prior to Trial                                                            529

1. The Object of Preparatory Proceedings

2. Progress of Preparatory Proceedings Prior to Trial

3. Details of Preparatory Proceedings

4. Closing of Preparatory Proceedings

C. Procedure of Trial                                                                                           531

1. Opening Procedure

a. Information of the Right to Remain Silent

b. Identification Question

c. Opening Statement of Public Prosecutor

d. Opening Statement of Defendant

e. Organization of Issues

2. Facts Examination Procedure

a. Examination of Evidence

b. Examination of Defendant

c. Final Statement

(1) Opinion of the Prosecutor

(2) Last Statement of Defendant and Defense Counsel

3. Sentencing


VI. Citizen Participated Trial                                                                                  535


A. Distinctive Feature                                                                                         535

B. Applicable Case                                                                                              536

C. Preparatory Procedure                                                                                    536

D. Proceeding of Juror Participated Trial                                                            536

1. Organization of Jury

2. Juror’s Authority and Duty

3. Jury Instructions

4. Deliberation and Verdict


VII. Evidence                                                                                                             538


A. General Rules of Proof                                                                                          538

1. Principle of a Trial by Evidence

a. Meaning

b. Strict Proof and Free Proof

(1) Object of Strict Proof

(2) Object of Free Proof

2. Burden of Proof

3. The Principle of Free Evaluation of Evidence

a. Meaning

b. The Content of the Principle of. Free Evaluation of. Evidence

c. Exception of the Principle of .Free Evaluation of. Evidence

4. Principles of Free Evaluation of Evidence and in dubio pro reo

B. Exclusionary Rule                                                                                           542

1. Significance

2. Limit of Application

a. Standard of Exclusion

b. Applied Example of Exclusionary Rule

c. Principle of Poisonous Tree

C. Confession Rule                                                                                             544

D. Hearsay Rule                                                                                                  545

1. Meaning

2. Exception of Hearsay Rule

a. Protocols of Court or Judge

b. Protocol of a Suspect-Interrogation

(1) Protocol of Suspect-Interrogation Made by a Public Prosecutor

(2) Protocol of Suspect-Interrogation Made by a Police Officer

c. Protocol of Witness’ Statement

d. Written Statement

e. Protocol of Inspection

f. Voice Recording Tape

E. Consent and the Evidential Ability                                                                545

F. Impeachment Evidence                                                                                   545

G. Principle of Confession Requiring Corroborating Evidence                          545


VIII. Sentencing                                                                                                        551


A. Type of Sentencing                                                                                         551

1. Judgment of Guilt

2. Judgment of Not Guilt

3. Judgment of Incompetence

4. Judgment of Dismissal

a. Ruling Dismissing Public Prosecution

b. Judgment Dismissing Public Prosecution

5. Judgment of Acquittal

B. Effect of Sentencing                                                                                      554


IX. Appeals                                                                                                                555


A. Appeal to Higher Court                                                                                  555

B. Appeal to Supreme Court                                                                               556


X. Enforcement of Sentence                                                                                                557

XI. Summary Procedure                                                                                          557



                                    Chapter 8: Corporation Law                                       560


I. Introduction                                                                                                           568


A. Commercial Act in General                                                                       568

B. Ideals of the Commercial Act                                                                    569


II. General Corporation Law                                                                                  569


A. Definition of a company                                                                            569

B. General Characteristic of a Company                                                        569

1. Pursuit of Profit-making

2. Juristic Personality

a. Definition

b. Disregard of Corporate Entity


III. Types of Companies                                                                                           571


A. Partnership Company                                                                                 571

B. Limited Partnership Company                                                                   572

C. Limited Liability Company                                                                        572

D. Stock Company                                                                                         573

E. Limited company                                                                                       574


IV. General Principles in Corporation Law                                                           575


A. Incorporation                                                                                             575

1. In general

2. Procedures for Incorporation

3. Registration of Incorporation

B. Change of Organization                                                                             576

1. Change from a Partnership Company to a Limited Partnership                                        Company

2. Change from a Limited Partnership to a Partnership Company

3. Change of Organization of stock company to Limited Company

4. Change of Organization of Limited Company to Stock Company

5. Change of Organization from Stock Company and Limited Liability                              Company

C. Merger and Division                                                                                  578

1. Merger of Companies

2. Division of Company


V. Stock Company                                                                                                    579


A. In general                                                                                                   579

1. Definition

2. Legal Characteristics of Stock Company

a. Capital

(1) Definition

(2) Amount

b. Share

(1) Definition

(2) Relationship between Capital and Share

(3) Limited Liability of Shareholders

B. Incorporation                                                                                              582

1. In general

a. Characteristics of Incorporation Procedure

b. Methods of Incorporation

(1) Promotion of incorporation and Subscriptive


(2) Differences between Promotion of Incorporation and Subscriptive Incorporation

(a) Difference in Subscription of Shares

(b) Difference in Procedures of in Corporations

(c) Difference in Investigation of Incorporation Progress

2. Promoter

a. Definition

b. Qualification, Number

c. Authority

d. Duty and Liability

3. Procedure of Incorporation

a. Execution of Articles of Incorporation

(1) In General

(2) Particulars of Articles of Incorporation

(a) Absolute Particulars

(b) Relative Particulars

(c) Arbitrary Particulars

b. Formation of Capital and Organs

(1) Promotion of Incorporation

(2) Subscriptive Incorporation

c. Registration of Incorporation

C. Position of Shareholder                                                                              593


a. Definition

b. Classification of shares

(1) Par Value Share, Non Par Value Share

(2) Registered share, Bearer Share

(3) Classes of Shares

2. Shareholder

a. Definition

b. Right and Duty of Shareholder

(1) Right of shareholder

(a) Rights of Individual Interest and Rights of Common Interest

(b) Individual shareholder’s right and Minority shareholders’ right

(2) Obligations of the Shareholder

3. Right of Squeeze-out and Sell-out for Minority Shareholders

a. In general

b. Controlling Shareholder`s Right to Request for Sale

(1) Definition

(2) Procedure

(3) Determination of Share Price

c. Minority Shareholder`s Right to Request for Purchase

(1) Definition

(2) Determination of Share Price

d. Share Transfer, etc.

D. Organs                                                                                                        600

1. General shareholders’ meeting

a. Definition

b. Power

(1) Powers in the Commercial Act

(a) Matters about constitution of organs

(b) Matters about Accounting

(c) Matters about Supervision of Affairs

(d) Matters about Alternation of Fundamental Institutions

(2) Powers in Special Acts

(3) Power in the Articles of Incorporation

(4) In cases of small-scale company

c. Convocation

(1) Person Authorized to Convene

(2) Time of the Meeting

(3) Procedure of Convocation

(a) In case of general companies

(b) In case of listed companies

d. Shareholders’ Right to Make Proposal

(1) Definition

(2) Parties involved

(3) Procedure of Shareholders’ Proposal

(4) Effect of Shareholders’ Proposal

e. Voting Right of shareholder

(1) Votes

(a) In general

(b) Restrictions in the Commercial Act

(i) Non-voting Shares, Limited Voting Shares

(ii) Company’s own shares

(iii) Cross-owned Shares

(iv) Shares of persons who have specialinterests

(v) Limitation on Election of Auditors

(c) Restrictions in Special Acts

(i) Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act

(ii) Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act

(iii) Banking Act

(2) Exercise of Voting Rights

f. Resolution of a Shareholders’ General Meeting

(1) Ordinary Resolution

(2) Special Resolution

(3) Extraordinary Resolution

g. Appraisal Rights of Dissenting Shareholders

h. General shareholders’ meeting of certain class of shares

2. Board of Directors and Representative Director

a. Director

(1) Definition

(2) Appointment and Dismissal

(a) Appointment

(b) Dismissal

(3) Authorities

(4) Duties

(a) Duty of Care

(b) Duty of Loyalty

(5) Responsibilities

(6) Outside Directors

b. Board of Directors

(1) Definition

(2) Authorities

(a) Management of Affairs

(b) Supervising Directors

(3) Convocation

(4) Resolution

(5) Committees of Board of Directors

c. Representative Director

(1) Definition

(2) Appointment

(3) Authorities

(a) Management of Affairs

(b) Representation of Company

(c) Apparent Representative Director and Liability of Company

d. Shareholders’ Rights to Supervise Directors

(1) Right to Injunction

(2) Derivative Suit by Shareholders

3. Executive Officer

4. Audit System

a. Auditors

(1) Definition

(2) Appointment

(3) Authority

(a) Authority of Performance Audit

(b) Authority to Demand Reporting and to investigate

(c) Authority to Investigate Subsidiary Company

(d) Authority to request for Convocation of Board of Directors

(e) Authority to Attend Board of Directors and State Opinion

(f) Authority to Write names and Affix seals or Sign on Minutes of Board Directors

(g) Authority to request for Convocation of General Meeting

(h) Right to Injunction

(i) Right to Represent the Company in connection with certain actions

(j) Right to file various kinds of suits

(4) Duties

(a) Fiduciary duty

(b) Duty to Report to Board of Directors

(c) Duty to Examine and Report

(d) Duty of Preparation of Audit Record

(e) Duty to Submit an Audit Report

(f) Duty to Keep Secrets

(5) Liability

b. Audit Committee

(1) In General

(2) Constitution

(3) Operation

(4) Authorities

c. Compliance Assistant

E. Financing                                                                                                    631

1. Issuance of New Shares

2. Offering of Bonds

F. Amendment of Articles of Incorporation                                                   632

G. Dissolution and liquidation                                                                        633

1. Dissolution

2. Liquidation




VI. Foreign Companies                                                                                            634


A. Applicable Laws to Foreign Companies                                                    634

B. Appointment of Representative, Establishment of Business Office         635

And Registration

C. Order to Close Business Office                                                                 635

D. Liquidation of Foreign Company                                                              635


                                                Chapter 9: Employment Law                             637


I. Introduction                                                                                                           641


A. Definition of Employment Law                                                                641

B. Structure of Employment Law                                                                  641


II. Labor Standards Act                                                                                           642


A. Purpose                                                                                                      642

B. Scope of Application                                                                                 642

1. Employment

2. Scale of Workplace

3. Types of Business

4. Place of Business

C. Working Hours and Recess 

1. Working Hours by law

2. Extended Work

3. Night Work

4. Recess Hours

5. Flexible Working Hour System

D. Wages 

1. Payment of Wages

2. Protection of Claim of Wages

3. Allowances during Business Suspension

E. Protection of Minors and Females 

1. Minor Worker

a. Minimum Age and Employment Permit

b. Restriction on Labor Contract

c. Restriction on Night Work and Holiday Work

2. Female Worker

a. Prohibition of Employment

b. Protection of Pregnant Women

c. Nursing Hours

F. Dismissal                                                                                                     650

1. General Restriction

2. Restriction on Dismissal for Management or Business Reasons

3. Advance Notice of Dismissal

III. Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act                                        652


A. Trade Union                                                                                               652

1. Definition

2. Types

3. Foundation

4. Legal Protection

a. Requirements

b. Exemption from Taxation

c. Prohibition of Discrimination

B. Collective Bargaining                                                                                 655

1. Definition

2. Subject

3. Procedure and Good Faith Bargaining Obligation

C. Collective Agreement                                                                                657

1. Definition

2. Procedure

3. Effect

4. Valid Term

D. Industrial Action                                                                                        659

1. Definition

2. Types

a. Strike

b. Soldering

c. Production Management

d. Occupation of Workplace (i.e., ‘Sit-in’)

3. Procedure

a. Meditation before Industrial Action

b. Union Member’s Vote

c. Notice of Industrial Action

4. Justification of Industrial Action and Exemption

5. Liability and Punishment for Unjustifiable Industrial Action

6. Lock-out of Workplace

E. Unfair Labor Practices                                                                               663

1. Definition

2. Types

a. Treating in Disadvantageous Manner

b. Execution of Unfair Contract

c. Refusal of Collective Bargaining

d. Domination of Interference

3. Remedies

a. Administrative Remedy

b. Remedy under Civil Law

4. Penalty


                                    Chapter 10: Private International Law                         666


I. Introduction                                                                                                           670


A. General Argument of Private International Law                                                   670

1. Definition of Private International Law

2. External Legal Relations and the Application of Private International Law

B. Overview of Republic of Korea’s Private International Law                                671

1. History

2. Characteristics

a. Integrity

b. Comprehensive Adoption of Principle of Party Autonomy

c. Introduction of Provisions regarding International Jurisdiction

d. Acceptance of International Treaty


II. General Provisions of Private International Act                                               672


A. Introduction                                                                                                           672

B. International Jurisdiction                                                                                       673

1. Principle of Determining International Jurisdiction

a. Principle by the Statute

b. Substantive Relation

c. The Ideology of the Allocation of International Jurisdiction

d. Jurisdictional Provisions of Domestic Laws

2. Holding of The Supreme Court of Korea

C. Foreign Judgment Recognition and Enforcement                                                 675

1. Necessity of Foreign Judgment Recognition

2. Requirements for Foreign Judgment Recognition

a. Requirement of ‘International Jurisdiction’

b. Requirement of ‘Lawful Service of Documents or Response’

c. Requirement of ‘Good Morals and Other Social Order’

d. Requirement of ‘Mutual Guarantee’

3. Foreign Judgment Enforcement

4. Holdings of the Supreme Court of Korea

a. Judgment of 2006. 5. 26. 2005 Meu 884, Supreme Court of Korea

b. Judgment of 1989. 3. 14. 88 Meu 184, Supreme Court of Korea

D. Applicable Law Designation                                                                                  678

1. Law of Nationality

2. Law of Habitual Residence

3. Law of Foreign Country

4. Mandatory Application of Acts of Korea

5. Exception to Designation of Applicable Law

a. Contents of Provision

b. Purpose of Exception

6. Renvoi

a. Définition

b. Scope

c. Exception

7. Provisions of Foreign Law Contrary to Social Order

a. Definition

b. Supreme Court’s Holding


III. Specific Provisions of Private International Act                                              682


A. Introduction                                                                                                           682

B. General Provision of Civil Code                                                                            683

1. Legal Capacity

2. Adjudication of Disappearance

3. Corporations and Other Organizations

4. Agency

a. Legal Relation between Principal and Agent

b. Legal Relation between Principal and Third Party

c. Legal Relation between Agent and Third Party

d. Unauthorized Agency

C. Real Rights                                                                                                             686

1. Principle of Lex Situs of Subject

2. Exceptional Provisions

a. Means of Transportation

b. Bearer Securities

c. Protection of Intellectual Property Rights

D. Claim                                                                                                                      689

1. Contracts

a. Principle of Party Autonomy

b. Special Regulation

1) Consumer Contract

2) Employment Contract

2. Torts

a. Principle of Les Loci Actus

b. Exceptions

E. Family                                                                                                                     693

1. Marriage

2. Divorce

F. Inheritance                                                                                                              695

1. Inheritance

2. Will

a. Validity

b. Method

c. Amendment or Withdrawal