Criminal Punishment of Corporation for Acts of Employees

According to the Law Times, a Korean legal vernacular, laws that punish corporations or presidents of corporations, regardless of their “intent” or “negligence,” when a corporation’s manager commits a crime may be amended in the near future to not allow the punishment of the company or president. President-Elect Lee intends to abolish most of these criminal laws and allow sanctions to be handled through administrative procedures and not the Korean criminal courts.

The Ministry of Justice and some progressive NGOs may oppose the amendments. However, some noted academics and lawyers have already shown their support for the amendments.

Kang Dong-Bum, a professor at Ewha University, said that “Calling corporations and presidents to criminal account only because of the acts of an employer is wrong and they should be called to criminal account only when they have intention or negligence” Kang also noted, however, tha fines allowed to be imposed through administrative actions should be drastically increased.

Expect amendments to be enacted in the later part of this year.

Sean Hayes is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty. Sean is ranked, for Korea, as one of only two non-Korean lawyers as a Top Attorney by AsiaLaw, and IPG Legal is consistently ranked Top Dispute Resolution Law for our litigation services.

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