Censorship Prohibited in Korea: Entertainment Law Cases in Korea

Constitutional Court Decision 93Hunga13 delivered on October 4, 1996
【Request for Adjudication on Constitutionality of Motion Pictures Act Article 12, etc.】

Translation of Official Court Summary 

a. Censorship noted in Constitution Article 21 Section 2 is in effect by authoritative power and is a measure of prevention, a system that prevents the iteration of unapproved ideas or opinions in order to control, by evaluating the content of ideas or expressions. Thus, censorship generally entails four requirements: obligation to submit for approval, evaluation procedure in advance by an authoritative power, prohibition of unapproved expression, and a compulsory measure to accomplish the evaluation.

b.  Although the Constitution Article 37 Section 2 states the freedom and right of citizens may be restricted by Act for national security, the maintenance of law and order or for public welfare, the Constitution Article 21 Section 1 states censorship, to restrict the freedom of speech and the press, shall not be allowed even by Act.

The case establishes that censorship is prohibited in Korea.
Translations of Korean Court Entertainment Law Cases (Court Summaries)

Sean Hayes may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com.

Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the only non-Korean to have worked as an attorney 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.

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