In South Korea, murder has a 25-year statute of limitations. This means that someone cannot be prosecuted for committing murder 25 years after the murder was committed.
A review committee of the National Assembly’s Legislation and Judiciary Committee on Wednesday has just pushed through a bill that would remove the statutory 25-year statute of limitations on murder. The bill now awaits approval at the Assembly’s plenary session on July 24, 2015.
The revision would not apply to manslaughter (a lesser form of homicide lacking adequate “malice” to qualify as a murder) or parricide (the killing of one’s parents).
The move to remove South Korea’s statute of limitations on murder has been an ongoing one. In 1999, a 6 year old boy was murdered by an unknown attacker who doused him with sulfuric acid. At that time, the statute of limitations on murder was just 15 years. Korea’s Supreme Court last year dismissed his family’s request to keep his case open, meaning that his murderer, if he’s ever found, would now be immune from prosecution.
Sean Hayes may be contacted at: [email protected]
Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He 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. Sean’s profile may be found at: Sean C. Hayes
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