Korea’s Improper Solicitation and Graft Act: Kim Young-ran Act

The Improper Solicitation and Graft Act of Korea (“Graft Act”) was enacted on March of 2015 and came into effect in September of 2016.  Korea’s Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission published in English and Korea a decent Handbook to the Graft Act.  The Handbook may be found at: Handbook to Korea’s Graft Act.  All companies doing business in Korea should understand compliance basics and have an understanding of the myriad of compliance rules.  The Graft Act is, only, the tip of the iceberg.  We shall be focusing on Korean compliance basics over the next couple of months on this blog.  The Moon Administration and the Korean FTA have aggressively acted upon alleged malfeasance in Korean companies and this is a time to consider a compliance audit, redrafting of compliance policies and procedures and, potentially, your employment rules. Please check back to the Korean Law Blog.  We shall be writing over the

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USA Today cites The Korean Law Blog and IPG Attorney Sean Hayes on Casino Gambling Law

An article in USA Today on Casino Gambling in Korea cites The Korean Law Blog and the main author of this blog on Casino Gambling in Korea.  The article may be found at:  South Korea wants to build casino industry where all are welcome but Koreans. The article notes, in part, that: “According to the Korea Center on Gambling Problems, which was established by the government in 2012, the prevalence of gambling addiction is two-to-three times higher in Korea than in other major countries. While it’s unclear how those statistics are compiled, the notion that Koreans are uniquely susceptible to gambling addiction is a widespread social theory that informs the laws surrounding the issue.” (c) Sean Hayes – SJ IPG. All Rights reserved.  Do not duplicate any content on this blog without the express written permission of the author. info@ipglegal.com.

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Korean Child Abduction Law Explained

Child Abduction Law in Korea is a developing area of Korean law because of Korea’s Criminal and Family Law’s interaction with the recently ratified Hague Convention on the Civil Aspect of International Child Abduction and recent noted issues that have been covered in the local and international press.  Please note this area of law in Korea is developing and Korea’s child abduction jurisprudence is quickly developing and local law is necessary to consider with the interaction between the laws of the jurisdiction of the Mother and Father. One case sheds light on international child abduction law in Korea.  A Vietnamese Mother and a Korean Father with marriage difficulties were planning to divorce.  The Vietnamese Mother removed the child of the couple to Vietnam and returned to Korea for employment purposes.  The child was moved to Vietnam to be raised by the family of the Vietnamese Mother. The couple divorced after the alleged

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Korean Pretrial Detention: Korean Criminal Law Basics

Korea allows a prosecutor, via approval by a court, the right to hold a defendant pending trial in a criminal case for up to 180 days.  The approval by the Court is the granting of a Pretrial Detention Warrant, also, often referred to, in English, as Korean Arrest Warrant.  In most cases, a decision, in a criminal case, must be rendered within 180 days of the time of the detention or the Defendant must be released from detention prior to the rendering of the judgment by the court.  While bail is possible, in Korea, bail is not typically granted.  In the not so distant past, when a prosecutor requested a Pretrial Detention Warrant (Pretrial Arrest Warrant), the court nearly universally approved this Pretrial Detention Warrant. Prosecutors, normally, rarely fail to obtain a Pretrial Detention Warrant, however, with a proactive Korean Defense Attorney, often a release pending the disposition in a case

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Fleeing Korea while under Police/Prosecutor Investigation: International Hold in Korea

From changes a couple of years ago in the computer system and policy of the Korean Immigration Services, even if the Korean prosecution/police have not requested that an accused be placed on an International Hold, some records of police investigations, indictments and proposed fines and sentences by the prosecution/police are being reported to the Korean Immigration Service at airports and ports of departure. An International Hold, in Korea, is an official procedure that flags passports and fingerprints & prevents one, under this International Hold, from departing Korea prior to the lifting of the International Hold. Even if you are not under an official International Hold, Korea Immigration may refuse your departure or entry into Korea based on information from data being shared between the Police, Prosecution, National Tax Service and other Korean government agencies.  Please note that the Korea Immigration is a branch of the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry

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Preparation for Korean Police & Prosecutor Interrogations & Witness/Defendant Questioning at Korean Courts

All good Korean attorneys prepare all clients for witness questioning & suspect interrogations in Korea.  Clients may be subpoenaed to appear in a Korean police office, Korean prosecutors office or to appear as a witness or a criminal defendant in a Korean Court and should be thoroughly prepared by their attorneys. We at IPG, hear of too many issues of lawyers, only, telling clients to “tell the truth and don’t worry.”  This is, obviously, not adequate witness or suspect preparation.  We see this from Korean law firms large and small.  Thus, the following list was prepared as a basic guide to necessaries prior to coming before a Korean Court, prosecutor or police investigator.  Please retain an attorney that has experience preparing clients for witness questionings and suspect interrogations – it is sad to note that few Korean attorneys have experience preparing even criminal defendants for court.   The reality is, however, that all

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English-speaking Korean lawyers and International Lawyers at International Law Firm in Korea discussing issues of Korean Law

IPG Legal is a leading client-focused international law firm with offices in Korea that is, often, selected over the ubiquitous Korean Law Firms when success is essential and success depends on nuanced street-smart advice, proactive  and unconflicted representation. Our attorneys are, intentionally. different from the crowd.  From our retired judge partners to our junior associates, we are all trained with an intense focus on client success, lawyer proactivity, and to understand the nexus between your commercial and legal needs. Our attorneys shall never push to you useless memos, non-nuanced legal advice or get you into litigation without an honest assessment of the merits and shortcomings of the matter. We are  – intentionally different from the crowd.  Globally Experienced – Locally Connected.  We are IPG.  Korean Legal Practices Korean Antitrust, Competition & FTC Arbitration, Int’l & Domestic Korean Civil Litigation Korean Criminal Defense Korean Corporate Law & Compliance Korean Employment, Labor &

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English-Speaking Criminal Defense Lawyers in Korea: Defense Lawyers to Hire and Not to Hire?

In all cases, in Korea, where you are accused of a crime and you fear that you may be sentenced to time in jail, may be deported or the conviction may harm your future, hire, quickly, an experienced and proactive English-Fluent Korean criminal defense lawyers prior to any interrogations by the Korean police or prosecution. Sadly, few lawyers, in Korea, are useful for criminal matters, since few lawyers are proactive when it comes to matters concerning the Korean government, experienced in criminal matters for foreigners or willing to upset the status quo (aggressively engage the prosecutor and court). Please do your future a favor, forgo any options provided at no or low cost unless you have no other options.  The reality is the most important decision you shall make, at this time, is the choice of a lawyer. If you are under SOFA, you may choose any lawyer you want

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Korean Government Official Prosecuted in U.S. for Violation of Korean Law? Application of Korean Law in U.S. Courts

Is it really true?  A foreign government official may be prosecuted in the United States for the violation of a non-U.S. law – Yes/No – not exactly. A Korean working for a Korean government research center was, recently, found guilt of U.S. federal money laundering in a U.S. Federal Court.  The individual was convicted of utilizing the banking system of the United States to store and transfer illegal obtained funds.  The funds were deemed illegally obtained under Korean Law.  So yes, the interpretation of Korean Law was necessary. According to a Press Release by the Central District of California’s U.S. Attorney’s Office: “A former director of South Korea’s Earthquake Research Center at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM) has been found guilty of using a Southern California bank account to launder bribes he received from two seismological companies, including one based in Pasadena. Heon-Cheol Chi, 59, of

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English-Speaking Criminal Defense Team Lead by Retired Korean Presiding Judge

IPG’s Criminal Defense team is lead by a leading Korean criminal defense attorney – retired Judge SJ Kook. Judge Kook, to date, has earned, for clients, over 60 not guilty verdicts.  He works on may Korean criminal matters with Sean Hayes, a retired prosecutor and internationally-experienced Korean attorneys.  Judge Kook is a graduate of Seoul National University and Columbia Law School.  He retired as a presiding judge. For more info on IPG please see: www.ipglegal.com IPG’s Representative Criminal Defense Cases: Not guilty verdict for an American military officer charged with the crime of rape in Korea. Not guilty verdicts for two employees of a major American defense company in a criminal prosecution in Korea. Not guilty verdict for an employee of an American defense contractor in a sexual assault case. Obtained a suspended jail sentence for an employee of a company convicted of the illegal import of diamonds into Korea.

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The Signs of a Great Criminal Lawyer in Korea | English-Speaking Criminal Defense Lawyers in Seoul

There are few great English-fluent criminal defense lawyers working in Korea, because of the nature of the Korean criminal justice system and other Korean realities.  It is even more difficult to find competent English-speaking criminal defense attorneys outside of Seoul. In Korea, in all cases, where you are accused of a crime and you fear that you may be sentenced to time in a Korean jail, may be deported from Korea or the Korean conviction may harm your future – hire, quickly, an experienced and proactive attorney in Korea with experience in Korean criminal law prior to any interrogations by the Korean police or prosecution. As I mentioned in a post entitled English-Speaking Criminal Defense Lawyers in Korea: Who to Hire – Who Not to Hire “Sadly, few lawyers, in Korea, are useful for criminal matters, since few lawyers are proactive when it comes to matters concerning the Korean government,

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Korea’s Anti-corruption/Anti-Graft Law: Kim Young-ran Law Implementation in Korea

Korea’s Anti-graft Law shall be effective on most companies doing business in Korea on September 28, 2016. Call your lawyer in Korea and get your lawyer to write you a memo on the issue.  The law will have, immediate, effects on most companies doing business in Korea. Korea, based on calls from civic groups and some in the media criticized the powers that be in Korea that Korea was lax on white-collar crime.  These individuals, among other arguments, claimed it is near impossible to succeed in business in Korea without resorting to corruption. The Chair of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission – retired Supreme Court Justice Young-ran Kim – motioned the National Assembly of Korea to implement a broad-based anti-corruption law.  A watered-down version of the law passed the Korean National Assembly after much debate.  Challenges filed to the Constitutional Court were dismissed by the Court. This Anti-graft law

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Director Liability Insurance in Korea: Follow the Oxy Reckitt Beckiser

A great lawyer is hard to find – a lawyer is too hard to lose. The best lawyers, in Korea, often don’t work for the ubiquitous/”leading” law firms, because of Korean realities.  This is known by many Koreans and it is why Koreans shop around for the best lawyer for the specific case. Too often, we see foreign defendants in criminal cases that choose to maintain the same “corporate” firm for criminal matters.  This is not always the best move and we can see in many of the most noteworthy cases that this is not, always, the rule.  Realize that you are hiring a lawyer – not a law firm. Also, realize that a proactive, non-conflicted, aggressive and respected lawyer is essential for all criminal defense matters.  These lawyers are hard to find in Korea, especially when we consider that these lawyers, typically, need to be very senior retired judges

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The Law of Self-Defense in Korea: Criminal Law Basics in Korea

The affirmative defense of self-defense is available in Korea.  A court, in Korea, that rules that an act was perpetrated in self-defense must dismiss or mitigate the punishment of the defendant. Typical Korean Court Criminal Act Article 21 (Self-Defense)(1) An act which is performed in order to prevent impending and unjust infringement of one’s own or another person’s legal interest shall not be punishable if there are reasonable grounds for that act. (2) When a preventive act has exceed normal limits, the punishment may be mitigated or remitted according to the extenuating circumstances. (3) In the case of the preceding paragraph, an act performed through fear, surprise, excitement, or confusion in the night or under other extraordinary circumstances shall not be punishable.  Regrettably to many, Korea interprets the preceding Article 21 of Korea’s Criminal Act very narrowly.  There is, only, one reported cases in the past 25 plus years where

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Mr. Song Sings a Sobering Song of Freedom: “Emergency Situation” as a Defense to Drunk Driving Charge in Korea Upheld

I usually don’t write about such mundane legal issues, but the facts here are too interesting.  Mr. Song called a Designated Driver Service to drive him home after a night of drinking with high school friends. In Korea, you can call a Designated Driver to drive you home. The drivers, typically, arrive via public transportation or are dropped off via a motorbike.  The job is considered one of the lower-level jobs in Korea.  The fee for the service is, similar to the fee for a taxi. The Designated Driver and Mr. Song got into a verbal altercation that led to Mr. Song ordering the Designated Driver out of the car.  The altercation was over Mr. Song wanting the driver to drop off a friend on the way to his house – the Designated Driver refused and noted he will not drive further if Song demands that the friend is dropped

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Changes to Korea’s Franchise Law May Lead to an Increased Potential for Criminal Sanctions: Franchise Law Basics

The Fair Transactions in Franchise Business Act of Korea was amended on August 13, 2013 and became effective on August 14, 2014.  The, facial, reason for the change in the Act is noted in an announcement by the Korean government on the reason for the amendment.  The facial reason for the amendment shows the rationale for imposing criminal sanctions for acts that don’t constitute “crimes.” Korean Government’s Stated Reason for the Amendment: “Recently, there is a rapid and growing tendency to engage in franchising because of the growth of the retired population, an unemployment crisis and the easiness in establishing a franchise business.  But damage from franchisers by providing false or exaggerated information, unfair restrictions on business hours, imposing excessive penalties, frequently compelling improvement to stores and other unfair transaction is increasing. Therefore, to provide a franchisee or a prospective franchisee with accurate and adequate information; to prevent new types

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Definition of Rape in Korea Elaborated on by the Korean Supreme Court: Criminal Law Basics

A recent decision by the Supreme Court of Korea may make defending against rape charges a little easier for defendants. The Defendant in the case was convicted by a Korean District and High Court for rape and was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in jail. Facts Found by the CourtThe Supreme Court found, among other things, the following facts: Defendant was the ex-boyfriend of the Accuser; The Accuser had a boyfriend; The Accuser was drunk and the Defendant may have been drunk at the night of the alleged rape; The Accuser and the Defendant met each other “spontaneously” and drank together; The Accuser and the Defendant went back to a motel room together; The Accuser and the Defendant had sex; The Accuser screamed that “this is rape” and the Defendant stopped having sex with the Accuser; The Defendant noted that he would take the Accuser to her home, but she

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Korean Supreme Court Rules Contingency Fees for Criminal Cases Illegal

The Korean Supreme Court has, recently, ruled that an attorney’s contingency fees in criminal cases are against public policy, and are, therefore, illegal in Korea. The Supreme Court of Korea cited two bodies of law to arrive at its decision: Korea’s Civil Act and the Korean Attorney-at-Law Act. Article 103 of Korea’s Civil Act (Juristic Acts Contrary to Social Order) states that a “juristic act that is contrary to good morals and social order shall be null and void.” Article 1 of the Attorney-at-Law Act states that the “mission of any attorney-at-law shall be to defend fundamental human rights and realize social justice.” Article 2 of the Attorney-at-Law Act states that “each attorney-at-law shall perform his/her duties independently and freely as a legal professional.” The Supreme Court, then, ruled that contingency fees in criminal cases: Harm the public’s perception of lawyers – someone whose mission it is to defend fundamental

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South Korea moves to Remove Statute of Limitation on Murder

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

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South Korea’s Military Conscription Law Challenged by Religious Conscientious Objectors

South Korea’s mandatory military conscription law is once again being challenged by religious conscientious objectors. The Constitutional Court held a public hearing on Thursday to determine whether religious objectors to military service are still subject to the same punishments that are given to other citizens who refuse to perform their military service. South Korean law mandates that citizens who refuse to perform military service, without a valid reason, are subject to imprisonment for up to three years. Currently, religious conscientious objections are not recognized as a valid reason to not serve.  The Constitutional Court upheld the conscription law when it was challenged in 2004 and 2011. According to a legal representative of conscientious objectors who filed a petition against the law, 706 young men are currently imprisoned in South Korea for refusing to perform military service – many due to religious conscientious objections. A lawyer for South Korea’s Defense Ministry,

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