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

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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

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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 Court The Supreme Court found, among other things, the following facts: The defendant was the ex-boyfriend of the Accuser; The Accuser had a boyfriend; The Accuser was drunk and the Defendant

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Korea’s Cyber Defamation Law: Basics of Libel and Slander Law in Korea

The crime of defamation, in South Korea, is vastly different from defamation laws in many Western countries. Most Western countries have, only, civil liability for defamation and much stricter requirements even for civil liability. In the United States, the alleged defamation (civil) against a person must be a false statement. The truth is a complete defense. Owing to the First Amendment’s protection of free speech (New York Times vs. Sullivan), additional requirements may also apply, such as requiring the statement

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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

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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

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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

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Bail Granted in Korea for Alleged Violations of Korean Banking Laws

We are proud to announce that we, recently, prevailed in a white-collar criminal matter concerning an alleged crime involving violations of Korea’s Banking Laws.  The allegations stemmed from transactions between a payment processor and a major Korean financial institution.  Bail was granted for the non-Korean banker/businessman and, promptly, upon the granting of the bail by the Korean court, the Seoul Prosecution decided to drop all charges against our client.  In Korea, it is very difficult to obtain bail in cases

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Child Abuse in Korea – “Professionals” Required to Report Crime: Sentences Increased & Police Receiving More Training on the Needs of Victims

Most crimes, in Korea, related to the most vulnerable in society are seeing more attention by the police & prosecution and greater sentences from judges – child abuse is no exception. In Korea, child abuse may be punished under the Act on Special Cases Related to the Punishment etc. of Child Abuse Crimes (아동학대범죄의 처벌 등에 관한 특례법). Some individuals may be held civilly liable (fined) for not reporting child abuse. The law defines a “child” in Korea as anyone

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Did Korea Kill Uber? South Korea vs. Uber

The Wall Street Journal has a new article about Uber’s legal challenges in Korea.  The article is well worth a read.  According to the article, the Korean Communications Commission released a statement that said that Uber Korea violated Korean Law by failing to report its Geo-positioning service to regulators.  As I noted in prior blog posts, many international companies have not reported this service to Korean regulators in violation of this law.  The Seoul Metropolitan Government is fiercely arguing that

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