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Department Stores¡¯ Shuttle Buses Cannot be Operated

Posted June. 28, 2001 19:42,   


The Constitutional Court of Korea (CCK) decided that the newly-made articles in the transportation business law are constitutional.

Due to the CCK¡¯s constitutional decision for the articles that was made at last December¡¯s law revision session, discontinuation of the shuttle bus operation will be unavoidable. The articles will be effective from 30th.

The Nine Justices (NJ) of the CCK (Judge Kim Kyung-Il) rejected Lotte Shopping Co.

and other department stores¡¯ appeal by ruling the articles constitutional. On the letter of appeal, they had argued, ``the article 73-2 and the article 81-7-2 that prohibit the operation of shuttle buses are unconstitutional.``

With the Nine Justices of the CCK voting 4 vs. 4 (one judge abstained), the rejection decision was made. To be decided as unconstitutional, more than 6 justices must vote as unconstitutional.

On the letter of judgment, Yun Young-Churl and 3 other justices made it clear, ``because the purpose of the department stores or a discount-stores is to sell goods, not to provide transportation for their customers, their reckless shuttle bus operation becomes an obstacle to maintain the order of the transportation business and injures the administration of the transportation companies.

The justices also said, ``to minimize consumers inconvenience, the articles that prohibit the operation of shuttle buses have exceptional cases in which the operation of shuttle buses can be allowed by the Presidential Decree only for the region where the public transportation is not available. Although the new articles restrict the freedom of business, it is constitutional because the limitation is conducted within the boundary of the constitution.``

However, 4 other justices including Kwon Sung judged the articles as unconstitutional saying, ``the shuttle bus prohibition articles unilaterally obligate the sacrifice of the department stores, the freedom for occupation, which are not competitors against the transportation business owners.``

When the government prepared last December the revised transportation business law that banned the shuttle buses operation by responding the protest of small and mid-sized store owners and transportation business owners, the Lotte Shopping Co. and other department stores appealed to the CCK.

Lee Soo-Hyung sooh@donga.com