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“Personal Rights” to be Stipulated as an Article

Posted June. 04, 2004 21:51,   


On June 4, the Ministry of Justice announced that an article protecting personal rights has been created in the revised civil code that was confirmed by the Special Subcommission for Amendments of Civil Laws (SSACL).

According to the Ministry of Justice, a new article has been added that states that “a person builds up legal relations according to one’s own free will on the basis of his or her dignity and value as a human being,” as clause 1 and “a person’s personal rights are to be protected,” as clause 2 of Article I in the revised civil code.

Commissioner Lee Shi-yoon of SSACL said, “Personal rights signify aspects of individuals like life, body, freedom and reputation that an individual possesses that cannot be separated from the individual, and include portrait rights and privacy protection,” and added, “personal rights, which were only recognized academically and theoretically, are now expressively stipulated in the law.”

Presently, the civil code only has an article that states, “An action is constituted illegal when it violates another person’s body, freedom or reputation.”

When “personal rights” are stipulated, it will lay the foundation for additional legislation of the law for protection of privacy and reputations of individuals and will have a great impact on future rulings of various litigations involving violations of personal rights.

Commissioner Lee said, “When personal rights are stipulated, it is expected that administrative authorities may become more observant of personal rights of individuals.”

Jin-Young Hwang buddy@donga.com