We, the people of Korea,
proud of a resplendent history and traditions dating from time
upholding the cause of the Provisional Republic of Korea
Government born of the Independence Movement of 1 March
1919 and the democratic ideals of the uprising on 19 April 1960
having assumed the mission of democratic reform and peaceful
unification of our homeland and
having determined to consolidate national unity with Justice,
humanitarianism and brotherly love, and
to destroy all social vices and injustice, and
to afford equal opportunities to every person and provide for
the fullest development of individual capabilities in all fields,
including political, economic, social and cultural life by further
strengthening the basic free and democratic order conducive to
private initiative and public harmony, and
to help each person discharge those duties and responsibilities
concomitant to freedoms and rights, and
to elevate the quality of life for all citizens and contribute to
lasting world peace and the common prosperity of mankind and
thereby to ensure security, liberty and happiness for ourselves
and our posterity forever,
do hereby amend, through national referendum following a
resolution by the National Assembly, the Constitution, ordained
and established on 12 July 1948, and amended eight times
Article 1 [Democracy]
(1) The Republic of Korea is a democratic republic.
(2) The sovereignty of the Republic of Korea resides in the
people, and all state authority emanates from the people.
Article 2 [Nationality]
(1) Nationality in the Republic of Korea is prescribed by law.
(2) It is the duty of the State to protect citizens residing abroad
as prescribed by law.
Article 3 [Territory]
The territory of the Republic of Korea shall consist of the
Korean peninsula and its adjacent islands.
Article 4 [Unification, Peace]
The Republic of Korea seeks unification and formulates and
carries out a policy of peaceful unification based on the
principles of freedom and democracy.
Article 5 [War, Armed Forces]
(1) The Republic of Korea endeavors to maintain international
peace and renounces all aggressive wars.
(2) The Armed Forces are charged with the sacred mission of
national security and the defense of the land and their political
neutrality must be maintained.
Article 6 [Treaties, Foreigners]
(1) Treaties duly concluded and promulgated under the
Constitution and the generally recognized rule of international
law have the same effect as the domestic laws of the Republic
(2) The status of foreigners is guaranteed as prescribed by
international law and treaties.
Article 7 [Public Officials]
(1) All public officials are servants of the entire people and
responsible to the people.
(2) The status and political impartiality of public officials is
guaranteed as prescribed by law.
Article 8 [Political Parties]
(1) The establishment of political parties is free, and the plural
party system is guaranteed.
(2) Political parties must be democratic in their objectives,
organization, and activities, and have the necessary
organizational arrangements for the people to participate in the
formation of the political will.
(3) Political parties enjoy the protection of the State and may be
provided with operational funds by the State under the
conditions as prescribed by law.
(4) If the purposes or activities of a political party are contrary
to the fundamental democratic order, the Government may
bring action against it in the Constitutional Court for its
dissolution, and, the political party is dissolved in accordance
with the decision of the Constitutional Court.
Article 9 [Culture]
The State tries to sustain and develop the cultural heritage and
to enhance national culture.
Article 10 [Dignity, Pursuit of Happiness]
All citizens are assured of human worth and dignity and have
the right to pursue happiness. It is the duty of the State to
confirm and guarantee the fundamental and inviolable human
rights of individuals.
Article 11 [Equality]
(1) All citizens are equal before the law, and there may be no
discrimination in political, economic, social, or cultural life on
account of sex, religion, or social status.
(2) No privileged caste is recognized or ever established in any
(3) The awarding of decorations or distinctions of honor in any
form is effective only for recipients, and no privileges ensue
Article 12 [Personal Liberty, Personal Integrity]
(1) All citizens enjoy personal liberty. No person may be
arrested, detained, searched, seized, or interrogated except as
provided by law. No person may be punished, placed under
preventive restrictions, or subject to involuntary labor except as
provided by law and through lawful procedures.
(2) No citizens may be tortured or be compelled to testify
against himself in criminal cases.
(3) Warrants issued by a judge through due procedures upon the
request of a prosecutor have to be presented in case of arrest,
detention, seizure, or search: Provided, that in a case where a
criminal suspect is a apprehended in flagrante delicto, or where
there is danger that a person suspected of committing a crime
punishable by imprisonment of three years or more may escape
or destroy evidence, investigative authorities may request an ex
post facto warrant.
(4) Any person who is arrested or detained has the right to
prompt assistance of counsel. When a criminal defendant is
unable to secure counsel by his own efforts, the State assigns
counsel for the defendant as prescribed by law.
(5) No person may be arrested or detained without being
informed of the reason therefore and of his right to assistance
of counsel. The family and other related persons, as designated
by law, of a person arrested or detained shall be notified
without delay of the reason for and the time and place of the
arrest or detention.
(6) Any person who is arrested or detained, has the right to
request the court to review the legality of the arrest or
(7) In a case where a confession is deemed to have been made
against a defendant's will due to torture, violence, intimidation,
unduly prolonged arrest, deceit or similar action, or in a case
where a confession is the only evidence against a defendant in a
formal trial, such a confession may not be admitted as evidence
of guilt, nor may a defendant be punished by reason of such a
Article 13 [nulla poena sine lege, double jeopardy, retroactive law, family liability]
(1) No citizen may be prosecuted for an act which does not
constitute a crime under the law in force at the time it was
committed, nor may he be placed in double jeopardy.
(2) No restrictions may be imposed upon the political rights of
any citizen, nor may any person be deprived of property rights
by means of retroactive legislation.
(3) No citizen shall suffer unfavorable treatment on account of
an act not of his own doing but committed by a relative.
Article 14 [Residence, Move]
All citizens enjoy the freedom of residence and the right to
move at will.
Article 15 [Occupation]
All citizens enjoy freedom of occupation.
Article 16 [Home, Search, Seizure]
All citizens are free from intrusion into their place of residence.
In case of search or seizure in a residence, a warrant issued by
a judge upon request of a prosecutor has to be presented.
Article 17 [Privacy]
The privacy of no citizen may be infringed.
Article 18 [Secrecy of Correspondence]
The secrecy of correspondence of no citizen may be infringed.
Article 19 [Conscience]
All citizens enjoy the freedom of conscience.
Article 20 [Religion, Church]
(1) All citizens enjoy the freedom of religion.
(2) No state religion may be recognized, and church and state
are to be separated.
Article 21 [Speech, Press, Assembly, Association, Honor, Public Morals]
(1) All citizens enjoy the freedom of speech and the press,
and of assembly and association.
(2) Licensing or censorship of speech and the press, and
licensing of assembly and association may not be recognized.
(3) The standard of news service and broadcast facilities and
matters necessary to ensure the functions of newspapers is
determined by law.
(4) Neither speech nor the press may violate the honor or rights
of other persons nor undermine public morals or social ethics.
Should speech or the press violate the honor or rights of other
persons, claims may be made for the damage resulting
Article 22 [Learning, Intellectual Rights]
(1) All citizens enjoy the freedom of learning and the arts.
(2) The rights of authors, inventors, scientists, engineers, and
artists are protected by law.
Article 23 [Property, Public Welfare, Expropriation]
(1) The right to property of all citizens is guaranteed. Its
contents and limitations are determined by law.
(2) The exercise of property rights shall conform to the public
(3) Expropriation, use, or restriction of private property from
public necessity and compensation therefore are governed by
law. However, in such a case, just compensation must be paid.
Article 24 [Right to Vote]
All citizens have the right to voteunder the conditions
prescribed by law.
Article 25 [Right to Public Office]
All citizens have the right to hold public office under the
conditions prescribed by law.
Article 26 [Petition]
(1) All citizens have the right to petition in writing to any
governmental agency under the conditions prescribed by law.
(2) The State is obligated to examine all such petitions.
Article 27 [Right to Trial]
(1) All citizens have the right to be tried in conformity with the
law by judges qualified under the Constitution and the law.
(2) Citizens who are not on active military service or employees
of the military forces may not be tried by a court martial within
the territory of the Republic of Korea, except in case of crimes
as prescribed by law involving important classified military
information, sentinels, sentry posts, the supply of harmful food
and beverages, prisoners of war, and military articles and
facilities, and in the case of the proclamation of extraordinary
(3) All citizens have the right to a speedy trial. The accused
have the right to a public trial without delay in the absence of
justifiable reasons to the contrary.
(4) The accused are presumed innocent until a judgment of guilt
has been pronounced.
(5) A victim of a crime is entitled to make a statement during
the proceedings of the trial of the case involved under the
conditions prescribed by law.
Article 28 [False Imprisonment]
In a case where a criminal suspect or an accused person who
has been placed under detention is not indicted as provided by
law or is acquitted by a court, he is entitled to claim just
compensation from the State under the conditions as prescribed
Article 29 [State and Official's Liability]
(1) In case a person has sustained damages by an unlawful act
committed by a public official in the course of official duties,
he may claim just compensation from the State or public
organization under the conditions as prescribed by law. In this
case, the public official concerned are not immune from
(2) In case a person on active military service or an employee
of the military forces, a police official, or others as prescribed
by law sustains damages in connection with the performance of
official duties such as combat action, drill, and so forth, he is
not entitled to a claim against the State or public organization
on the grounds of unlawful acts committed by public officials in
the course of official duties, but only to compensations as
prescribed by law.
Article 30 [Victims]
Citizens who have suffered bodily injury or death due to
criminal acts of others may receive aid from the State under the
conditions as prescribed by law.
Article 31 [Education]
(1) All citizens have an equal right to receive an education
corresponding to their abilities.
(2) All citizens who have children to support are responsible at
least for their elementary education and other education as
provided by law.
(3) Compulsory education is free of charge.
(4) Independence, professionalism, and political impartiality of
education and the autonomy of institutions of higher learning
are guaranteed under the conditions as prescribed by law.
(5) The State promotes lifelong education.
(6) Fundamental matters pertaining to the educational system,
including schools and lifelong education, administration,
finance, and the status of teachers are determined by law.
Article 32 [Work]
(1) All citizens have the right to work. The State endeavors to
promote the employment of workers and to guarantee optimum
wages through social and economic means and enforces a
minimum wage system under the conditions as prescribed by
(2) All citizens have the duty to work. The State prescribes by
law the extent and conditions of the duty to work in conformity
with democratic principles.
(3) Standards of working conditions are determined by law in
such a way as to guarantee human dignity.
(4) Special protection has to be accorded to working women,
and they may not be subjected to unjust discrimination in terms
of employment, wages, and working conditions.
(5) Special protection has to be accorded to working children.
(6) The opportunity to work shall be accorded preferentially,
under the conditions as prescribed by law, to those who have
given distinguished service to the State, wounded veterans and
policemen, and members of the bereaved families of military
servicemen and policemen killed in action.
Article 33 [Unions]
(1) To enhance working conditions, workers have the right to
independent association, collective bargaining, and collective
(2) Only those public officials who are designated by law, have
the right to association, collective bargaining, and collective
(3) The right to collective action of workers employed by
important defense industries may be either restricted or denied
under the conditions as prescribed by law.
Article 34 [Welfare]
(1) All citizens are entitled to a life worthy of human beings.
(2) The State has the duty to endeavor to promote social
security and welfare.
(3) The State endeavors to promote the welfare and rights of
(4) The State has the duty to implement policies for enhancing
the welfare of senior citizen and the young.
(5) Citizens who are incapable of earning a livelihood due to a
physical disability, disease, old age, or other reasons are
protected by the State under the conditions as prescribed by
(6) The State endeavors to prevent disasters and to protect
citizens from harm therefrom.
Article 35 [Environment, Housing]
(1) All citizens have the right to a healthy and pleasant
environment. The State and all citizens shall endeavor to
protect the environment.
(2) The substance of the environmental right is determined by
(3) The State endeavors to ensure comfortable housing for all
citizens through housing development policies and the like.
Article 36 [Marriage, Family, Mothers, Health]
(1) Marriage and family life are entered into and sustained on
the basis of individual dignity and equality of the sexes, and the
State must do everything in its power to achieve that goal.
(2) The State endeavors to protect mothers.
(3) The health of all citizens is protected by the State.
Article 37 [Restriction, No Infringement of Essentials]
(1) Freedoms and rights of citizens may not be neglected on the
grounds that they are not enumerated in the Constitution.
(2) The freedoms and rights of citizens may be restricted by law
only when necessary for national security, the maintenance of
law and order, or for public welfare. Even when such
restriction is imposed, no essential
aspect of the freedom or
right shall be violated.
Article 38 [Duty to Pay Taxes]
All citizens have the duty to pay taxes under the conditions as
prescribed by law.
Article 39 [Duty to Military Service]
(1) All citizens have the duty of national defense under the
conditions as prescribed by law.
(2) No citizen may be treated unfavorably on account of the
fulfillment of his obligation of military service.
CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY : Chapter III The National Assembly
Article 40 [Parliament]
The legislative power is vested in the National Assembly.
Article 41 [Election]
(1) The National Assembly is composed of members elected by
universal, equal, direct, and secret ballot by the citizens.
(2) The number of members of the National Assembly is
determined by law, but the number may not be less than 200.
(3) The constituencies of members of the National Assembly,
proportional representation, and other matters pertaining to
National Assembly elections are determined by law.
Article 42 [Term]
The term of office of members of the National Assembly is four
Article 43 [Incompatibility]
Members of the National Assembly may not concurrently hold
any other office prescribed by law.
Article 44 [Immunity]
(1) During the sessions of the National Assembly, no member
of the National Assembly may be arrested or detained without
the consent of the National Assembly except in case of
(2) In case of apprehension or detention of a member of the
National Assembly prior to the opening of a session, such
member must be released during the session upon the request of
the National Assembly, except in case of flagrante delicto.
Article 45 [Indemnity]
No member of the National Assembly can be held responsible
outside the National Assembly for opinions officially expressed
or votes cast in the Assembly.
Article 46 [Duties of Members]
(1) Members of the National Assembly have the duty to
maintain high standards of integrity.
(2) Members of the National Assembly must give preference to
National interests and perform their duties in accordance with
(3) Members of the National Assembly may not acquire,
through abuse of their positions, rights, and interests in
property or positions, or assist other persons to acquire the
same, by means of contracts with or dispositions by the State,
public organizations, or industries.
Article 47 [Sessions]
(1) A regular session of the National Assembly is convened
once every year under the conditions prescribed by law, and
extraordinary sessions of the National Assembly can be
convened upon the request of the President or at least
one-fourth of the members.
(2) The period of regular sessions cannot exceed a hundred
days, and that of extraordinary sessions, thirty days.
(3) If the President requests the convening of an extraordinary
session, the period of the session and the reasons for the request
must be clearly specified.
Article 48 [Speakers]
The National Assembly elects one Speaker and two
Article 49 [Quorum, Majority]
Except as otherwise provided in the Constitution or by law, the
attendance of a majority of the total members, and the
concurrent vote of a majority of the members present, are
necessary for decisions of the National Assembly. In case of a
tie vote, the matter is regarded as rejected.
Article 50 [Publicity]
(1) Sessions of the National Assembly are open to the public:
Provided, that when it is decided so by a majority of the
members present, when the Speaker deems it necessary to do so
for the sake of national security, they may be closed to the
(2) The public disclosure of the proceedings of sessions which
were not open to the public is determined by law.
Article 51 [Pending Bills]
Bills and other matters submitted to the National Assembly for
deliberation cannot be abandoned on the ground that they were
not acted upon during the session in which they were
introduced, except in a case where the term of the members of
the National Assembly has expired.
Article 52 [Initiative]
Bills may be introduced by members of the National Assembly
or by the Executive.
Article 53 [Passing Bills]
(1) Each bill passed by the National Assembly shall be sent to
the Executive, and the President shall promulgate it within
(2) In case of objection to the bill, the President may, within
the period referred to in Paragraph (1), return it to the National
Assembly with written explanation of his objection, and request
it be reconsidered. The President may do the same during
adjournment of the National Assembly.
(3) The President may not request the National Assembly to
reconsider the bill in part, or with proposed amendments.
(4) In case there is a request for reconsideration of a bill, the
National Assembly reconsiders it, and if the National Assembly
repasses the bill in the original form with the attendance of
more than one half of the total members, and with a concurrent
vote of two-thirds or more of the members present, it becomes
(5) If the President does not promulgate the bill, or does not
request the National Assembly to reconsider it within the period
referred to in Paragraph (1) it becomes law.
(6) The President promulgate without delay the law as finalized
under Paragraphs (4) and (5). If the President does not
promulgate a law within five days after it has become law under
Paragraph (5), or after it has been returned to the Executive
under Paragraph (4), the Speaker promulgates it.
(7) Except as provided otherwise, a law takes effect twenty
days after the date of promulgation.
Article 54 [Budget]
(1) The National Assembly deliberates and decides upon the
national budget bill.
(2) The Executive formulates the budget bill for each fiscal year
and submits it to the National Assembly within ninety days
before the beginning of a fiscal year. The National Assembly
decides upon it within thirty days before the beginning of the
(3) If the budget bill is not passed by the beginning of the fiscal
year, the Executive may, in conformity with the budget of the
previous fiscal year, disburse funds for the following purposes
until the budget bill is passed by the National Assembly:
1) The maintenance and operation of agencies and facilities
established by the Constitution or law;
2) Execution of the obligatory expenditures as prescribed by
3) Continuation of projects previously approved in the budget.
Article 55 [Reserve Fund]
(1) In a case where it is necessary to make continuing
disbursements for a period longer than one fiscal year, the
Executive obtains the approval of the National Assembly for a
specified period of time.
(2) A reserve fund is to be approved by the National Assembly
in total. The disbursement of the reserve fund shall be
approved during the next session of the National Assembly.
Article 56 [Budget Amendment]
When it is necessary to amend the budget, the Executive may
formulate a supplementary revised budget bill and submit it to
the National Assembly.
Article 57 [Changes of Budget Bill]
The National Assembly shall, without the consent of the
Executive, neither increase the sum of any item of expenditure
nor create any new items of expenditure in the budget submitted
by the Executive.
Article 58 [Issuing National Bonds]
When the Executive plans to issue national bonds or to
conclude contracts which may incur financial obligations on the
State outside the budget, it needs the prior concurrence of the
Article 59 [Taxes]
Types and rates of taxes are determined by law.
Article 60 [Consent to Treaties]
(1) The National Assembly has the right to consent to the
conclusion and ratification of
treaties pertaining to mutual assistance or mutual security;
treaties concerning important international organizations;
treaties of friendship, trade and navigation;
treaties pertaining to any restriction in sovereignty;
treaties which will burden the State or people with an important
financial obligation; and
treaties related to legislative matters.
(2) The National Assembly also has the right to consent to the
declaration of war, the dispatch of armed forces to foreign
states, and the stationing of alien forces in the territory of the
Republic of Korea.
Article 61 [Investigations]
(1) The National Assembly may inspect affairs of state or
investigate specific matters of state affairs, and may demand the
production of documents directly related thereto, the appearance
of a witness in person, and the furnishing of testimony or
statements of opinion.
(2) The procedures and other necessary matters concerning the
inspection and investigation of state administration are
determined by law.
Article 62 [Government in Parliament]
(1) The Prime Minister, members of the State Council, or
government delegates may attend meetings of the National
Assembly or its committees and report on the state
administration or deliver opinions and answer questions.
(2) When requested by the National Assembly or its
committees, the Prime Minister, members of the State Council,
or government delegates have to attend any meeting of the
National Assembly and answer questions. If the Prime Minister
or State Council members are requested to attend, the Prime
Minister or State Council members may have State Council
members or government delegates attend any meeting of the
National Assembly and answer questions.
Article 63 [Recommendation for Removal]
(1) The National Assembly may pass a recommendation for the
removal of the Prime Minister or a State Council member from
(2) A recommendation for removal as referred to in
Paragraph (1) may be introduced by one third or more of the
total members of the National Assembly, and passed with the
concurrent vote of a majority of the total members of the
Article 64 [Proceedings, Disciplinary Actions]
(1) The National Assembly may establish the rules of its
proceedings and internal regulations, provided that they are not
in conflict with law.
(2) The National Assembly may review the qualifications of its
members and may take disciplinary actions against its members.
(3) The concurrent vote of two-thirds or more of the total
members of the National Assembly are required for the
expulsion of any member.
(4) No action may be brought to court with regard to decisions
taken under Paragraphs (2) and (3).
Article 65 [Impeachment]
(1) In case the President, the Prime Minister, members of the
State Council, heads of Executive Ministries, judges of the
Constitutional Court, judges, members of the Central Election
Management Committee, members of the Board of Audit and
Inspection, and other public officials designated by law have
violated the Constitution or other laws in the performance of
official duties, the National Assembly may pass motions for
(2) A motion for impeachment prescribed in Paragraph (1) may
be proposed by one-third or more of the total members of the
National Assembly, and requires a concurrent vote of a
majority of the total members of the National Assembly for
passage: Provided, that a motion for the impeachment of the
President shall be proposed by a majority of the total members
of the National Assembly and approved by two-thirds or more
of the total members of the National Assembly.
(3) Any person against whom a motion for impeachment has
been passed is suspended from exercising his power until the
impeachment has been adjudicated.
(4) A decision on impeachment does not extend further than
removal from public office. However, it does not exempt the
person impeached from civil or criminal liability.
CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY : Chapter IV The Executive
Section 1 The President
Article 66 [Head of State]
(1) The President is the Head of State and represents the State
vis-a-vis foreign states.
(2) The President has the responsibility and duty to safeguard
the independence, territorial integrity, and continuity of the
State and the Constitution.
(3) The President has the duty to pursue sincerely the peaceful
unification of the homeland.
(4) Executive power is vested in the Executive Branch headed
by the President.
Article 67 [Election]
(1) The President is elected by universal, equal, direct, and
secret ballot by the people.
(2) In case two or more persons receive the same largest
number of votes in the election as referred to in Paragraph (1),
the person who receives the largest number of votes in an open
session of the National Assembly attended by a majority of the
total members of the National Assembly is elected.
(3) If and when there is only one presidential candidate, he
shall not be elected President unless he receives at least
one-third of the total eligible votes.
(4) Citizens who are eligible for election to the National
Assembly, and who have reached the age of forty years or
more on the date of the presidential election, are eligible to be
elected to the presidency.
(5) Matters pertaining to presidential elections are determined
Article 68 [Succession]
(1) The successor to the incumbent President is elected seventy
to forty days before his term expires.
(2) In case a vacancy occurs in the office of the President or the
President-elect dies, or is disqualified by a court ruling or for
any other reason, a successor is to be elected within sixty days.
Article 69 [Oath]
The President, at the time of his inauguration, takes the
"I do solemnly swear before the people that I will faithfully
execute the duties of the President by observing the
Constitution, defending the State, pursuing the peaceful
unification of the homeland, promoting the freedom and welfare
of the people, and endeavoring to develop national culture."
Article 70 [Term]
The term of office of the President is five years, and the
President cannot be reelected.
Article 71 [Vacancy]
If the office of the presidency is vacant or the President is
unable to perform his duties for any reason, the Prime Minister
or the members of the State Council in the order of priority as
determined by law act for him.
Article 72 [Referendum on Policy]
The President may submit important policies relating to
diplomacy, national defense, unification, and other matters
relating to the national destiny to a national referendum if he
deems it necessary.
Article 73 [Treaties, Foreign Affairs]
The President concludes and ratifies treaties; accredits,
receives, or dispatches diplomatic envoys; and declares war and
Article 74 [Armed Forces]
(1) The President is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed
Forces under the conditions as prescribed by the Constitution
(2) The organization and formation of the Armed Forces is
determined by law.
Article 75 [Decrees]
The President may issue presidential decrees concerning matters
delegated to him by law with the scope specifically defined and
also matters necessary to enforce laws.
Article 76 [Emergency Powers]
(1) In time of internal turmoil, external menace, natural
calamity, or a grave financial or economic crisis, the President
may take in respect to them the minimum necessary financial
and economic actions or issue orders having the effect of law,
only when it is required to take urgent measures for the
maintenance of national security or public peace and order, and
there is no time to await the convocation of the National
(2) In case of major hostilities affecting national security, the
President may issue orders having the effect of law, only when
it is required to preserve the integrity of the nation, and it is
impossible to convene the National Assembly.
Section 2 The Executive Branch
Subsection 1 The Prime Minister and Members of the State Council
Article 86 [Prime Minister]
(1) The Prime Minister is appointed by the President with the
consent of the National Assembly.
(2) The Prime Minister assists the President and directs the
Executive Ministries from active duty.
(3) No Member of the Military can be appointed Prime
Minister unless he is retired from active duty.
Article 87 [Members of State Council]
(1) The members of the State Council are appointed by the
President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
(2) The Members of the State Council assist the President until
the removal of a member of the State Council from office.
(3) The Prime Minister may recommend to the President the
removal of a member of the State Council from office.
(4) No member of the military can be appointed a member of
the State Council unless he is retired from active duty.
Subsection 2 The State Council
Article 88 [State Council]
(1) The State Council deliberates on important policies that
fall within the Power of the Executive.
(2) The State Council is composed of the President, the Prime
Minister, and other members numbering no more than thirty
and no less than fifteen.
(3) The President is the chairman of the State Council, and the
Prime Minister is the Vice-Chairman.
Article 89 [Competences]
The following matters are referred to the State Council for
1) Basic plans for state affairs, and general policies of the
2) Declaration of war, conclusion of peace, and other important
matters pertaining to foreign Policy;
3) Draft amendments to the Constitution, proposals for national
referendums, proposed treaties, legislative bills, and proposed
4) Budgets, settlement of accounts, basic plans for disposal of
state properties, contracts incurring financial obligation on the
State, and other important financial matters;
5) Emergency orders and emergency financial and economic
actions or orders by the President, and declaration and
termination of martial law;
6) Important military affairs;
7) Requests for convening an extraordinary session of the
8) Awarding of honors;
9) Granting of amnesty, commutation, and restoration of
10) Demarcation of jurisdiction between Executive
11) Basic plans concerning delegation or allocation of powers
within the Executive;
12) Evaluation and analysis of the administration of State
13) Formulation and coordination of important policies of each
14) Action for the dissolution of a political party;
15) Examination of petitions pertaining to executive policies
submitted or referred to the Executive;
16) Appointment of the Prosecutor General, the Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief of Staff of each armed
service, the presidents of national universities, ambassadors,
and such other public officials and managers of important
State-run enterprises as designated by law; and
17) Other matters presented by the President, the Prime
Minister, or a member of the State Council.
Article 90 [Advisory Council of Elder Statesmen]
(1) An Advisory Council of Elder Statesmen, composed of
elder statesmen, may be established to advise the President on
important affairs of State.
(2) The immediate former President becomes the Chairman of
the Advisory Council of Elder Statesmen: Provided, that if
there is no immediate former President, the President appoints
(3) The Organization, function, and other necessary matters
pertaining to the Advisory Council of Elder Statesmen are
determined by law.
Article 91 [National Security Council]
(1) A National Security Council is established to advise the
President on the formulation of foreign, military, and domestic
policies related to national security prior to their deliberation by
the State Council.
(2) The meetings of the National Security Council are presided
over by the President.
(3) The organization, function, and other necessary matters
pertaining to the National Security Council are determined by
Article 92 [Advisory Council on Democracy and Peaceful Unification]
(1) An Advisory Council on Democratic and Peaceful
Unification may be established to advise the President on the
formulation of peaceful unification policy.
(2) The organization, function, and other necessary matters
pertaining to the Advisory Council on Democratic and Peaceful
Unification are determined by law.
Article 93 [National Economic Advisory Council]
(1) A National Economic Advisory Council may be established
to advise the President on the formulation of important policies
for developing the national economy.
(2) The organization, function, and other necessary matters
pertaining to the National Economic Advisory Council are
determined by law.
Subsection 3 The Executive Ministries
Article 94 [Heads of Ministries]
The Heads of Executive Ministries are appointed by the
President from among members of the State Council on the
recommendation of the Prime Minister.
Article 95 [Ordinances]
The Prime Minister or the head of each Executive Ministry
may, under the powers delegated by law or Presidential Decree,
or ex offcio, issue ordinances of the Prime Minister or the
Executive Ministry concerning matters that are within their
Article 96 [Ministry Organization]
The establishment, organization, and function of each Executive
Ministry are determined by law.
Subsection 4 The Board of Audit and Inspection
Article 97 [Board of Audit and Inspection]
The Board of Audit and Inspection is established under the
direct jurisdiction of the President to inspect and examine the
settlement of the revenues and expenditures of the State, the
accounts of the State, and other organizations specified by law
and the job performances of the executive agencies and public
Article 98 [Membership, Term]
(1) The Board of Audit and Inspection is composed of no less
than five and no more than eleven members, including the
(2) The Chairman of the Board is appointed by the President
with the consent of the National Assembly. The term of office
of the Chairman is four years, and he may be reappointed only
(3) The members of the Board are appointed by the President
on the recommendation of the Chairman. The term of office of
the members is four years, and they may be reappointed only
Article 99 [Inspection, Report]
The Board of Audit and Inspection inspects the closing of
accounts of revenues and expenditures each year, and reports
the results to the President and the National Assembly in the
Article 100 [Organization]
The organization and function of the Board of Audit and
Inspection, the qualifications of its members, the range of the
public official's subject to inspection, and other necessary
matters are determined by law.
CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY : Chapter V The Courts
Article 101 [Courts]
(1) Judicial power is vested in courts composed of judges.
(2) The courts comprise the Supreme Court, which is the
highest court of the State, and courts at specified levels.
(3) Qualifications for judges are determined by law.
Article 102 [Court Organization]
(1) Departments may be established in the Supreme Court.
(2) There are Supreme Court Justices at the Supreme Court:
Provided, that judges other than Supreme Court Justices may be
assigned to the Supreme Court under the conditions as
prescribed by law.
(3) The organization of the Supreme Court and lower courts is
determined by law.
Article 103 [Independence of Judges]
Judges rule independently according to their conscience and
in conformity with the Constitution and the law.
Article 104 [Appointment of Judges]
(1) The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is appointed by the
President with the consent of the National Assembly.
(2) The Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the President
on the recommendation of the Chief Justice and with the
consent of the National Assembly.
(3) Judges other than the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court
Justices are appointed by the Chief Justice with the consent of
the Conference of Supreme Court Justices.
Article 105 [Term of Judges]
(1) The term of office of the Chief Justice is six years and he
cannot be reappointed.
(2) The term of office of the Justices of the Supreme Court is
six years and they may be reappointed as prescribed by law.
(3) The term of office of judges other than the Chief Justice and
Justices of the Supreme Court is ten years, and they may be
reappointed under the conditions as prescribed by law.
(4) The retirement age of judges is determined by law.
Article 106 [Sanctions, Early Retirement]
(1) No judge may be removed from office except by
impeachment or a sentence of imprisonment or heavier
punishment, nor may he be suspended from office, have his
salary reduced, or suffer any other unfavorable treatment except
by disciplinary action.
(2) In the event a judge is unable to discharge his official duties
because of serious mental or physical impairment, he may be
retired from office under the conditions as prescribed by law.
Article 107 [Constitutional Review]
(1) When the constitutionality of a law is at issue in trial, the
court requests a decision of the Constitutional Court, and judges
according to the decision thereof.
(2) The Supreme Court has the power to make a final review of
the constitutionality or legality of administrative decrees,
regulations or actions, when their constitutionality or legality is
at issue in a trial.
(3) Administrative appeals may be conducted as a procedure
prior to a judicial trial. The procedure of administrative
appeals are determined by law and are in conformity with the
principles of judicial procedures.
Article 108 [Court Administration]
The Supreme Court may establish, within the scope of law,
regulations, pertaining to judicial proceedings and internal
discipline and regulations on administrative matters of the court.
Article 109 [Publicity]
Trials and decisions of the courts are open to the public:
Provided, that when there is a danger that such trials may
undermine the national security or disturb public safety and
order, or be harmful to public morals, trials may be closed to
the public by court decision.
(1) Courts martial may be established as special courts to
exercise jurisdiction over military trials.
(2) The Supreme Court has the final appellate jurisdiction over
(3) The organization and authority of courts martial, and the
qualifications of their judges are determined by law.
(4) Military trials under an extraordinary martial law may not
be appealed in case of crimes of soldiers and employees of the
military; military espionage; and crimes as defined by law in
regard to sentinels, sentry posts, supply of harmful foods and
beverages, and prisoners of war, except in the case of a death
Article 111 [Competence, Appointment]
(1) The Constitutional Court is competent to adjudicate the
1) The unconstitutionality of law upon the request of the
3) Dissolution of a political party;
4) Disputes about the jurisdictions between State agencies,
between State agencies and local governments, and between
local governments, and
5) Petitions relating to the Constitution as prescribed by law.
(2) The Constitutional Court is composed of nine adjudicators
qualified to be court judges, and they are appointed by the
(3) Among the adjudicators referred to in Paragraph (2), three
are appointed from persons selected by the National Assembly,
and three appointed from persons nominated by the Chief
(4) The head of the Constitutional Court is appointed by the
President from among the adjudicators with the consent of the
Article 112 [Term, Incompatibility]
(1) The term of office of the adjudicators of the Constitutional
Court is six years, and they may be reappointed under the
conditions as prescribed by law.
(2) The adjudicators of the Constitutional Court may not join
any political party nor participate in political activities.
(3) No adjudicator of the Constitutional Court can be expelled
from office except by impeachment or a sentence of
imprisonment or heavier punishment.
Article 113 [Majority, Internal Regulations]
(1) When the Constitutional Court makes a decision on the
unconstitutionality of a law, impeachment, dissolution of a
political party, or a petition relating to the Constitution, the
concurrence of at least six adjudicators is required.
(2) The Constitutional Court may establish regulations relating
to its proceedings and internal discipline and regulations on
administrative matters within the limits of law.
(3) The organization, function, and other necessary matters of
the Constitutional Court are determined by law.
CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY : Chapter VII Election Management
Article 114 [Establishment]
(1) Election Management Committees are established for the
purpose of fair management of elections and national referenda,
and dealing with administrative affairs concerning political
(2) The Central Election Management Committee is composed
of three members appointed by the President, three members
selected by the National Assembly, and three members
designated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The
Chairman of the Committee is elected from among the
(3) The term of office of the members of the Committee is six
(4) The members of the Committee may not join political
parties, nor participate in political activities.
(5) No member of the Committee can be expelled from office
except by impeachment or a sentence of imprisonment or
(6) The Central Election Management Committee may establish,
within the limit of laws and decrees, regulations relating to the
management of elections, national referenda, and administrative
matters concerning political parties and may also establish
regulations relating to internal discipline that are compatible
(7) The organization, function, and other necessary matters of
the Election Management Committees at each level are
determined by law.
Article 115 [Instructions]
(1) Election Management Committees at each level may issue
necessary instructions to administrative agencies concerned with
respect to administrative matters pertaining to elections and
national referenda such as the preparation of the pollbooks.
(2) Administrative agencies concerned, upon receipt of such
instructions, have to comply.
Article 116 [Campaigns]
(1) Election campaigns are conducted under the management of
the Election Management Committees at each level within the
limit set by law. Equal opportunity has to be guaranteed.
(2) Except as otherwise prescribed by law, expenditures for
elections are not imposed on political parties or candidates.
CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY : Chapter VIII Local Autonomy
Article 117 [Local Governments]
(1) Local governments
deal with administrative matters
pertaining to the welfare of local residents, manage properties,
and may enact provisions relating to local autonomy, within the
limit of laws and regulations.
(2) The types of local governments are determined by law.
Article 118 [Local Councils]
(1) A local government has a council.
(2) The organization and powers of local councils, and the
election of members, election procedures for heads of local
governments, and other matters pertaining to the organization
and operation of local governments are determined by law.
CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY : Chapter IX The Economy
Article 119 [Regulation and Coordination]
(1) The economic order of the Republic of Korea is based on a
respect for the freedom and creative initiative of enterprises and
individuals in economic affairs.
(2) The State may regulate and coordinate economic affairs in
order to maintain the balanced growth and stability of the
national economy, to ensure proper distribution of income, to
prevent the domination of the market and the abuse of economic
power, and to democratize the economy through harmony
among the economic agents.
Article 120 [Natural Resources]
(1) Licenses to exploit, develop, or utilize minerals and all
other important underground resources, marine resources, water
power, and natural powers available for economic use may be
granted for a period of time under the conditions as prescribed
(2) The land and natural resources are protected by the State,
and the State establishes a plan necessary for their balanced
development and utilization.
Article 121 [Agriculture]
(1) The State endeavors to realize the land-to-the-tillers
principle with respect to agricultural land. Tenant farming is
(2) The leasing of agricultural land and the consignment
management of agricultural land to increase agricultural
productivity and to ensure the rational utilization of agricultural
land or due to unavoidable circumstances, is recognized under
the conditions as prescribed by law.
Article 122 [Land Laws]
The State may impose, as under the conditions prescribed by
law, restrictions or obligations necessary for the efficient and
balanced utilization, development, and preservation of the land
of the nation that is the basis for the productive activities and
daily lives of all citizens.
Article 123 [Farming and Fishing]
(1) The State establishes and implements a plan to
comprehensively develop and support the farm and fishing
communities in order to protect and foster agriculture and
(2) The State has the duty to foster regional economies to
ensure the balanced development of all regions.
(3) In order to protect the interests of farmers and fishermen,
the State endeavors to stabilize the prices of agricultural and
fishery products by maintaining an equilibrium between the
demand and supply of such products and improving their
marketing and distribution systems.
(4) The State fosters organizations founded on the spirit of
self-help among farmers, fishermen, and businessmen engaged
in small and medium industry and guarantees their independent
activities and development.
Article 124 [Consumer Protection]
The State guarantees a consumer protection movement intended
to encourage sound consumption activities and improvement in
the quality of products under the conditions as prescribed by
Article 125 [Foreign Trade]
The State fosters foreign trade, and may regulate and coordinate
Article 126 [No Socialization]
Private enterprises may not be nationalized nor transferred to
ownership by a local government, nor shall their management
be controlled or administered by the State, except in cases as
prescribed by law to meet urgent necessities of national defense
or the national economy.
Article 127 [Innovation, Standardization]
(1) The State strives to improve the national economy by
developing science and technology, information and human
resources, and encouraging innovation.
(2) The State establishes a system of national standards.
(3) The President may establish advisory organizations
necessary to achieve the purpose referred to in Paragraph (1).
CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY : Chapter X Amendments to the Constitution
Article 128 [Initiative]
(1) A proposal to amend the Constitution can be introduced
either by a majority of the total members of the National
Assembly or by the President.
(2) Amendments to the Constitution for the extension of the
term of office of the President or for a change allowing for the
re-election of the President are not effective for the President in
office at the time of the proposal for such amendments to the
Article 129 [Publication]
Proposed amendments to the Constitution are presented to the
public by the President for twenty days or more.
Article 130 [Majority, Referendum]
(1) The National Assembly decides upon the proposed
amendments within sixty days of the public announcement, and
passage by the National Assembly requires the concurrent vote
of two-thirds or more of the total members of the National
(2) The proposed amendments to the Constitution are submitted
to a national referendum not later than thirty days after passage
by the National Assembly, and are confirmed by more than one
half of all votes cast by more than one half of voters eligible to
vote in elections for members of the National Assembly.
(3) When the proposed amendments to the Constitution receive
the concurrence prescribed in Paragraph (2), the amendments to
the Constitution is finalized, and the President promulgates it
CHAN ROBLES VIRTUAL LAW LIBRARY : [Chapter XI Enforcement Provisions]
Article 1 [Enforcement]
This Constitution enters into force on 25 Feb 1988: Provided,
that the enactment or amendment of laws necessary to
implement this Constitution, the elections of the President and
the National Assembly under this Constitution, and other
preparations to implement this constitution may be carried out
prior to the entry into force of this constitution.
Article 2 [First Presidential Election]
(1) The first presidential election under this constitution is held
not later than forty days before this Constitution enters into
(2) The term of office of the First President under this
Constitution commences on the date of its enforcement.
Article 3 [First Parliamentary Elections]
(1) The first elections of the National Assembly under this
Constitution are held within six months from the promulgation
of this Constitution. The term of office of the members of the
first National Assembly elected under this Constitution
commences on the date of the first convening of the national
Assembly under Constitution.
(2) The term of office of the members of the National Assembly
incumbent at the time this Constitution is promulgated
terminates the day prior to the first convening of the National
Assembly under Paragraph (1).
Article 4 [Public Officials]
(1) Public officials and officers of enterprises appointed by the
Government, who are in office at the time of the enforcement
of this Constitution, are considered as having been appointed
under this Constitution: Provided, that public officials whose
election procedures or appointing authorities are changed under
this Constitution, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and
the Chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection remain in
office until such time as their successors are chosen under this
constitution, and their terms of office terminate the day before
the installation of their successors.
(2) Judges attached to the Supreme Court who are not the Chief
Justice or Justices of the Supreme Court and who are in office
at the time of the enforcement of this Constitution are
considered as having been appointed under this Constitution
notwithstanding the provision of Paragraph (1).
(3) Those provisions of this Constitution which prescribe the
terms of office of public officials or which restrict the number
of terms that public officials may serve, take effect upon the
dates of the first elections or the first appointments of such
public officials under this Constitution.
Article 5 [Old Law]
Laws, decrees, ordinances, and treaties in force at the time this
Constitution enters into force, remain valid unless they are
contrary to this Constitution.
Article 6 [Old Organizations]
Those organizations existing at the time of the enforcement of
this Constitution which have been performing the functions
falling within the authority of new organizations to be created
under this Constitution, continue to exist and perform such
functions until such time as the new organizations are created
under this Constitution.