Spread "Korean Wave in the Legislation Sector" by Sharing Know-How in Regulatory Reform
- MOLEG, Brief meeting with Vietnamese Delegates -
□ The Ministry of Government Legislation ("MOLEG") (Minister Je Jeong-Boo) had a meeting with 22*delegates from the congress of the Commun...
Write a New Chapter for Asian Legislation Interchange!
: The First Asian Legislative Experts Symposium was held successfully
□ The First Asian Legislative Experts Symposium, which was hosted mainly by the Ministry of Government Legislation(the Minister, Jung-boo Je) and co-hosted by the Korea Le...
Building an ‘Advanced Legislative System‘ that Benefits
Businesses and the Public
- Ministry of Government Legislation Publishes ‘White Paper
on the Legislation Innovation Project‘ to Celebrate
Project‘s One-Year Anniversary -
□ The Ministry of Government Legislation (Minister Lee Seogyeon) has published a "White Paper on the Legislation Innovation Project" which compiles the results of a project that has been aggressively pursued since the launch of the new administration. Its publication was timed to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the project.
- This white paper describes the new administration‘s efforts to carry out regulatory reform and amend Acts and subordinate statutes. It reflects a wide range of efforts aimed at strengthening the economy, including stabilizing the lives of the working class and bolstering support to corporations.
□ The white paper is divided into three chapters: ‘key areas of progress over the past year,‘ ‘specific progress in each area and evaluation,‘ and ‘future plans.’ The evaluative portion of the paper reflects the views of outside experts in corporate, economic, academic, and media circles. The final ‘supplement‘ section includes press coverage of the project‘s results; materials used in meetings with all levels of society and in lectures about the project; and 95 tasks where improvements should be carried out.
□ The first chapter covers efforts to address inconveniences to the public and to vitalize the economy. Cases include those in which the public and companies could readily see the effects of changes to the project‘s implementation system following the launch of the Legislative Innovation Center and the full operation of the Legislation Advisory Committee.
❍ Out of 160 legislation innovation tasks, 65 have been completed. Among those completed, the core tasks include the following:
- Five tasks to lessen the inconveniences experienced by the public in their daily lives: ‘abolishment of the fine for failure to carry a driver‘s license,‘ ‘abolishment of the duty to present a medical benefits certificate,‘ ‘abolishment of black marks for bicyclists,‘ etc.
- Three tasks for improving the operational aspects of working class livelihoods: ‘abolishment of restaurant owners‘ duty to purchase public housing bonds,‘ etc.
- Nine tasks to lessen the burden on businesses: ‘Rationalization of administrative disciplinary measures such as providing an opportunity for correction before administering a disciplinary action and mitigation of excessive punishments,’ ‘improvement of procedures for establishing small- and mid-sized companies and plants,’ ‘improving regulations for the location of plants,’ ‘improving procedures for assessment of fines on leased vehicles,’ etc.
□ The second chapter vividly records the process of implementing the major tasks, such as ‘simplification of procedures for obtaining a driver‘s license’ and ‘legislation of tax investigation periods,‘ which were the subject of keen interest to both businesses and the public.
❍ With regard to ‘simplification of procedures for obtaining a driver‘s license,’ President Lee Myungbak directed concerned ministries and offices to bring improvements to this area when the Ministry delivered a report on its business on March 27, 2008. At the time, the Ministry proposed its own improvement plan while the National Police Agency (NPA), the competent authority, made its own effort to devise an improvement plan by holding hearings, outsourcing research, etc.
- Progress on this front was slower than expected, however, since many factors were involved such as concerns about transportation safety and the role of driver education schools. Against this backdrop, the President reiterated through various channels the importance of bringing improvements to areas such as obtaining a driver‘s license so that the public can see tangible benefits.
- In response, the Ministry reviewed more than 600 opinions about ways to improve the driver‘s licensing process, which were received by the Legislation Innovation Center, as well as ideas from research institutes and interest groups. The ideas and opinions were delivered to the NPA, clarifying the Ministry‘s intention to provide active assistance. At a recent working-level meeting, the Ministry communicated the intentions of the President and the public and an NPA officer pledged that a plan will be worked out soon that reduces the cost and complexity of procedures associated with obtaining a driver‘s license. As such, the Road Traffic Act is expected to be amended during the first half of 2009.
❍ Also, the ‘legislation of tax investigation periods‘ is being considered by the National Tax Service (NTS) for inclusion in the Enforcement Decree of the Framework Act on National Taxes. The NTS was initially cautious about such legislation due to the difficulties of tax administration and other reasons. The Ministry suggested an alternative to define the reasons for granting an extension, etc. at one extreme but to at least state the tax investigation periods in a Presidential Decree. The same process is under way at the National Assembly in the form of a proposal by Assembly members. In this regard, the NTS has affirmed its position to review the idea favorably.
□ The chapter also describes the progress and outcomes of rational amendments to 213 Acts and subordinate statutes related to administrative disciplinary measures that fall under the auspices of 19 government ministries and agencies, sharing the objective of providing support to businesses experiencing hardships due to the economic crisis. A task force for improving administrative rules was formed together with the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission to organize and analyze efforts to improve administrative rules of the ten ministries having the greatest impact on the public and businesses including the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs; Ministry of Knowledge Economy; Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; Ministry of Strategy and Finance; and Ministry of Environment.
□ The third chapter outlines the direction and will to constantly improve legislation by expanding the legislation innovation project, which seeks to resolve inconveniences to the public and burdens on companies. The focus will be on improvements that contribute to stabler and more convenient lives for working class citizens and the underprivileged (who have been relatively neglected) and vitalize companies and regional economies which are mired in economic difficulties. Also, monetary disciplinary measures such as negligence fines and surcharges will be rationalized to an appropriate level so that the public and businesses are not excessively penalized compared to the scope of their wrongdoing.
❍ At the same time, laws that are deemed unnecessary and/or irrational will be consolidated or abolished. It is expected that about 10% of existing laws will be eliminated so as to uproot those laws noted for excessive interference and regulation. Administrative rules, which are a kind of "hidden regulations," are also being targeted. According to the plan, administrative rules which have been in effect for five or more years are to be abolished, and can be re-established when necessary. In principle, all administrative rules will remain in effect for no more than three years, and their effectiveness and necessity will be monitored regularly.
❍ Moreover, suggestions for improvement, which have been accepted by the Legislation Innovation Center since August 2008 (when a collection of legislation innovation cases was published), will be carefully reviewed as part of ongoing efforts to improve legislation. Accordingly, the fourth chapter, the supplement, lists 95 tasks for carrying out improvements through deliberation with the competent authorities.
- The tasks include 27 Acts and subordinate statues that bring inconvenience to the public such as ‘exemption from duty to subscribe to liability insurance for those who have not driven a car for a long period of time.‘
- 31 Acts and subordinate statutes that burden businesses such as ‘mitigation of the minimum development area for a tourism and leisure-type corporate city‘
- 15 other Acts and subordinate statues to be amended such as ‘improvement of standards for assessing surcharges to replace a business suspension for railroad operators’
- And 22 directives, established rules, etc. such as ‘expansion of the scope of civil petitions to be processed by phone.‘
□ This White Paper of the Legislation Innovation Project is expected to provide important data for regulatory reform and amendments to laws currently under way at central administrative agencies, local government bodies, and private research institutes. It is expected to lay the foundation for an expansion of the project and the enaction of effective laws that benefit the public as well as people‘s economic conditions, and that the public can observe.
[Reference: Progress on the Legislation Innovation Project]
□ The Ministry has been carrying out the Legislation Innovation Project in earnest since March 2008 as a means of improving various legal systems and practices to focus them on the needs of the public, who are the beneficiaries of the body of law, and in the spirit of the Constitution which respects the people‘s rights.
- Such is the premise for the establishment of the Legislation Innovation Center, which receives opinions on ways to improve legislation from the public, businesses, private organizations, and field administrative agencies. About 2,000 such opinions were received during the last year alone.
□ After reviewing the suggestions for legislative improvement received by the Center, the Ministry selected as priority tasks 106 Acts and subordinate statues that are closely related to the public‘s everyday lives, have major ramifications, and impart a relatively strong and direct impact on the public. The selected legislation has been reported at Cabinet meetings on three occasions.
❍ The Ministry also reported on ‘ways to rationalize administrative disciplinary measures‘ to improve 213 disciplinary Acts and subordinate statutes jointly with the Presidential Council on National Competitiveness in order to create a favorable legal climate for businesses. In addition, a task force was formed together with the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission and has made successive improvements to administrative rules including the 453 directives, established rules, etc. of the ten ministries, with the intent of creating a stronger impact on the public from regulatory reform.
1. Copy of the contents of the White Paper of the Legislation Innovation Project.
2. Copy of the White Paper (Dissemination directly by a person). - End -
Ministry of Government Legislation Adds 11 Categories of
Information to ‘One Click, Practical Law’ Site
- Easy-to-access legal information about the economically
vulnerable classes, domestic relations, etc., along with basic
livelihood guarantee, payment of negligence fines, divorce,
remarriage, etc. -
□ The Ministry of Government Legislation (Minister Lee Seogyeon) has expanded the ‘One Click, Practical Law‘ system that provides customized legal information about areas of everyday living. Beginning on Thursday, February 26, the legal information service has been enhanced to include more categories about occupational matters and more information of interest to the economically vulnerable classes, through easy-to-understand legal explanations of payments of negligence fines, the basic livelihood guarantee, divorce, remarriage, and more.
□ The eleven newly added areas include ‘payment of negligence fines,‘ ‘basic livelihood guarantee,‘ ‘support for discharged soldiers,‘ ‘divorce,‘ ‘remarriage,‘ ‘wills,‘ ‘recognition of high-quality foods,‘ ‘multicultural families,‘ ‘driving of freight vehicles,‘ ‘unlimited partnerships (establishment and operation),‘ and ‘limited partnerships (establishment and operation)’, The newly added areas consider the current economic difficulties for the needs of the economically vulnerable classes and include divorce, remarriage, multicultural family, and other issues faced by the working class.
□ Basic livelihood guarantee
- With the number of people having the right to receive the public‘s basic livelihood guarantee exceeding 3.2% of the total population (1.55 million people as of December 2007), this section introduces, in detail, the qualifications for receiving the benefits, application procedures for benefits, housing and livelihood support, medical benefits, self-support benefits, filing an objection when the benefit right is changed, etc. It is worth noting that much of the content of interest to those seeking to determine the qualifications for receiving benefits is laid out in a question-answer format.
▪(Question) Can recipients of the basic livelihood guarantee also receive a discount for mobile phone charges?
▪(Answer) A person entitled to receive the basic livelihood guarantee can receive a reduction and/or exemption of their local inhabitant‘s tax, TV reception fee, electricity charges, renewal fee of resident registration certificate, welfare telephone service (wired and wireless phone), Internet service fee, water and sewer charges, garbage disposal fees, etc.
▪(Question) I was approved as a recipient of the basic livelihood guarantee and was receiving benefits for a while, but then the benefit payments suddenly stopped. What should I do?
▪(Answer) A benefit recipient or a person who requests a change in benefits can file an objection verbally or in writing through the corresponding guarantee agency within 60 days of being notified of a decision if he/she has an objection to a decision by the mayor, county governor or district head. If he/she is dissatisfied with the decision, he/she may request a decision from the Minister for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs.
□ Payment of negligence fines
- Deferred payments of negligence fines charged for violations of traffic laws such as illegal parking and illegal stopping have been frequent and the rate of voluntary payment has been relatively low. With the "Act on the Regulation of Public Order-Violating Acts" going into effect as of June 22, 2008, however, the voluntary payment of negligence fees can lead to reduced penalties. At the same time, default penalties of up to 77% of the original fine amount are added for delayed payment, thereby greatly increasing the burden on defaulters and requiring the public to be more scrupulous about paying fines. The section lists, in detail, the charging and collection of negligence fines, remedy procedures, etc.
※ Changes to payment of negligence fines resulting from the implementation of the "Act on the Regulation of Public Order-Violating Acts"
￭ In the past, when people defaulted on a negligence fee, they suffered no particular loss or damage. With the implementation of the "Act on the Regulation of Public Order-Violating Acts" as of June 22, 2008, however, default penalties of up to 77% of the original fine will be assessed for the delinquent payment of negligence fines. For example, if the original negligence fine was 100,000 won, the defaulter may be required to pay up to 170,000 won.
￭ Moreover, for habitual defaulters and defaulters who have accumulated a large amount of fines, up to 30 days of imprisonment may be applied in addition to default penalties, following a court ruling. Business permits may also be cancelled. As such, defaulters should pay heed.
□ Divorce and remarriage
- Legal issues related to divorce and remarriage occur frequently within the scope of family law, now that the annual number of divorces and remarriages has reached about 120,000 and 110,000 (as of 2006), respectively. For divorce, the family name and place of origin of children, parental rights and right to raise children, distribution of property, alimony, claim of expenses for raising children, etc. are explained. For remarriage, de facto divorce, change in the relationship status of a previous marriage following remarriage, the issue of double marriage, the relationship between children from a previous marriage and a spouse of a second marriage, full adoption, and other related issues are explained.
▪(Question) Is a claim for distribution of property possible for a common-law marriage?
▪(Answer) The legal precedent states that if a common-law couple jointly acquired a property and contributed to its maintenance and improvement during the common-law marriage period, the property is regarded as jointly owned by the couple and a redistribution of property may be requested when the common-law marriage is dissolved (94 Meu 1379,1386 ruling by the Supreme Court on March 10, 1995). Also, unlike alimony, the spouse responsible for the dissolution of the common-law marriage may make a request for redistribution of property (93 Seu 6 ruling by the Supreme Court on May 11, 1993).
▪(Question) Can adultery constitute a crime in a common-law marriage?
▪(Answer) Adultery constitutes a crime when a person with a spouse commits adultery with a person other than the spouse (Article 241, Paragraph 1 of the "Criminal Act"). Adultery is an offense subject to complaint, and as such, necessitates an accusation by the spouse (Article 241, Paragraph 2 of the "Criminal Act"). As the ‘spouse‘ here means a legal spouse, a common-law spouse cannot be accused of adultery even when he/she cheats on the other. However, the cheating spouse and his/her lover can be sued for damages for wrongful infringement on a common-law marriage (Articles 750 and 751 of the "Civil Act").
▪(Question) If a party does not pay alimony even when ordered to pay through a court ruling, what should be done?
▪(Answer) If the party with the obligation to pay alimony does not pay, you can request an execution order from the family court to indirectly force payment of alimony. The last resort will be compulsory execution which requests from the competent court a forced auction of property owned by the party obliged to pay alimony. The alimony will be paid from the proceeds of the auction.
▪(Question) Are divorce and remarriage indicated on the family relationship register?
▪(Answer) Among the five certificates that prove family relations, it is on the family relationship certificate and the marriage relationship certificate where a marriage relationship is recorded. The former certificate only records one‘s current spouse while the latter one records all information pertaining to marriage and remarriage. These records cannot be arbitrarily removed.
▪(Question) What is the relationship between children from a previous marriage and the spouse of a second marriage?
▪(Answer) If one remarries and fully adopts a child from the previous marriage, then kinship, support relationship, and inheritance relationship are newly created between the child and the spouse of the second marriage. However, if the child is partially adopted, the existing kinship does not disappear and the child‘s kinship, support relationship, and inheritance relationship with the previous spouse and his/her parents are maintained. If the child from the previous marriage is not adopted, no kinship, support relationship or inheritance relationship are created between the child and the new spouse of the second marriage.
▪(Question) Is it possible for a child not to know whether he/she is partially or fully adopted?
▪(Answer) When a child is fully adopted, kinship with the biological parents is completely severed and the child‘s status converts to as if he/she were born from the wedlock of the adoptive parents. As such, adoption is not revealed and the child is recorded as the adoptive parents‘ own child, not an adopted child, on the family relationship certificate. Issuance of the full adoption relationship certificate is strictly restricted, even to the adopted child.
□ In addition, the expansion includes ‘recognition of high-quality foods,‘ ‘multicultural families,‘ ‘support for discharged soldiers,‘ ‘driving of freight vehicles,‘ ‘unlimited partnerships,‘ ‘limited partnerships,‘ and other areas where conditions for obtaining necessary permits, government support, application procedures, dispute resolution methods, etc. are explained in an easy-to-understand way. The explanations include detailed legal information such as related Acts and subordinate statues, interpretive case studies, precedents, rulings by the Constitutional Court of Korea, and arbitration cases.
□ To use the ‘One Click, Practical Law‘ system, users can type the URL address http://oneclick.moleg.go.kr in an Internet navigation bar or access the site through the home page of the Ministry of Government Legislation or major Web portals.
□ In an effort to facilitate the public‘s access to information about legal issues relevant to their lives, the Ministry of Government Legislation will continue to reclassify laws, which are now organized according to ministries and offices, into categories of everyday living. This will allow the public to easily and independently find sought-after legal information using keywords, even when they do not know the names of the specific Acts and subordinate statutes of interest to them. Moreover, the Ministry intends to invest in further developing and operating the ‘One Click, Practical Law‘ system.
※61 everyday living categories in service as of Feb. 26, 2009
￭Tenants of rental housing
￭Infants and children (Upbringing)
￭Parties contracting to a franchise
￭Foreign investors- English-language service
￭Firefighting safety management
￭Married immigrants -English-language service
￭Persons wounded or killed for a righteous cause
￭Online shopping mall
￭Sale and/or purchase of real estate
￭Protection of female workers
￭Establishment and operation of a private teaching institute
￭Non-profit corporation aggregate
￭Foreign workers-English-language service
￭Men of merit who participated in a war
￭Contentious administrative cases
￭Shopping center lease
￭Employment of teenagers
￭Operators of sports facilities
￭Acquisition of farmland
￭Fostering manpower in the sciences and engineering
￭Applications, civil applications and public suggestions
￭Fishermen engaged in culture
￭Emergency public support (Welfare)
￭North Korean defectors
￭Facilities emitting air pollutants
￭ Raising animals as pets
￭Students studying abroad
￭Persons preparing for marriage
￭Environment-friendly farm products
￭Establishment and operation of facilities emitting industrial wastewater
￭Promotion of new inventions
￭Improving air quality in the Seoul metropolitan area
￭Incorporated company (Establishment․operation)
￭Management of production sites
￭Use and re-appropriation of agricultural land
￭Payment of negligence fines
￭Basic livelihood guarantee
￭Support for discharged soldiers
￭Recognition of high-quality foods
￭Transportation of freight vehicles
- End -
Ministry of Government Legislation Publishes ‘Global
Legislative Research Report‘ Containing the Important Laws
of China, U.S., Europe and Other Nations
- Introduction to corporate laws of leading world powers where
many Korean firms have made advances -
□ The Ministry of Government Legislation (Minister Lee Seogyeon) has published the ‘Global Legislative Research Report,‘ which contains Acts and subordinate statutes related to the corporate sector of major world powers including China, the United States, and EU countries, where Korean companies and individuals have been actively advancing.
□ The Ministry has examined the laws of countries around the world as part of its efforts to foster overseas advancement by Korean companies and individuals and to further develop Korea‘s legislative system. The Ministry has also made ongoing efforts to share its research through the publication of the Global Legislative Research Report, the operation of the online ‘Global Legislative Information Center‘(http://world.moleg.go.kr), and other channels.
□ The latest research report contains Acts and subordinate statues related to the corporate sector of world powers such as China, the United States, and the EU member countries, all nations where Korean companies and individuals have been rapidly advancing.
- To be specific, the report contains useful legal information for Korean companies with an overseas presence, such as the ‘status of and prospects for the enaction of China‘s Circular Economy Promotion Law,‘ ‘study of China‘s legal system regarding places of origin,‘ ‘the foreign investment restriction system among the United States‘ key industries’, and ‘the EU‘s legal system for protecting intellectual property rights.’
□ For the report, experts on international law such as law school professors, lawyers, and researchers at legal research institutes were invited to submit research papers about the latest overseas legislative activity. Among them, eight themes that each have large implications for Korean companies were selected.
□ Minister Lee said, "2008 was a year in which not only Korea but also other countries around the world experienced many political and economic changes such as the economic crisis.” He expressed the hope that publication of the report will be a great asset not only to Korean companies and individuals but also to government agencies that are responsible for implementing related policies such as those on corporate investment.
※ Attachment: One copy of "2008 Global Legislative Research Report." - End -
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