Korean Law Demystified!

Rallies Near Embassies Not Always Prohibited (in Korea)…


In Korea, the Seoul Administrative Court recently ruled that not all outdoor rallies near embassies are prohibited. This ruling is in line with the current law. In this case, “exception (b)” (from above law) was cited.

In November 2015, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency banned an organization called Solidarity for Peace and Unification of Korea from holding a rally near the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. (In Korea, all outdoor rallies have to be reported to the police ahead of time. FYI, that rally was going to be about U.S. involvement in the deployment of THAAD in South Korea.) The organization then asked the court to lift/rescind the ban.

The court lifted/rescinded the ban saying:

1) The organization’s previous rallies were attended (only) by about 50 people, and all they did was picket (at best).

2) The organization’s subsequent rally (outside the 100-meter radius) was peaceful. (e.g., picketing, conducting surveys, handing out flyers…)


In September 2009, the Constitutional Court of Korea found the law prohibiting outdoor rallies from taking place “before sunrise or after sunset” as incompatible with the constitution. Accordingly, the Court said the law would lose effect at the end of June 2010. The Court was expecting lawmakers to amend the law by that time. Well, the law hasn’t been touched even until now. Earlier this month, an amendment was proposed so that outdoor rallies only from 12 to 6 a.m. would be banned.

Thanks for reading!

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