Constitution of the Republic of Korea (November 1960)

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For works with similar titles, see Constitution of South Korea.
Constitution of the Republic of Korea
대한민국헌법 (大韓民國憲法)
 (1960) 
Government of the Republic of Korea, translated by Office of Public Information of the Republic of Korea, with the assistance of the Ministry of Justice

The Constitution of the Republic of Korea is the supreme law of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). It was first adopted on July 17, 1948 and amended nine times subsequently. The fourth amendment - partially amending the original 1948 revision of the Constitution, which was substantially modified by the third amendment of June 1960 - was enacted and entered into force on November 29, 1960. The changes in the amendment were mostly technical; the Senate was deprived of its right to confirm appointments, but transitional justice provisions established a special tribunal to try the events leading to the April Revolution that resulted in the birth of the Second Republic of Korea.


Preamble[edit]

We, the people of Korea, possessing a glorious tradition and history from time immemorial, follow the great spirit of independence as manifested in the establishment of the Republic of Korea and proclamation thereof to the whole world by the March 1st Movement in the year of Kimi (T.N.A.D. 1919), Now being engaged in the re-establishment of a democratic and independent State, determined:

  • To consolidate national unity through justice, humanity and fraternity;
  • To establish democratic institutions eliminating evil social customs of all kinds;
  • To afford equal opportunities to every person and to provide for the fullest development of the capacity of each individual in all fields of political, economic, social and cultural life;
  • To require each person to discharge his duties and responsibilities;
  • To promote the welfare of the people at home and to strive to maintain permanent international peace and thereby to ensure the security, liberty and happiness of ourselves and our posterity eternally;

Do hereby, in the National Assembly, composed of our freely and duly elected representatives, ordain and establish this Constitution on the Twelfth Day of July in the year of Tangun Four Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty-One (T.N. July 12, A.D. 1948).

The Constitution[edit]

CHAPTER I. GENERAL PROVISIONS[edit]

Article 1
The Republic of Korea shall be a democratic and republican State.
Article 2
The sovereignty of the Republic of Korea shall reside in the people. All state authority shall emanate from the people.
Article 3
The requisites for Korean citizenship shall be determined by law.
Article 4
The territory of the Republic of Korea shall consist of the Korean Peninsula and its accessory islands.
Article 5
The Republic of Korea, in all fields of political, economic, social and cultural life, shall be responsible for respecting and guaranteeing the liberty, equality and initiative of each individual and for protecting and adjusting these for the purpose of promoting the general welfare.
Article 6
The Republic of Korea shall renounce all aggressive wars. The mission of the National Armed Forces shall be to perform the sacred duty of protecting the country.
Article 7
  1. Duly ratified and published treaties and the generally recognized rules of international law shall have the same effect as that of the law of Korea.
  2. The status of aliens shall be guaranteed within the scope of international law and treaties.
Article 7-II
  1. Legislation concerning important matters pertaining to a national crisis which might limit the sovereignty of the Republic of Korea or cause a change in its territory shall after passage by the National Assembly be referred to a national referendum for confirmation. Such confirmation shall require the valid affirmative votes of two-thirds or more of the voters in a referendum participated in by two-thirds or more of the voters eligible to vote for the election of members of the House of Representatives.
  2. Such national referendum shall be initiated by the petition, within one month after passage of such legislation, of five hundred thousand or more of the voters qualified to vote for the election of members of the House of Representatives.
  3. When confirmation is not obtained by such national referendum, the decision of the National Assembly in question shall become retroactively null and void.
  4. Rules of procedure concerning such national referendum shall be decided by law.

CHAPTER II. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF CITIZENS[edit]

Article 8
  1. All citizens shall be equal before the law. No discrimination as to political, economic or social life, based upon sex, religion or social position shall exist.
  2. No privileged casts shall be recognized, nor be ever established hereafter.
  3. The award of decorations or marks of honor in any form shall confer upon recipients only personal honor and no privileged status shall be created thereby.
Article 9
  1. All citizens shall enjoy personal liberty. No citizen shall be arrested, detained, searched, tried, punished, or subjected to compulsory labor except as provided by law.
  2. In any case of arrest, detention or search, a warrant therefor shall be necessary; except that in any case of flagrante delicto or in any case where there is danger that the criminal may escape or that the evidence of the crime may be destroyed, the detecting authorities may request an ex post facto warrant with provisions prescribed by law.
  3. To all persons who may be arrested or detained, the right to have the prompt assistance of counsel and the right to request the court for a review of the legality of the arrest or detention, shall be guaranteed.
Article 10
All citizens shall be free from restrictions on domicile or the change thereof, and from trespasses on and searches of private premises.
Article 11
The privacy of correspondence of all citizens shall remain inviolate and shall not be infringed.
Article 12
  1. All citizens shall enjoy the freedom of religion and conscience.
  2. No state religion shall exist. Religion shall be severed from politics.
Article 13
  1. All citizens shall not be subjected to any restrictions on the freedom of speech, press, assembly and association.
  2. The political parties shall enjoy the protection of the State in accordance with the provisions of law. However, if the purposes or activities of a political party are contrary to the basic democratic rules of the Constitution, the Executive shall impeach it with approval of the President, and the Constitutional Court shall decide on the dissolution of such political party.
Article 14
  1. All citizens shall have freedom of science and art.
  2. Rights of authors, inventors and artists shall be protected by law.
Article 15
  1. The right of property shall be guaranteed. Its contents and restrictions shall be defined by law.
  2. The exercise of property rights shall conform to the welfare of the public.
  3. The expropriation, use or the imposition of restrictions on private property for public purposes shall be accompanied by payment of just compensation in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 16
  1. All citizens shall be entitled to equal opportunities of education. The attainment of at least an elementary education shall be compulsory and free of cost.
  2. All educational institutions shall be administered under the supervision of the State and the organization of the educational system shall be determined by law.
Article 17
  1. All citizens shall have the right and duty to work.
  2. The standards of labor conditions shall be determined by law.
  3. Special protection shall be accorded to the labor of women and children.
Article 18
  1. Freedom of association, collective bargaining and collective action of laborers shall be guaranteed within the law.
  2. Workers employed in profit earning private enterprises shall be entitled to share in the profits of such enterprises in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 19
Citizens who are incapable of earning their living due to old age, infirmity or such other reasons as may cause incapability to work, shall be protected by the State in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 20
Marriage shall be based on the equality of men and women. The purity of marriage and the health of the family shall receive the special protection of the State.
Article 21
  1. All citizens shall have the right to submit written petitions to any governmental agency.
  2. The Government shall be obliged to examine such petitions.
Article 22
Citizens shall have the right to be tried in conformity with the law by judges authorized and directed by law.
Article 23
No citizen shall be prosecuted for a criminal offense unless such act shall have constituted a crime prescribed by law at the time it was committed, nor be placed in double jeopardy.
Article 24
  1. All defendants in criminal cases shall have the right to be tried in public without delay unless there is proper cause for not doing so.
  2. When a defendant in a criminal case, having been detained, is thereafter found not guilty, he shall have the right to claim compensation by the Government in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 25
All citizens who have attained the age of twenty shall have the right to elect public officials in conformity with the provisions of law.
Article 26
All citizens shall have the right to hold public office in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 27
  1. Public officials shall be the trustees of the sovereign people and shall at all times be responsible to the people. All citizens shall have the right to petition for the removal of public officials who have acted unlawfully.
  2. Citizens who have suffered damages by unlawful acts of public officials done in the exercise of their official duties shall have the right to request compensation by the Government or the public corporate bodies concerned; however, the civil or criminal liability of the public officials concerned shall not be exempted thereby.
Article 28
  1. Liberties and rights of the people not enumerated in this Constitution shall not be ignored.
  2. Laws imposing restrictions upon the liberties and rights of the citizens shall be enacted only when necessary for the maintenance of public order and welfare. However, such restrictions shall not infringe upon the substance of those liberties and rights, and no pro visions shall be made for license or censorship of speech and the press, nor in respect of the right of assembly and association.
Article 29
All citizens shall have the duty to pay taxes levied in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 30
All citizens shall have the duty to defend the national territory in accordance with the provisions of law.

CHAPTER III. THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY[edit]

Article 31
  1. The legislative power shall be exercised by the National Assembly.
  2. The National Assembly shall consist of the House of Representatives and the House of Councilors.
Article 32
  1. Each House shall be composed of members elected by universal, equal, direct, and secret vote.
  2. No member of either House may serve concurrently as a member of the other House.
  3. The methods of electing the members of the House of Representatives and the total number thereof, shall be determined by Law .
  4. Members of the House of Councillors shall be elected from Special Cities and Provinces, as an electoral district, in accordance with the provisions of the Law, and the fixed number of members thereof shall not exceed one-fourth of those of the House of Representatives.
Article 33
  1. The term of members of the House of the Representatives shall be four years. However, the term shall be terminated upon the dissolution of the House of Representatives.
  2. The term of the members of the House of Councilors shall be six years, but one half of the members of the House of Councilors shall be changed every three years.
Article 34
The National Assembly shall be convened once in each year in accordance with the provisions of Law.
Article 35
In case of extraordinary necessity, the Chairmen of the both Houses shall publicly notify the convening of a temporary session of the National Assembly upon the request of either the President, one fourth or more of the Representatives duly elected and seated, or one-half or more of the Councilors duly elected and seated.
Article 35-II
  1. When the House of Representatives is dissolved, the general election for the members of the House of Representatives shall be held twenty days after the date of the dissolution and not later than thirty days therefrom.
  2. When the House of Representatives is dissolved, the House of Councillors shall be closed at the same time. However, the Prime Minister may, in time of emergency, request the convocation of the House of Councillors.
Article 36
  1. The House of Representatives shall elect one Speaker and two Vice-Speakers.
  2. The House of Councilors shall elect one President and two Vice-Presidents.
  3. The President of the House of Councilors shall preside over joint sessions of both Houses.
Article 37
  1. Unless otherwise provided in the Constitution or in the rules of the National Assembly the attendance of a majority of the members duly elected and seated and the votes of a majority of the members present shall be necessary for acts of each House.
  2. If the decisions of the two Houses on a matter required to be decided by the National Assembly are not in accord with each other, the matter shall be referred to the House of Representatives for reconsideration; any one of the two decisions respectively made by each House, which has been again adopted by the House of Representatives with the attendance of one-half or more of the members duly elected and seated, and with concurrence of two-thirds or more of the members present, shall be the decision of the National Assembly.
  3. Upon consideration of the budget, when the House of Councillors makes a decision different from that of the House of Representatives, the budget shall be brought before the House of Representatives for reconsideration and its decision shall be the decision of the National Assembly.
  4. The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the House of Councillors shall have the right to give a casting vote.
Article 38
The proceedings of the National Assembly shall be open to the public. However, a closed session may be held by a resolution of either House.
Article 39
  1. Bills may be introduced by any member of the National Assembly or by the Executive.
  2. Bills may in particular finance bills shall be first presented to the House of Representatives.
  3. If no decision is made by the House of Councillors on a matter required to be decided by the National Assembly within 60 days after it has been sent, the matter shall be considered to be rejected by the House of Councillors . The period shall be twenty days for finance bills.
Article 40
  1. Each bill passed by the National Assembly shall be sent to the Executive and the President shall, within ten days, promulgate it.
  2. Every law shall be effective twenty days after the date of its promulgation unless otherwise provided by law.
Article 41
The National Assembly shall consider and decide upon budgets.
Article 42
The National Assembly shall have power to consent to the ratification of treaties concerning international organizations, treaties pertaining to mutual aid, peace treaties, commercial treaties, treaties financially incumbent on the State or the people, or treaties related to legislative affairs and to the declaration of war.
Article 43
The National Assembly shall, for the purpose of inspecting the Executive Branch, have the power to compel the production of necessary documents and the appearance of the witnesses in person to testify or furnish opinions.
Article 44
The Prime Minister, Members of the State Council and Representatives of the Executive shall be authorized to attend meetings of the National Assembly, to state their opinions and answer questions and, by request of the National Assembly, they shall attend any meeting of the National Assembly and answer questions.
Article 45
  1. Each House shall investigate the qualifications of its members, establish rules of procedure and decide on disciplinary matters concerning its members.
  2. The concurrence of two-thirds or more of the members of each House duly elected and seated shall be necessary for the expulsion of any member of the National Assembly.
Article 46
  1. In case the President, Constitutional Court judges, judges, members of the Central Election Committee, Auditor-General and other public officials designated by law shall have violated in the exercise of their duties, provisions of this Constitution or other laws, the National Assembly shall have power to resolve motions for their impeachment.
  2. A motion for impeachment shall be signed by not less than thirty members of the House of Representatives. The vote of a majority of the members of each House duly elected and seated shall be necessary to institute impeachment.
Article 47
  1. Any person against whom impeachment has been instituted shall be suspended from carrying out his duties.
  2. Any decree of impeachment shall not extend further than removal from office; but the person convicted shall not thereby be exempted from civil or criminal liability.
Article 48
No member of the National Assembly shall concurrently hold office in any local council.
Article 49
During sessions of the National Assembly, no member of the National Assembly shall be arrested or detained without the consent of the House of which he is a member except in cases of flagrante delicto. In cases of the apprehension of a member before the opening of the session, such member shall be released during the session upon the request of the House of which he is a member.
Article 50
Members of the National Assembly shall not be responsible to anyone outside for statements or votes made within the Assembly.

CHAPTER IV. THE PRESIDENT[edit]

Article 51
The President of the Republic shall be the head of the State and shall represent the Republic.
Article 52
In case of the removal of the President from his office or inability to exercise his power, the President of the House of Councillors, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Prime Minister shall successively exercise the power of the President.
Article 53
  1. The President shall be elected at the joint session of both Houses by the votes of two-thirds or more of the members duly elected and seated.
  2. If the President is not elected in the first ballot, there shall be a second ballot; and if the President is not elected in the second ballot, the candidate receiving the votes of a majority of the members with attendance of two-thirds or more of the members duly elected and seated shall be the President.
  3. The President shall not be affiliated to a political party, nor engage in a public or private profession nor practice any business.
Article 54
Before the President assumes office, he shall take the following affirmation at a joint session of the two Houses: "I do solemnly affirm to the people that I shall faithfully execute the office of President by observing the Constitution, promoting the welfare of the people and protecting the State."
Article 55
The President shall hold office for a term of five years. However, re-election to a consecutive term shall be permissible only once.
Article 56
  1. In case of a vacancy in the office of the President, an election shall be held immediately.
  2. Not less than thirty days before the term of office of the President expires, a new President shall be elected.
Article 57
  1. When, in time of civil war, in a dangerous situation arising from foreign relations, in case of natural calamity or on account of a grave economic or financial crisis, it is necessary to take urgent measures for the maintenance of public order and security, the President shall have power to make necessary financial disposition by the resolution of the State Council; provided, however, that the President shall exercise such power only if there is no time to convene the National Assembly.
  2. The Prime Minister shall have power to issue ordinances having the effect of law when it is necessary to implement the dispositions set forth in the preceding paragraph.
Article 58
  1. The dispositions or ordinances set forth in Article 57 shall be reported without delay to the National Assembly for approval; if the House of Representatives has been dissolved, the approval by the House of Councillors shall suffice.
  2. If the approval referred to in the preceding paragraph is not obiained, such dispositions or ordinances shall become ineffective thereafter.
Article 59
The President shall, by the resolution of the State Council, conclude and ratify treaties, declare war, conclude peace, and accredit and receive diplomatic envoys.
Article 60
The President may attend and address the National Assembly or present his views thereto by written message.
Article 61
  1. The President shall exercise supreme command of the National Armed Forces in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Law..
  2. The organization and formation of the National Armed Forces shall be determined by law.
Article 62
  1. The President shall confirm the appointment and dismissal of government officials in accordance with the Constitution and the law.
Article 63
  1. The President shall, by the resolution of the State Council, grant pardons, commute sentences and restore civil rights in accordance with the provisions of law.
  2. The granting of a general pardon shall require the consent of the National Assembly.
Article 64
  1. The President may, by the resolution of the State Council, proclaim a state of siege.
  2. However, the President may refuse to proclaim a state of siege, despite of the resolution of the State Council, if he deems it improper.
  3. When a state of siege has been proclaimed , special measures may be taken in regard to the rights of people and the powers of administrative authorities or courts, in accordance with the provisions of the Law.
Article 65
The President shall, by the resolution of the State Council, award decorations and honors.
Article 66
The acts of the President pertaining to state affairs shall be executed by written documents, and all such documents shall be countersigned by the Prime Minister and the concerned members of the State Council. The same shall equally apply to military affairs.
Article 67
The President shall not be charged with the commission of criminal offenses during his tenure of office except in cases of treason and rebellion.

CHAPTER V. THE EXECUTIVE[edit]

SECTION 1. The State Council[edit]

Article 68
  1. Executive power shall be vested in the State Council.
  2. The State Council shall be composed of the Prime Minister and the members of the State Council.
  3. The State Council shall be collectively responsible to the House of Representatives.
Article 69
  1. The Prime Minister shall be nominated by the President and the nomination shall be approved by the House of Representatives. However, if the President has failed to nominate a Prime Minister again within five days of the date of disapproval by the House of Representatives or when the House of Representatives has disapproved the two consecutive nominations, the Prime Minister shall be elected by the House of Representatives.
  2. The approval or election stipulated in the preceding paragraph shall require a majority vote of the members of the House of Representatives duly elected and seated.
  3. When the President has nominated the Prime Minister, the House of Representatives shall vote on the nomination not earlier than twenty-four fours, nor later than forty-eight fours of the nomination. In case of an election of the Prime Minister to be held in accordance with the provision of paragraph 1, the election shall take place within five days of the circumstances arising which make this election necessary.
  4. The President shall nominate the Prime Minister within five days of the first convocation of the House of Representatives after the general election of the Representatives.
  5. The Prime Minister shall appoint members of the State Council and the President shall confirm the appointment.
  6. The Prime Minister and a majority of the members of the State Council shall be chosen from among members of the National Assembly, except when the House of Representatives has been dissolved.
  7. The total number of the Members of the State Council shall not be more than fifteen nor less than eight.
  8. No military person shall be appointed as a Member of the State Council unless he has previously resigned from active service.
Article 70
  1. The meetings of the State Council shall be convened and presided over by the Prime Minister.
  2. The Prime Minister may, with the agreement of the State Council, issue a State Council ordinance on matters within the scope of powers delegated to him by Law and on matters necessary for the enforcement of the Law.
  3. The Prime Minister shall represent the State Council. He may introduce its bills to the National Assembly and direct and supervise each department of the Executive.
  4. If the Prime Minister is prevented from exercising his powers for some reason, the member of the State Council selected in the order specified by Law shall act on his behalf.
Article 71
  1. If the House of Representatives passes a motion of censure on the State Council, the State Council shall resign en bloc, unless a notice has been given of the dissolution of the House of Representatives within ten days.
  2. The State Council shall consider it a vote of censure if the House of Representatives declines to give consent to the ratification of a treaty or makes no decision on the general budget for a new fiscal year within the date specified by Law.
  3. A motion to censure the State Council shall require a majority vote of the members of the House of Representatives duly elected and seated.
  4. A vote shall be taken on a motion of censure within seventy two-hours, but not earlier than twenty-four hours, of its introduction. If no decision is made within that period, the motion of censure shall be deemed not to have been introduced. On a vacancy occurring in the office of the Prime Minister, or on the first convocation of the House of Representatives after a general election of the Representatives, the State Council shall resign en bloc.
  5. In the cases mentioned in paragraph 1 and in the preceding paragraph, the State Council shall continue to exercise its functions until a new Prime Minister is selected.
Article 72
The following matters shall be referred to the State Council for decision.
  1. Fundamental plans and policies concerning state affairs;
  2. Proposed treaties, declarations of war, conclusions of peace, and other important matters pertaining to foreign policy;
  3. Proposed amendments to the Constitution, legislative bills and Presidential Decrees;
  4. Proposed budgets, closing of accounts, urgent financial dispositions and the defrayment of the reserve fund;
  5. Matters pertaining to requests for convening the National Assembly for extraordinary sessions;
  6. Proclamations and terminations of a state of siege;
  7. Important military affairs;
  8. Awarding of honors and granting of pardons, commutation and restoration of civil rights;
  9. Matters referring to the liaison between Ministries of the Executive and determination of their jurisdiction;
  10. Examination of petitions submitted or referred to the government;
  11. Appointment and removal of the Prosecutor General, the Chairman of the Board of Audit, the President of National Universities, Ambassadors and Ministers to foreign countries, the Chiefs of Staff of each armed force, other public officials designated by law; and the managers of important state-operated enterprises;
  12. Adoption and execution of important policies of the various Ministries of the Executive;
  13. Matters pertaining to the dissolution of the House of Representatives and to the general resignation of the State Council;
  14. Impeachment for the dissolution of a political party;
  15. And other matters presented by the Prime Minister or member of the State Council.

SECTION 2. The Executive Ministries[edit]

Article 73
The heads of the Ministries of the Executive shall be appointed by the Prime Minister from among the members of the State Council, and may be dismissed by him.
Article 74
Each Minister may, ex officio or by special delegation of authority issue "Ministry Orders" concerning matters within the scope of his powers and duties.
Article 75
  1. The organization and functions of each Ministry shall be determined by law.
  2. The law referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include provisions concerning the organization necessary for ensuring the impartiality of the police.

CHAPTER VI. THE CENTRAL ELECTION COMMITTEE[edit]

Article 75-II
  1. The Central Election Committee shall be set up to conduct fair elections.
  2. The Central Election Committee shall be composed of three members elected by the justices of the Supreme Court from among themselves and six members recommended by the political parties; and the Chairman of the Committee shall be elected by the members who are Justices from among themselves.
  3. The organization and powers of the Central Election Committee and other necessary provisions relating thereto shall be determined by Law.

CHAPTER VII. THE COURTS[edit]

Article 76
  1. The judicial power shall be vested in courts composed of judges.
  2. The organization of the Supreme Court, the highest court of the State, and of the lower courts shall be determined by law.
  3. The qualification for judges shall be determined by law.
Article 77
The judges of the courts shall judge independently and in accordance with the Constitution and the law.
Article 78
The Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court shall be elected by an Electoral College composed of persons qualified as judges, and shall be confirmed by the President.
All matters relating to the number of members, organization and election of the Electoral College mentioned in the preceding para graph shall be determined by Law.
Judges other than those prescribed in paragraph 1 shall, on nomination by the Judicial Council, be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Article 79
The tenure of the judges shall be ten years and the judges may be reappointed in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 80
Judges shall not be dismissed, suspended from office or have their salaries reduced except by impeachment or pursuant to criminal or disciplinary punishment.
Article 81
The Supreme Court shall have the jurisdiction to finally decide whether orders, regulations, and acts are consistent with the Constitution and law.
Article 82
The Supreme Court shall have power to establish the internal regulations of the courts and rules pertaining to routine matters thereof.
Article 83
Trials and the pronouncement of judgments shall be open to the public; however, a trial may be closed to the public by an order of the court when it finds that the holding of a public trial would be likely to disturb the public peace and order or be dangerous to public morals.
Article 83-II
  1. Courts martial having jurisdiction of military offenses may be established. However, appeals from kinds of judgments designated by law shall be within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
  2. The organization and powers of courts martial and qualification for members thereof shall be determined by law.

CHAPTER VIII. THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT[edit]

Article 83-III
The Constitutional Court shall have jurisdiction in any of the following matters:
  1. Review as to the constitutionality of a Law ;
  2. Final interpretation on the Constitution ;
  3. Disputes as to the jurisdiction of public authorities;
  4. Dissolution of a political party ;
  5. Impeachment trials ;
  6. Litigation on the election of the President, Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court.
Article 83-IV
  1. The Constitutional Court shall be composed of nine Judges.
  2. The President, the Supreme Court and the House of Councillors shall each designate three Judges.
  3. The tenure of the Judge shall be six years and three of the Judges shall be replaced every two years.
  4. No Judge shall be affiliated to any political party or participate in politics.
  5. A decision on the constitutionality of a law and a judgment of impeachment shall require the concurrence of six or more Judges.
  6. Matters necessary for the organization of the Constitutional Court, the qualification and formalities of the appointment of the Judges and legal proceedings of the Court shall be determined by Law.

CHAPTER IX. ECONOMY[edit]

Article 84
The principle of the economic order of the Republic of Korea shall be to attain social justice by fulfilling the basic requirements of all citizens and to encourage the development of a balanced national economy. The economic freedom of each individual shall be guaranteed within these limits.
Article 85
License to exploit, develop or utilize mines and other important underground resources, marine resources, water power and all other economically available natural powers may be granted for limited periods in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 86
Farmland shall be distributed to farmers. The method of distribution, the extent of possession, and the contents and restrictions of ownership shall be determined by law.
Article 87
Foreign trade shall be controlled by the Government in accordance with the provisions of law.
Article 88
Private enterprises shall not be transferred to State or public ownership, except in cases specifically designated by law to meet urgent necessities of national defense or national life, nor shall their management or operation be controlled by the State or by juridical persons organized by public law.
Article 89
Article 15, Paragraph 3 of this Constitution shall be applicable to the expropriation of farmland as provided in Article 86, and shall also be applicable to the transfer of private enterprises to the State or to public ownership as provided in the foregoing Article.

CHAPTER X. FINANCE[edit]

Article 90
The items and rates of all taxes shall be determined by law.
Article 91
  1. The Executive at the beginning of each regular session shall submit to the National Assembly for its decision a budget covering all revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year.
  2. In case any disbursement is necessary to cover a period of more than one year, such disbursement shall be deemed a continual fund covering a fixed term and shall be so submitted to the National Assembly for its decision.
  3. The National Assembly shall neither increase the sum of any item of expenditure, nor establish new items of expenditure without the consent of the Executive.
Article 92
Any plan to raise funds by national loans or any conclusion of a contract creating liability for debt incumbent upon the State or unprovided for in the budget shall be submitted to the National Assembly for its decision.
Article 93
  1. The decision of a reserve fund for unforeseen expenditures unprovided for in or in excess of the budget shall be decided in advance by the National Assembly.
  2. Disbursement from the reserve fund shall be confirmed by the National Assembly at the session subsequent thereto.
Article 94
  1. The National Assembly shall enact a finance bill annually before the beginning of the fiscal year.
  2. If, however, the National Assembly fails to enact this bill within the period specified in the preceding paragraph, the Executive may, in conformity with the finance bill for the previous fiscal year, disburse sums for any of the following purposes within the limit of the revenue, until the enactment of the finance bill by the National Assembly:
  1. Basic expenditure on the emoluments of public officials and for the administration;
  2. Maintenance costs for the agencies and institutions established by Law and the expenditure provided by Law;
  3. Expenditures for the continuing projects approved in the budget for the previous fiscal year.
  1. If a finance bill has not been passed because a general election of the members of the House of Representatives has taken place, the Executive shall present a new finance bill to the National Assembly. The National Assembly shall consider and decide upon the bill within two months of the first sitting of the House of Representatives. In such a case, the period specified in the provisions of Article 39 shall be ten days.
Article 95
  1. The accounts of revenue and disbursement of the State shall be investigated annually by the Board of Audit.
  2. The Executive shall submit to the National Assembly, during its session in the following year, a statement of accounts together with the auditing report of the Board of Audit.
  3. The organization and functions of the Board of Audit shall be determined by law.

CHAPTER XI. LOCAL AUTONOMY[edit]

Article 96
  1. Local autonomous bodies shall, within the framework of laws and orders, perform their administration and such additional acts as are delegated to them by the State, and shall manage their property within the same framework.
  2. Local autonomous bodies may establish self-governing regulations within the framework of laws and orders.
Article 97
  1. The organization and operation of local autonomous bodies shall be determined by law.
  2. The method of electing the heads of local autonomous bodies shall be determined by Law, provided that mayors and heads of towns and townships shall be elected by the direct suffrage of the inhabitants.
  3. There shall be a Council set up in each local autonomous community.
  4. The organization and authority of the local Councils and the method of election of their members shall be determined by law.

CHAPTER XII. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION[edit]

Article 98
  1. A motion to amend the Constitution shall be introduced either by the President, by one-third or more of the members of either the House of Representatives or the House of Councilors duly elected and seated, or by the concurrence of 500,000 or more of the eligible voters for the election of Representatives.
  2. Proposed amendments to the Constitution shall be announced by the President to the public.
  3. The period for an announcement as prescribed in the foregoing paragraph shall be not less than thirty days duration.
  4. A decision on a proposed amendment to the Constitution shall require the concurrence of two-thirds or more of the members of each House duly elected and seated.
  5. When an amendment to the Constitution has been adopted, the President shall promulgate it immediately. How ever, in case a decision on a proposed amendment to the Constitution is rejected by popular vote, as provided in Article 7-II, the President shall promulgate such rejection as soon as the result of such vote is known and announce the decision has become retroactively null and void.
  6. The provisions of Article 1, 2 and 7-II shall not be changed or abolished.

SUPPLEMENTARY RULES[edit]

Article 99
This Constitution shall be in effect on and after the date of its promulgation declared by the Speaker of the National Assembly which enacted this Constitution. However, those provisions which can be made effective only by the enactment of supplementary laws shall become effective on and after the date on which such supplementary laws become effective.
Article 100
Existing laws and administrative orders shall be in effect to the extent that they do not conflict with this Constitution.
Article 101
The National Assembly which enacted this Constitution may establish a special law providing for the punishment of malicious anti-national acts committed prior to August 15, 1945.
Article 102
The National Assembly which enacted this Constitution shall exercise the powers of the National Assembly as prescribed in this Constitution. The tenure of its members shall be two years from the date of the convocation of the National Assembly.
Article 103
  1. Government officials holding positions at the effective date of this Constitution shall continue in office until such time as their successors shall be elected or appointed as provided in this Constitution.
  2. The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea hereby promulgates this Constitution of the Republic of Korea ordained and established by the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea.

Addenda[edit]

ESCHATOCOL (Revision of July 17, 1948)[edit]

On this Seventeenth Day of July in the year of Tangun Four Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty-One (T.N. July 17, A.D. 1948).
The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
Syngman Rhee

SUPPLEMENTARY RULES (Amendment of July 4, 1952)[edit]

  1. This Constitution shall be in effect on and after the date of its promulgation. However, the provisions concerning the House of Councilors and those which premise the existence of the House shall become effective on and after the date on which the House is constituted.
  2. From the time this Constitution becomes effective till the House of Councilors is constituted, the powers delegated to the joint session of the two Houses shall be exercised by the House of Representatives and those delegated to the Speaker of the House of Councilors shall be exercised by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  3. Till the House of Councilors is constituted, acts of the House of Representatives shall be deemed to be the acts of the National Assembly.
  4. Members of the National Assembly at the time this Constitution becomes effective shall become members of the House of Representatives and their tenure shall be terminated with the end of the remaining term of members of the National Assembly.
  5. The Councilors from each Special City and province elected for the first time after the enforcement of this Constitution shall be assigned to the first class, the second class and the third class, according to the order of the numbers of votes they have received. The term of Councilors of the first class shall be six years, that of the second class shall be four years and that of the third class shall be two years.
  6. If two or more Councilors shall receive an equal number of votes, they shall be assigned in accordance with the order of their respective ages.

SUPPLEMENTARY RULES (Amendment of November 27, 1954)[edit]

  1. This Constitution shall be in effect on and after the date of its promulgation.
  2. The Councilors from each electoral district elected for the first time after the enforcement of this Constitution shall be assigned equally to two classes, the first class and the second class, according to the order of the numbers of votes they have received. The term of Councilors of the first class shall be six years and that of the second class shall be three years.
  3. If two or more Councilors shall receive an equal number of votes, they shall be assigned in accordance with the order of their respective ages.
  4. The proviso of Paragraph 1 of Article 55 of this Constitution shall not apply to the incumbent of the office of President at the time of promulgation of this Constitution.

SUPPLEMENTARY RULES (Amendment of June 15, 1960)[edit]

  1. This Constitution shall be in effect on and after the date of its promulgation.
  2. The provisions concerning the House of Councillors in this Constitution shall become effective on and after the date on which the House of Councillors is constituted.
  3. From the date on which this Constitution becomes effective until the House of Councillors is constituted, acts of the House of Representatives shall be deemed to be the acts of the National Assembly, and the powers vested in the House of Councillors shall be exercised by the House of Representatives on its behalf.
  4. The term of office of the members of the House of Representatives at the time this Constitution becomes effective shall be terminated on the day before the first general election for the members of the House of Representatives under the provisions of this Constitution.
  5. The first general election for the members of the House of Representatives after this Constitution becomes effective shall take place within forty-five days of the coming into force of this Constitution.
  6. The first election of the Councillors after this Constitution becomes effective shall take place within six months of the coming into force of this Constitution.
  7. The Councillors elected under the terms of the preceding paragraph shall be assigned equally to two classes, the first class and second class, according to the order of the numbers of votes they have received in each electoral district. The term of Councillors of the first class shall be six years, and that of the second class shall be three years.
  8. If two or more Councillors receive an equal number of votes, they shall take precedence by age.
  9. The first President under this Constitution shall be elected by the House of Representatives within five days from its first convocation under this Constitution and the provisions of Article 53 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the election.
  10. The President elected in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall nominate the Prime Minister within five days from of the date on which he was elected.
  11. The Senior member of the State Council and the other members at the time this Constitution becomes effective shall be deemed to be respectively the Prime Minister and members of the State Council under this Constitution. They shall exercise the functions provided for in this Constitution until the Prime Minister mentioned in the preceding paragraph is elected.
  12. Public officials and managers of the state-operated enterprises at the time this Constitution becomes effective shall be deemed to be appointed in accordance with this Constitution.
  13. The tenure of the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court at the time this Constitution becomes effective shall be terminated on the day preceding the date on which the new Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court are selected in accordance with this Constitution.
  14. The Presidential decrees in force at the time this Constitution becomes effective shall be considered to be State Council ordinances under this Constitution.
  15. Until the Constitutional Court and the Central Election Committee are constituted in accordance with this Constitution, the Constitution Committee, the Impeachment Court and the Central Election Committee established under the previous provisions shall respectively exercise their functions.
  16. Judges of the Constitutional Court to be selected for the first time after this Constitution becomes effective shall be assigned by the selectors to the three classes; the first, the second and the third classes. The tenure of the Judges of the first class shall be six years, that of the second class four years years and and that of the third class two years.

SUPPLEMENTARY RULES (Amendment of November 29, 1960)[edit]

  1. This Constitution shall be in effect on and after the date of its promulgation.

TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE RULES (Amendment of November 29, 1960)[edit]

  1. The National Assembly which is in existence at the time of the coming into force of this Constitution may enact a Special Law to punish the persons who committed unlawful acts in connection with the election of the President and Vice-President held on March 15, 1960 and the persons who killed or inflicted bodily injury upon or committed any other unlawful acts against the citizens protesting against the irregularities, to suspend the citizenship of the persons who committed grave anti-democratic acts taking advantage of their special positions attained before April 26, 1960; and to initiate administrative or judicial proceedings against persons who accumulated properties by unlawful means, taking advantage of their positions or powers attained before April 26, 1960.
  2. A Special Court and Department for public prosecution may be established to dispose of the criminal cases mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
  3. Special Laws enacted in accordance with the provisions of the preceding two paragraphs may not be amended after their enactment.

Amendment history[edit]

Date of Promulgation Nickname Nickname in Korean
July 17, 1948 Constitution of the First Republic (Jeheon Constitution) 제1공화국헌법 (第一共和國憲法) / 제헌헌법 (制憲憲法)
July 7, 1952
November 29, 1954
June 15, 1960 Constitution of the Second Republic 제2공화국 헌법 (第二共和國憲法)
November 29, 1960

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