A few weeks ago, the adultery law was abolished. The U.S.A and other countries in Europe don’t have a law named ‘adultery law’. However, Korea had this because Korean society is based on Confucianism. No one expects any consequences caused by abolishing this law and declares whether it would be the right decision or not. What is your opinion?
Recently Korea has received hot spotlights from international media such as BBC, AFP and The Wall Street Journal because the Constitutional Court ruled that the adultery law is unconstitutional. Clause 1, Article 241 of Criminal Law says ‘Any person who commits adultery shall be punished by imprisonment for up to two years and so does a person who commits adultery with him or her. The law is made to punish both of them who commit adultery when a spouse commits adultery. However, a decision of unconstitutionality about the law makes people not be able to give any criminal punishment to a spouse who commits adultery. Instead, they can put in a claim for damages only by common law. As a result of this, dating websites for married people have increased rapidly and stocks of condom manufacturers have increased too. The situation is fun and also sad.
There are concerned voices about abolishing the adultery law because they think it will be the catalyst for rising divorce rates and make family trouble more serious. I think so too. We don’t have to follow other countries only because they don’t have the adultery law. It is true that we have to amend the constitution continually because social awareness is changing rapidly and speed of development is very fast. However, you have to remember the old saying “If a crow-tit tries to walk like a stork, he will break his legs.” I think it will be better to amend the constitution like this later when people prepare to accept it.
By Gam Gyeong-Hwan(Dept. of Public Administration)
Cho Yu-na email@example.com
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