38 Stan. J. Int'l L. 123 (2002)
Freedom of Expression and the Law: Rights and Responsibilities in South Korea

handle is hein.journals/stanit38 and id is 131 raw text is: Freedom of Expression and the Law:
Rights and Responsibilities
in South Korea
KYu Ho YoUM*
I. INTRODUCTION: SOUTH KOREA SINCE 1987
South Korea's consolidation as a functioning democracy since 1987 is
epitomized by the remarkable change of its news media from an authoritarian
press to   a libertarian   system.    As Bill Kovach, curator of the Nieman
Foundation for Journalists at Harvard University, told Korean journalists in
Seoul:
You here in South Korea have made the record as clear as anyone has.
The diligence of the South Korean press in exposing corruption and
abuses by government officials has, as much as any other factor,
encouraged the development of institutional protection of broad public
rights and [led] to checks and balances on the power of government.,
Many sociopolitical, institutional, and economic forces have contributed to
making the South Korean press a far more independent and critical institution
vis-A-vis the government than it was previously. When looking at the massive
statutory changes concerning freedom of the press, one study of South Korea's
press law in the early 1990s concluded that the liberalization of various mass
communication laws in. South Korea was one aspect of the larger positive
development in the political rights and civil liberties of Koreans since 1987.2
t Part of the author's discussion in this Article is drawn from his published research on Korean law.
Kyu Ho Youm, Mass Communications Law in Transition: Defining Freedom and Control of the Media,
in RECENT TRANSFORMATIONS IN KOREAN LAW AND SOCIETY 103 (Dae-Kyu Yoon ed., 2000); Kyu Ho
Youm, The Constitutional Court and Freedom of Expression, I J. KOREAN L. 37 (2001).
* Professor of Media Law, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication,
Arizona State University. The author wishes to thank the Association for Asian Studies, the ASU Center
for Asian Studies, and the ASU Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass communication for their
financial support of his travel to South Korea in 2001 for Korean law research for this Article.
He is also grateful to Mr. Park Yong-sang, secretary-general of the Constitutional Court, to Senior
Judge Kim Jae-hyop, a judicial research officer at the Supreme Court of Korea, and to Professor Yoon
Chin-su, director of the Seoul National University Law Library, for facilitating his generous access to the
Constitutional Court Library, to the Supreme Court Library, and to the Seoul National University Law
Library, respectively, during his research trip to Seoul, South Korea. Further, he is indebted to Senior
Judge Han Wee-su of the Seoul Administrative Court for updating and expanding his research on
freedom of information law in South Korea.
The author provided all translations from Korean for this Article.
I Bill Kovach, Remarks at the Korean Press Center Seminar (July 14, 1997).
2 Kyu Ho Youm, Current Development: South Korea: Press Laws in Transition, 22 COLUM. HUM.
RTs. L. REv. 401,402 (1991) (citation omitted).
123
38 STAN. J. INT'L L. 123 (2002)

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