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Political and Legal Implications of ‘Criminal Contempt of King’ [Pŏmsangbudojoe] in the late Chosŏn Dynasty: A Focus on the Treason Case of I Ŭiyŏn and the Regulations of Sok Taejŏn

LEE, Ha-kyoung 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to examine the political and legal implications of ‘Criminal Contempt of King’ [Pŏmsangbudojoe] in the late Chosŏn Dynasty, focusing on the treason case of I Ŭiyŏn and the regulations of Sok Taejŏn (Supplementary Grand Code), promulgated in 1746. ‘Criminal Contempt of King’ refers to a crime, in which certain words or remarks disrepect and slander the king or the court. Although outrageous behaviors and languages had been strictly restricted since the earliest days of the Chosŏn Dynasty, the importance of relevant regulations became prominent during the later period of the dynasty. At the State Tribunal, where capital crimes such as treason, rebellion, and lèse-majesté were investigated and judged, problematic words of slandering or disrespectful acts against the king were one of the significant reasons of prosecution. In contrast to outright rebellion and coups, what political implications did disrespecting and slandering the kings have? Starting from this question, this paper analyzes treason cases of “Criminal Contempt of King” recorded in the Interrogation Records. Also, it examines the legal foundations of its criminal offenses which were first stipulated in Sok Taejŏn.

Citation status

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