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A review on the bills for the alternative civilian service

  • Public Land Law Review
  • Abbr : KPLLR
  • 2018, 84(), pp.235-255
  • Publisher : Korean Public Land Law Association
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law
  • Received : October 31, 2018
  • Accepted : November 22, 2018

Hong Wan Sik 1

1건국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

A conscientious objector is an individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service on the grounds of freedom of conscience, religion, or thought. In some countries, conscientious objectors are assigned to an alternative civilian service as a substitute for conscription or military service. In the Republic of Korea, thousands of conscientious objectors had no choice but to be imprisoned as criminals. Every year ca. 500 men, mostly Jehovah's Witnesses, are arrested for refusing the military service. The republic of Korea has long taken a hardline stance on conscientious objectors. But the sentencing clashes with the Constitution Court’s landmark decision in June 2018, which ruled Article 5 of the Military Service Act unconstitutional, as it does not offer alternative services. The Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled that the government should provide alternative options to conscientious objectors. The court gave the Moon administration and the National Assembly until the end of next year to revise the law. A lot of bills for the revision of the Military Service Act in order to legislate the alternative military service system was submitted to the Korean National Assembly. The conflict between freedom of conscience and the duty of national defense must be harmonized in the new alternative civilian service Act.

Citation status

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