Animal abuse and the punishment in South Korea

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Jungwoo Kang

Ewha Law School

In most jurisdictions, animals are considered as things, not beings and South Korea is not an exception. In South Korea, any harm inflicted to animals, for example, can be only punishable when it belongs to a person, and when the person sues the offender for the harm done to her/his “property”. Unfortunately, the offenders often easily get away from any legal duties after paying some fines, leaving the animals and its owners without proper compensation. If the animal does not belong to anyone, there is no crime as animals do not have locus standi (the ability to stand before the court).

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Chemical castration for sex criminals; pros and cons

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Ewha Law School

Jungwoo Kang

Chemical castration is castration via injection or tablets of hormonal drugs to reduce sexual activity, often used as a medical treatment of hormone-dependent cancers or punishment on sex offenders like rapists and pedophiles in return for reduced sentences. The advantage of using chemical castration over surgical one is that the effects are reversible when the person stops taking the drug. Read more

Human subject research and the Nuremberg Code

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Jungwoo Kang

Ewha Law School

Last month, Volkswagen received huge outrages from the media and public after an allegation of that VW might have conducted diesel tests on monkeys. Following the news, German carmakers admitted they were engaged in not only animal but human subject research between 2012 and 2015 in which humans and monkeys were exposed to exhaust fumes and nitrogen dioxide for hours. In the study, the human subjects were asked to inhale the gas, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, even a short-term exposure to the gas can cause serious health repercussions, in particular, asthma. The monkeys were locked in small airtight chambers and were forced to breathe the fumes while being left to watch cartoons. The study was for proving diesel is environmentally friendly. READ MORE

Baby Box in South Korea: a safe haven for unwanted newborns

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Jungwoo Kang

Ewha Law School

A pastor Lee, Jong-rak created this so-called Baby Box where any parents can drop their babies instead of abandoning them on the street or, in worst cases, killing them. The pastor built the box in a wall of his church in 2009 after a life-changing event happened to him. A baby was abandoned on the doorstep on a cold winter night. The baby was left in a cardboard box which was not enough to keep the baby warm from the cold Korean winter. From the start of the baby box, it has saved more than 1000 lives. The Baby Box is open 24/7 and is run by its full-time staffs who take shifts every 12 hours, and volunteers who take care of the infants in need. The organisation is supported by donation. Once a baby arrives, s/he stays there for less than a week and are sent to orphanages where they can follow a procedure for an adoption. READ MORE

Humanistic approach to suicide intervention model

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Ewha Law School

Jungwoo Kang

Nearly 800,000 people die by suicide each year, and one dies by suicide every 40 seconds. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 10s and 20s. The need for effective intervention services has become greater over time. However, researches show many patients experiencing clinically based treatments or services find the medical professionals’ help unsatisfactory and inappropriate. READ MORE

Constitutional Court’s approach to abortion laws in South Korea

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Ewha Law School

Jungwoo Kang

Abortion is illegal in South Korea. Its Criminal Act strictly bans abortion according to Articles 269 and 270 of the Act. A woman who procures her own miscarriage through the use of drugs or other means shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding two million won (paragraph 1 of the Article 269). A person who procures the miscarriage of a woman upon her request or with her consent can be punished in the same way (paragraph 2). The special circumstances in which women can legally get abortions are listed in the Article 14 of the Mother and Child Health Act. These are when the mother’s health is in serious danger, or in cases of rape, incest or severe hereditary disorders. The list is however, very restrictive and abortion can be never legal after the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Thus, a judicial review case was filed in 2010, arguing that the Criminal law which criminalizes abortions infringes women’s right to self-determination. READ MORE