Death Penalty in Korea: From Unofficial Moratorium to Abolition?

By Kuk Cho / Asian Journal of Comparative Law, on 1 January 2008

This article provides an overview of the legal regime governing the death penalty and the on-going debate on the death penalty in Korea. It begins by briefly reviewing international treaties that call for the abolition of the death penalty, contrasting them with the retentionist trend in most Asian countries. It then reviews the major decisions of the Korean Supreme Court and the Korean Constitutional Court. It also discusses recent moves in the National Assembly and the National Human Rights Commission to abolish the death penalty. It suggests that the Korean death penalty debate has potentially significant implications for its retentionist Asian neighbours grappling with similar issues.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list Democratic People's Republic of Korea