South Korea Abolishes Law that Criminalized Adultery

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Judges of South Korea's Constitutional Court prepare to deliver a ruling over a controversial adultery law (AFP PHOTO / YONHAP)
Judges of South Korea’s Constitutional Court prepare to deliver a ruling over a controversial adultery law (AFP PHOTO / YONHAP)

A 62-year-old law banning adultery in South Korea has been abolished by the highest court in the land, in a ruling which has sent shares in the country’s biggest condom manufacturer surging.

While supporters of the law, which made extramarital affairs punishable by up to two years in prison, claim it promotes monogamy and keep families intact, opponents have argued it was an infringement on personal freedom.

Now, seven members of a nine-judge panel at the Constitutional Court have deemed the law to be unconstitutional.

Reading an opening representing five justices, Seo Ki-seok, a Constitutional Court justice, said: “The law is unconstitutional as it infringes people’s right to make their own decisions on sex and secrecy and freedom of their private life, violating the principle banning excessive enforcement under the constitution.”

A court official has said the ruling could affect thousands who face trial or have been found guilty of breaking the law since late 2008, when the ban was previously upheld by the court.

Under the law, sex with a married person who was not your spouse was punishable by prison.

Nearly 53,000 South Korean have been indicted on adultery charges sine 1985, although it has been rare for people to be jailed.

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SOURCE: JAMES RUSH
The Independent