Saturday, April 09, 2005

"North Korea" as a Legal Concept?

Here is an interesting, brief story (in Korean) about a legal argument in a contract dispute. The basic question at issue appears to be this: Is there a contract if a party to the contract was so inexperienced that the party did not understand the nature of the contract he or she was entering into? The particular twist in this case is that the party challenging the validity of the contract is a defector from North Korea. He is claiming that because of his unfamiliarity with the legal system (said unfamiliarity being due to his status as a recent defector from the North), he did not understand the contract that was about to bind him. The Court did not buy his argument.

This has nothing to do with Korean Constitutional Law at the moment, but stories like this are interesting because they foreshadow a much larger issue that the Korean legal system will have to confront as the two Koreas move towards reunification: "North Korea" as a significant legal concept/category.


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