Posts Tagged ‘korean class action law’

A few weeks ago, I commented on legislation proposed in Korea that would allow people harmed by public protests to bring class action lawsuits against the protesters.  On Friday, progressive Korean newspaper The Hankyoreh published an editorial criticising the proposal as anti-democratic effort to squelch peaceful dissent.  The editorial discusses the use of class actions in the United States as a means of redress for those who individually would lack the power to take on powerful government and corporate interests and points out the irony in the proposed legislation, which it says is merely a tool by the powers-that-be to further weaken the ability of individuals to challenge their power, stating:

Any system of class action lawsuits designed to limit the ability of the weak in society to claim their rights is out of step with the original intent behind allowing class action lawsuits in the first place.

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Here is an interesting tidbit about a possible class action reform in South Korea from the Korean newspaper the Chosun Ilbo.  Reportedly, “the Presidential Council on National Competitiveness and the ruling Grand National Party” have agreed to “introduce class action suits as a way to compensate victims of illegal collective actions such as illegal rallies and strikes.”  (“Collective actions” in this context apparently means group activity, not collective legal action).

It is unclear from the article who the possible victims are that would have standing to bring the proposed class action suits, who could be sued, and what types of injuries could be remedied.  The article does go on to quote a presidential official as stating that the device would be intended to “put pressure on civic organizations that have so far led to illegal, violent protests.”

For those of us unfamiliar with South Korean society and culture, the whole idea seems a bit backwards.  A class action device for the purpose of suing the perpetrators of public protests?  However, this pictorial review from the blog Who Sucks? and this article from the Kyoto Journal on the often bizarre world of South Korean protests may shed some light on the problem, if not the justification for this particular solution.

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