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Dissolution of the Unified Progressive Party Case in Korea: A Critical Review with Reference to the European Court of Human Rights Case Law

Jongcheol Kim

JEAIL Volume 10, Number 1 (2017), 139-155


This article aims to introduce and critically analyze the jurisprudence and its application in the UPP case in South Korea with reference to the ECtHR case law. In this controversial case, the CCK decided to dissolve the UPP and, without any basis in positive law, disqualify five National Assembly members affiliated with it. It is argued that when the CCK attempted to articulate the principle of proportionality that the ECtHR case law has firmly developed in this field and to apply it to this case, standards governing the dissolution of political parties were distorted at least in two ways. First, it substituted ‘social need’ for “pressing social need.” Second, it deliberately omitted the requirement of ‘sufficient imminence.’ In addition, the reasoning of the majority of eight justices based upon the rule of evidence in civil proceedings can also be criticized for being too abrupt to be justified in this highly controversial case of constitutional importance.

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