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1. History & Theoretical Approach of Korea in International Law

(11,576 words)

Author(s): Lee, Seokwoo | Lee, Seryon | Oh, Si-Jin | Kim, Sung-Won
1.1 History of the Interactions between State and International Law and International Community1.1.1 International Order of East Asia and the Status of Korea under International Law in the Era of International Law AcceptanceBefore ‘Jus Publicum Europaeum’ was introduced to East Asia, there existed an ‘international’ regional normative system which regulated the relations between or among China and the many political entities around it such as Korea, Japan, Viet Nam etc. This regional normative system was called the ‘Sinocentric order.’The Sinocentric order was based on Si…

17. Human Rights | Korea

(6,243 words)

Author(s): Oh, Seung-Jin | Lee, Seokwoo | Lee, Seryon
17.1 Accession and Reservations to International Human Rights Treaties17.1.1 Korea’s Entry into Human Rights TreatiesKorea is a party to major international human rights treaties. According to article 6(1) of the Korean Constitution adopted in 1987, treaties signed and promulgated in accordance with the Constitution have the same force as domestic law. While sometimes Korean courts do not recognize human rights treaties as having force, human rights treaties are likely to be invoked directly by domestic courts and to be treated to have domestic legal force.Before the 1990s, Kor…

State Report Overview | Korea

(2,020 words)

Author(s): Lee, Seokwoo
The development of international law in Korea is traced back to the late 19th century when Korea was confronted with public international law introduced by Western imperial states and further influenced by Japanese colonialization from 1910 to 1945 and U.S military administration in the southern half of Korea from 1945 to 1948. The Republic of Korea was formally established in 1948 with the adoption of its first Constitution. The history and legacy of Korea play an important role in shaping the …

3. Territory & Jurisdiction | Korea

(10,053 words)

Author(s): Lee, Seokwoo | Hyun, Daesong | Park, Young-Kil
3.1 Authority and Sovereignty over Territory3.1.1 International Law on Territorial Disputes and Historical CriticismTerminology and context become important here. Fundamental questions that relate to other East Asian territorial issues need to be asked, such as: Did the legal concepts or systems of territorial acquisition exist at the material time? Assuming they did, what kind of role do they play in the resolution of relevant disputes today? If they do play a role, what effect will the significant factual …

6. Relationship between International & Domestic Law | Korea

(533 words)

Author(s): Lee, Seokwoo | Lee, Seryon
6.1 Theories of International & Domestic Law6.1.1 Status of International Law in Korea’s Domestic Legal SystemThe Constitution of Korea stipulates in Article 6, paragraph 1 that “treaties duly concluded and promulgated under the Constitution and the generally recognized rules of international law shall have the same effect as the domestic laws of the Republic of Korea.” In accordance with this provision, international law has been generally accepted as Korean domestic law and incorporated into Korea’s domestic…


(162 words)

Author(s): Lee, Seokwoo
I would like to express my special thanks to all those involved with the Encyclopedia of Public International Law in Asia (EPILA). Their efforts have produced three regional volumes with 16 state volumes involving 286 contributors who drafted 1,078 headings encompassing over 3,000 pages and over a million words.I would also like to express my appreciation to Eon Kyung Park, Seryon Lee and Tea-Gil Kim, who are key members of the Development of International Law in Asia-Korea (DILA-KOREA), for their continuing assistance.I would be remiss if I also did not extend my gratitude …

7. Treaties | Korea

(3,515 words)

Author(s): Lee, Seokwoo | Lee, Seryon
7.1 Making & Concluding Treaties7.1.1 Treaty-Making in KoreaUnder the Constitution, treaty-making is within the authority of the President (Article 73 of the Constitution). However, all working-level work for treaty-making is carried out by the International Legal Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a procedure of consultations with various domestic institutions should be followed before the President can conclude and ratify treaties. From the perspective of a procedural standpoint, t…

11. International Relations & Cooperation | Korea

(4,722 words)

Author(s): Lee, Seokwoo | Lee, Seryon
11.1 Specific Bilateral Relations Issues11.1.1 Legal Ground of US Military Forces Stationed in KoreaThe United States military forces occupied the southern half of Korea on September 8, 1945 when the US and the Soviet Union decided to accept Japan’s surrender on the Korean peninsula based on the 38th parallel, following the unconditional surrender of Japan in the World War II. After three years of military administration in the southern half of Korea, the US military forces handed its control over to the Sou…

2. Statehood & Sovereignty | Korea

(19,083 words)

Author(s): Lee, Seokwoo | Lee, Seryon | Yoo, Bada | Oh, Si-Jin | Baek, Buhm-Suk
2.1 Colonization and Decolonization2.1.1 International Law Issues Arising out of Japan’s Ruling over KoreaJapan ruled and controlled Korea from 1910 to 1945. This historical fact caused many international law issues between Korea and Japan, some of which have still not been settled. Among others, the most critical and fundamental question is whether the Japanese ruling over Korea was based on the grounds of international law. Japan signed the annexation treaty with Korea in 1910 and started its outright ruli…


(1,470 words)

Author(s): Lee, Seokwoo
The idea of producing an encyclopedia that would present and describe how Asian states deal with public international matters germinated from the work of the Foundation for the Development of International Law in Asia (DILA). DILA was established in 1989, at a time when its prime movers believed that economic and political developments in Asia had reached the stage at which they would welcome and benefit substantially from a mechanism to promote and facilitate exchanges among their international…