South Korea/ 5.2 Legislation on culture  

Korean Law has its tradition in Continental Law system. General Provision of the Constitution clearly states that “The State shall strive to sustain and develop its cultural heritage and to enhance its national culture (Article 9)”. Also under the section on the rights and duties of citizen it is pronounced that “all citizens shall be equal before the law and there shall be no discrimination in political, economic, social, or cultural life on account of sex, religion, or social status (Article 11) and “all citizens shall enjoy the freedom of learning and the arts. The rights of authors, inventors, scientists, engineers, and artists shall be protected by Act (Article 22)”. A research characterized(Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, 2010) that legislation on the arts and culture as displaying 1) proliferation of ‘promotion law’s; 2) fragmentation within the same jurisdictional field; 3) ambivalence such as the inclusion of promotional clause and regulative clause at the same time.

There are 112 laws regarding the arts and culture, cultural heritage and history (including religion), cultural industry, and broadcasting and media. The first legal provision in the arts was the「Performing Arts Act」which is described in detail in the following section. Fundamental law in this field was enacted in 1972, the「Arts and Culture Promotion Act」. It follows the German-Austrian law in emphasizing the state’s role in promoting arts and culture (Kulturfoederungesetz). In the field of cultural heritage, the 「Cultural Heritage Protection Law」has been in existence since 1962. The law has been altered to add ‘utilizing and safeguarding’ the heritage to the strict principle of ‘preserving’. Various laws have been established with the advent of cultural industry or the creative industry. Reflecting the policy direction in support of the cultural industry, legislation mostly takes the form of ‘promotion act’. Regulative aspects are traditionally included in laws concerning property matters (copyright) and market operation.


Chapter published: 29-11-2013


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