SOUTH KOREA: GOVERNMENT PLEDGES NON-APPLICATION OF THE DEATH PENALTY
September 2, 2009: It has been confirmed by the Ministry of Justice that the South Korean government is agreeing to the non-application of the death penalty asked by the Council of Europe as part of its agreement to the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.
In his letter to South Koreaâs Constitutional Court, Terry Davis, the secretary general of the Council of Europe, wrote, âThe South Korean government has confirmed to the Council of Europe that it guarantees the non-application of the death penalty at the time of accession to the European Convention on Extradition (ETS No. 24), Additional Protocols (ETS Nos 86 and 98) and European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and its Protocol (ETS No. 99).â
The non-application of the death penalty means that the South Korea will not presently or in the future execute criminals who were given the death penalty.
Kim Hysung-tae, a lawyer who has managed constitutional appeals related to the death penalty, asked the Council of Europe to share its opinion on the death penalty a month ago and submitted its letter of response to the Constitutional Court of South Korea.
On this matter, the Justice Ministry said, âIt is true that the South Korean government has made this pledge.â
The Constitutional Court is now reviewing the case of persons identified with the surname âOh.â Oh received the death penalty for a murder he committed, however, he is arguing that the death penalty is unconstitutional. (Sources: The Hankyoreh, 02/09/09)