How Does the Korean Court Confirm the Meaning and the Contents of Foreign Laws Applicable to Legal Relations Having Foreign Elements?

According to article 5 of the Private International Act(“PIA”) of Korea, a court shall investigate and apply the contents of the foreign law designated by the PIA on its own initiative. However, sometimes it’s not easy for Korean court to confirm the right meaning and contents of foreign laws.

In this regard, the Supreme Court of South Korea has ruled as follows, in a case where the both parties had different interpretation of relevant Polish laws in deciding who’s the real owner of a ship registered in Poland(2006da5130):

“In confirming the content and interpreting the meaning of foreign laws and regulations to be applied to legal relations having foreign elements, the interpretation and application shall be made in accordance with the meaning and the content through which the foreign law is actually interpreted in the home country, and the judgment by the highest court of the home country, unless under special circumstances, shall be respected, but if it is impossible to confirm the content because of the insufficiency in submitted data in the process of a suit about precedents or interpretation criteria, the court shall have no other choice but to confirm the meaning and the content of the law in accordance with general interpretation criteria of laws”

© 2008 Wonil Chung, a Korean Litigation Lawyer/Chung & Partners, a Korean Litigation Law Firm.  All rights reserved. Some copyrights, photos, icons, trademarks, trade dress, or other commercial symbols that appear on this post are the property of the respective owners.

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