Can an Employment Contract Entered in South Korea Exclude a Jurisdiction of Korean Court?

Recently I got a question about a jurisdiction of legal dispute arising of a labor contract made between a Korean company and a foreigner here in Korea.  The foreigner told me his contract had an exclusion clause which ruled out the jurisdiction of Korean court.

According to Article 2(1) of the Private International Act, a Korean court shall have the jurisdiction over an international trial in the case where the parties or the issue has substantial relation to South Korea, and according to Article 28(5) of PIA, the parties of an employment contract may make an agreement on the international jurisdiction only in cases where a dispute has already occurred or an employee is allowed to bring a lawsuit to a court in addition to the governing court in accordance with the PIA.

So even if parties of an employment agreement had agreed to rule out the jurisdiction of Korea n court before a dispute occurred, such agreement violates the PIA, so it has no effect under Korean law.

We hope this to be of assistance to you.  If you have more questions on labor contract or any other Korean labor law related issues, please send an email to or visit Legal Consultation page.  Our Korean licensed labor lawyers, not a U.S. lawyer residing in Korea, will answer your inquiry.

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© 2008 Wonil Chung, a Korean Labor Lawyer/Chung & Partners, a Korean Labor Law Firm.  All rights reserved.

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