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구걸행위금지조항의 위헌성: 미국 주요판례를 통한 비교법적 고찰
Constitutionality of the Ban on Begging in South Korea: A Comparative Look at U.S. Jurisprudence on Vagrancy and Begging Laws

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Authors
김지혜
Issue Date
2012-09
Publisher
서울대학교 법학연구소
Citation
법학, Vol.53 No.3, pp. 69-98
Keywords
구걸행위금지경범죄처벌법빈곤의 범죄화법치주의표현의 자유ban on beggingPunishment of Minor Offenses Actrule of lawcriminalization of povertyfreedom of expression
Abstract
빈곤에 기인한 특성이나 행위를 처벌하는 ‘빈곤의 범죄화’가 전 세계적인 문제로

주의를 끌고 있는 가운데, 우리나라는 최근 개정 경범죄처벌법에서 구걸행위를 처벌하는 규정을 신설하였고 내년부터 시행을 앞두고 있다. 미국의 경우 이 구걸행위금지조항과 같이 빈곤층, 특히 홈리스에게 주요하게 영향을 미치는 규정들이 오랫동안 존재해왔으며 사법심사를 통해 일부 위헌성이 선고된 바 있다. 이에 이 논문에서는 미국 연방법원의 주요 판례를 통해 미국에서 발달한 법리를 살펴보고, 이를 바탕으로 우리 법리에서 구걸행위금지조항의 위헌성에 대하여 비교법적으로 논한다. 미국 연방법원에서는 구걸, 부랑 등의 행위를 처벌하는 조항들의 위헌성을 판단하는데 모호성에 기한 무효, 표현의 자유, 잔혹하고 이상한 형벌금지 등의 법리를 적용한 바 있다. 즉, 모호한 규정으로 가난한 사람들에 대해 자의적이고 차별적인 법적용을 허용하고 촉진하는 것은 법치주의에 어긋나며, 구걸행위가 기부금품모집과 유사하게 필요에 대한 표현행위이므로 개방장소에서의 구걸행위는 엄격심사기준에 따라 보호 받아야 하고, 사적 공간을 가질 수 없는 이들이 인간으로서 불가피한 행위를 한 경우 이를 처벌하는 것을 잔혹하고 이상한 형벌금지의 원칙에 위배된 것이라고 보았다. 이 논문에서는 우리 헌법상의 죄형법정주의의 명확성원칙과 형법상의 책임원칙에서 미국 판례에서와 유사한 논리를 적용함으로써 구걸행위금지조항에 대한 위헌성 논증이 가능하다고 주장한다. 미국 판례에서와 유사하게 우리 구걸행위금지조항이 명확성과 행위의 비난가능성에 대한 정당성이 결여된 채 빈곤으로 특정되는 집단에 대한 자의

적인 국가권력의 개입을 가능케 하고, 이로써 구걸행위자의 표현의 자유 또는 일반적 행동자유권을 침해할 소지가 있어 우리 헌법에서 요구하는 법치주의에 반한다고 본다. While the phenomenon of “criminalization of poverty,” which punishes the acts of people in poverty, especially homeless people, to sustain their life has become an international issue, the National Assembly of Korea introduced a provision that punishes begging in public places in the amended Punishment of Minor Offenses Act of 2012. The Act will take in effect in March 2013. In the United States, provisions that similarly regulate behaviors of homeless people have existed from the colonial period and been challenged for its unconstitutionality. In this regard, this article uses a comparative approach to consider the constitutionality of the ban on begging under the amended Punishment of Minor Offenses Act by looking at several notable U.S. cases.

In the federal courts of the United States, some of the constitutional challenges

against vagrancy and begging laws have succeeded under the principles of void for vagueness, freedom of speech, and cruel and unusual punishment. The U.S. Supreme Court in Papachristou (1972) concluded that the vagrancy law in the City of Jacksonville was void for its vagueness, as the law, by allowing and promoting arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement of law on people who are poor and excluded, failed to uphold the rule of law principle. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Loper (1993) decided that the ban on loitering for the purpose of begging in the City of New York infringed on the freedom of speech, which in public forums is protected at the highest standard, strict scrutiny, because begging, similar to charitable solicitation, was recognized as a form of speech expressing the need for food, housing, clothes, medical services, and transportation. Additionally, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Jones (2006) decided that the Los Angeles ordinance that prohibited sitting, lying, and sleeping violated the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment when the punishment was applied to people who, as a result of being in the status of homelessness and unable to afford private spaces, involuntarily took a course of acts that were essential and unavoidable to a human being. The U.S. jurisprudence on vagrancy and begging laws provides useful perspectives for Korean courts to consider in dealing with the ban on begging in the amended Punishment of Minor Offenses Act. This article argues that by adopting the U.S. approach when applying the principle of nulla poena sine lege and the principle of responsibility under the Korean jurisprudence, a successful argument can be made for the unconstitutionality of the ban on begging in South Korea: The provision at issue lacks clarity required under the principle of nulla poena sine lege, as in Papachristou; and the principle of responsibility may not be satisfied because, as in Jones, the prohibited conduct, begging, lacks blameworthiness. In applying these principles, courts may recognize begging as a constitutionally protected activity as it concerns freedom of expression, as in Loper, and/or general freedom of action, which are fundamental rights under the Korean Constitution. In essence, a provision of this type punishing poverty requires attention as it would permit arbitrary governmental interference on socially disadvantaged groups, thereby undermining the rule of law.
ISSN
1598-222X
Language
Korean
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/79354
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College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원)The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) 법학법학 Volume 53, Number 1/4 (2012)
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