Pursuit of Happiness Clause in the Korean Constitution

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Lim, Jibong
Issue Date
BK 21 law
Journal of Korean Law, Vol.1 No.2, pp. 71-103
Korean Constitutional Court has played a fairly active role as the last resort for the protection of Korean people’ right since its establishment in 1988. Korean people pplauded the Court for its epochal decisions that could hardly have been found in the past decisions by the general courts in Korea.

However, as nobody is perfect, some repeated problems are found in the Court’ decision. I believe its frequent reliance on the pursuit of happiness clause in the Korean Constitution could be one of them. Can the pursuit of happiness clause be used as a ground to declare a law or a legal provision

unconstitutional? To have an answer for that, we will search for the origin of pursuit of happiness clause in the United States because Korean Constitution adopted the clause in 1980 from the constitutional documents in the United States such as Declaration of Independence and Virginia Declaration of Rights by way of Japanese Constitution of 1946. In addition, we will examine court decisions on the pursuit of happiness clause in the U.S. federal courts as well as state courts. Through these explorations, we will

delve into whether pursuit of happiness clause has a specific right with real force in it or is just a declaratory political rhetoric.
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College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원)The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) Journal of Korean LawJournal of Korean Law Volume 01 Number 1/2 (2001)
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