형법 제20조 사회상규 규정의 성립경위
Korean Criminal Act (Article 20) - Establishment of Normal Social Rules-

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서울대학교 법학연구소
법학, Vol.47 No.2, pp. 189-219
사회상규일본개정형법가안김병로Normal Social RulesEstablishment of Korea Criminal ActByungro Kim형법제정정당행위
One of the grounds that allows the exemption of criminal liability in the

Korean Criminal Act is the Article 20 (Justifiable Act). Article 20 specifically

states that 'an act which is conducted in accordance with Acts and subordinate

statues, or in pursuance of accepted business practices, or other action which

does not violate the social rules shall not be punishable'. Among the three

justifiable acts, the exemption based on the 'normal social rules' is considered

one of the most unique features of Korean Criminal Act. Unlike other laws, it

does not originate from the German Criminal Act or Japanese Criminal Act.

There has not been much research on how the 'Normal Social Rules' had been

established in the past. Since it was unclear where the 'Normal Social Rules'

originated benchmarked from, many issues have been raised regarding the

interpretation of the provisions. Recently, the author found important documents

which illustrate the legislative process of The 'Normal Social Rules'. Byungro

Kim played a significant role in writing the draft of general provisions of

Korean Criminal Law. In his article, "Discussion on Unlawfulness as a Requisite

for Criminal Liability", which was published in 1915, he used the concept of

'Normal Social Rules' based on the concept of material unlawfulness.

The author examined the establishment process of 'Normal Social Rules' in the

following chronological order: (1) Byungro Kim' idea in his 1915's article, (2)

Reform of Criminal Act in Japan in 1930s, (3) Draft of Korean Criminal Act in

1949, (4) National Assembly and Establishment of Korean Criminal Act in 1953,

(5) Korean Supreme Court decisions. The author's goal is to reconstruct the...
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College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원)The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) 법학법학 Volume 47, Number 1/4 (2006)
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