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Constitutional Litigation “Kim & Chang is No. 1 in Korea in working to come up with solutions beyond interpreting regulations.”
– Asialaw Profiles 2018


Unlike general litigation where existing laws are interpreted to resolve disputes between specific parties, constitutional litigation can provide direct and final remedies that may not be available under the existing law, as it assesses the constitutionality of the laws and regulations that form the basis of a trial or disposition at issue.  

Constitutional litigation is also a very effective and comprehensive dispute resolution tool, as a finding of unconstitutionality is binding upon all national organizations and local self-governing bodies, and affects not only the case at issue, but all relevant pending cases at the court.

Kim & Chang’s Constitutional Litigation Practice has an unmatched record, having successfully handled more than 100 major constitutional cases.  We work closely with attorneys experienced in various constitutional matters as well as attorneys familiar with foreign public law, including the nation’s foremost experts in constitutional and administrative law.


Constitutional law requires a particularly unique knowledge of legal theory and practical experience, and our attorneys are unparalleled in both aspects.  Our attorneys are actively involved in various constitutional academic societies and are recognized as industry experts in constitutional litigation, including nominations as the top attorney of the Constitutional Court.

Customized Performance

Constitutional issues may arise independently, but they often arise in the course of litigating civil, criminal, tax, and administrative proceedings.  They may also arise when advising clients in matters such as competition, corporate governance, human resources, and labor.  As such, spotting constitutional issues requires coordinated efforts with qualified experts that specialize in particular industry areas.  Our Practice has successfully represented clients in constitutional litigation, in cooperation with industry experts from the beginning stages of disputes through resolution.

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Unconstitutionality Ruling Cases

Unconstitutionality ruling cases require that the Constitutional Court first determine the unconstitutionality of a law for trial court cases to proceed.  This can take place upon the trial court’s request or pursuant to the petition of a litigant.  Our attorneys have successfully obtained numerous unconstitutionality rulings from the Constitutional Court, especially for cases that could not have been subject to favorable decisions under the relevant laws that were in place at that time. 


Constitutional Complaint Cases

Constitutional complaint cases refer to constitutional challenges filed in the Constitutional Court by an individual whose fundamental rights are infringed by the exercise or non-exercise of public authority.  Where any laws, orders, rules, and measures infringe on an individual’s fundamental rights, an individual may directly file a petition for constitutional complaint seeking remedies through the Constitutional Court.  Meanwhile, in cases where a party’s petition for an unconstitutionality ruling was rejected by the court, the party may file a petition for constitutional complaint directly to the Constitutional Court, thereby obtaining the same legal effect as an unconstitutionality ruling.  We offer unrivaled expertise in all aspects of constitutional litigation, including an excellent track record in constitutional complaint cases.  


Competence Dispute Cases

When disputes over the existence or scope of authority arise among nations, national organizations, and local self-governing bodies, the Constitutional Court resolves such disputes by interpreting the Constitution and relevant laws.  Kim & Chang has successfully represented clients in competence dispute cases arising between two or more local self-governing bodies and between a local self-governing body and a government agency.


Legal Advice in Constitutional Issues

Prior to initiating constitutional litigation, we advise clients by providing professional opinions and advice encompassing a variety of constitutional issues arising from corporate management or individual infringement.

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Our Practice has been successful in protecting the legitimate interests of our diverse group of clients through constitutional litigation including:

  • Businesses and interest groups in Korea and abroad affected by laws or government regulation that restrict business activities;

  • Corporations or individuals subject to excessive taxation due to unconstitutional tax laws and regulations;

  • Corporations or individuals whose fundamental rights are infringed upon by the public authority of the central and local government; and

  • Corporations or individuals that face penalties or issues regarding the validity of election results, due to rules and regulations that infringe upon electoral rights.


We have successfully obtained unconstitutionality rulings by the Constitutional Court in many cases.  When we suspect a client is disadvantaged by a current law or regulation, our attorneys conduct a thorough review of the applicable laws and regulations.  Representative work performed by our Practice are as follows:

  • Constitutional Complaint for Article 58, Paragraph (3) of the Local Tax Act (held unconstitutional);

  • Constitutional Complaint for Paragraph (1), Subparagraph 3 of Article 35 of the Framework Act on National Taxes (held unconstitutional);

  • Petition for request for decision on the constitutionality of law for dominant stockholder related provisions in Article 37-3, Paragraph (1) of the Mutual Savings and Financing Act (held conditionally unconstitutional);

  • Constitutional Complaint for Article 66, Paragraph (1) of the former Corporate Tax Act (held unconstitutional);

  • Petition for request for decision on the constitutionality of law for Article 37-2 of the Mutual Savings and Financing Act (held unconstitutional);

  • Constitutional Complaint for seeking cancellation of decision to dismiss request for national audit (held unconstitutional);

  • Constitutional Complaint for Article 11, Paragraph (1) of the Industrial Sites and Development Act (held constitutional);

  • Constitutional Complaint for Addendum 8 of the former Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act (held unconstitutional);

  • Constitutional Complaint for Article 29, Paragraph (1) of the Monopoly Regulation and Fair Trade Act (held constitutional);

  • Petition for request for decision on the constitutionality of law for Article 30 of the former Foreign Exchange Control Act (held constitutional);

  • Constitutional Complaint for Article 24-2, Paragraph (4) of the Private School Act (held unconstitutional);

  • Constitutional Complaint for Article 5, Paragraph (1) of the Act on the Aggravated Punishment, etc. of Specific Economic Crimes (held constitutional); and

  • Constitutional Complaint for Article 36, Paragraph (2) and Article 14, Subparagraph 1 of the Act on Prevention of Divulgence and Protection of Industrial Technology (held unconstitutional).


We also represent clients in numerous constitutional complaint cases, such as commissions related to online lottery businesses, casino permits, external audit responsibilities of accounting firms, blank trust issues stemming from the Public Service Ethics Act, assignee’s strict liability issues under the Land of the Environment Conservation Act, employment, and normal wage issues under the Act on the Protection of Temporary Agency Workers.


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