Authorities

 Republic of Korea - Central Authority
Address
Central Authority(ies):

National Court Administration

Contact details:
Address: National Court Administration
Attn: Director of International Affairs
Seocho-daero 219
Seocho-gu
SEOUL 137-750
Republic of Korea
Telephone: +82 (2) 3480 1734
Fax: +82 (2) 533 2824
E-mail: [email protected]
General website: http://www.scourt.go.kr/scourt_en/index.html
Contact person: Director of International Affairs
Languages spoken by staff: Korean (by phone), English (by email/fax/in writing)

Practical Information

Blocking statutes: No blocking statute in force.

Chapter I
(Letters of Requests)

Transmission of Letters of Requests: Letters of Request are first sent to the Central Authority of the requesting State before being sent to the Central Authority of the requested State.
Authority responsible for informing of the time and place of the execution of Letter of Request (Art. 7): Judicial authority competent to execute the request and the Central Authority.
Presence of judicial personnel at the execution of the Letter of Request (Art. 8): Declaration of applicability.
Privileges and duties existing under the law of States other than the State of origin and the State of execution (Art. 11): No declaration of applicability.
Translation requirements (Arts 4(2) and 33):  The Republic of Korea will accept only Letters of Request in Korean or English.

The Government of the Republic of Korea wishes to point out that the execution of Letters of Request which are not accompanied by a translation into Korean will take longer than that of Letters of Request with a Korean translation. The Republic of Korea will accept only Letters of Request in Korean from Contracting States which do not accept Letters of Request in either language referred to in the previous paragraph.
Costs relating to execution of the Letters of Request (Arts 14(2)(3) and 26): 1. Request for reimbursement of costs under Article 14(2)
Article 12(7) of the Act on International Judicial Mutual Assistance in Civil Matters provides that the Requesting State ensure the payment of expenses needed for execution of the Letter of Request.
N.B. Under Korean domestic law, there is no obligation upon the parties to secure evidence.
2. There are no constitutional limitations of the kind referred to in Article 26 of the Convention (regarding the reimbursement of fees and costs in connection with the execution of Letters of Request, the service of process necessary to compel the appearance of a person to give evidence, the costs of attendance of such persons, and the costs of any transcript of the evidence).
Time for execution: The following data is in accordance with the recent survey conducted by the National Court of Administration.

In 2012, the Central Authority received 19 Letters of Request. Of these:
• 3 were executed in 2-4 months
• 1 was executed in 6-12 months
• 2 were executed in more than 12 months
• 13 were executed returned unexecuted

In 2014, 11 Letters of Request were received. Of these:
• 2 were executed in 2-4 months
• 2 were returned unexecuted
• 7 are currently pending
Art 23 pre-trial discovery of documents: Qualified exclusion
Information about domestic rules on the taking of evidence:  Civil Procedure Act and Civil Procedure Rules (Part II, Chapter III).

Available at: http://www.law.go.kr/main.html

An English translation is available at: http://elaw.klri.re.kr/

Witness examination under Chapter I

Should Letters of Request include specific questions to be used during witness examination or only a list of matters to be addressed? Yes, specific questions are required for witness examination.
Is it a public or private hearing? In principle, a public hearing is required, however the executing court may order that the hearing be closed (e.g., if there are compelling reasons that a witness has difficulty in testifying in front of a specific person, the presiding judge may order the person to leave the court room while the witness is examined).
Do the judicial authorities "blue-pencil" Letters of Requests (i.e. rephrase, restructure and / or strike out objectionable questions or offensive wording so that a Letter of Request may be executed under the laws of the requested State)? Yes. According to Article 292 of the Korean Civil Procedure Code, the judicial authorities may ex-officio conduct the examination of evidence. As such, the questions may be rephrased to correct errors in translation and objectionable questions or offensive wording may be rephrased or struck out.
Is the witness provided in advance with a copy of the questions / matters to be addressed as contained in the Letter of Request? No.
Are documents produced by the witness authenticated by the court? No.
Is an oath generally administered to the witness? Yes.
Can the witness be made subject to further examination and recall? Yes.
Are there sanctions for non-appearance of witness? Yes. Under Article 311 of the Korean Civil Procedure Code, when a witness fails to appear without any justifiable reasons, a court shall impose on them a fine for negligence not exceeding five million won. When a witness again fails to appear even after receiving a judgment of a fine for negligence under the previous article, without a lawful excuse, the court shall punish them by detention for not more than 7 days.
Must interpreters who assist with the witness examination be court-certified? Yes. More specifically, there is no requirement of a certification as interpreter. However, if a court is to conduct the examination, the court in which proceedings were initiated shall appoint an interpreter (Arts 143, 335 of the Civil Procedure Code).
How is the testimony transcribed? In principle, the sound recording of the testimony shall become part of the proceedings. Transcripts of the testimony may be attached to supplement the recording.

Chapter II
(Taking of evidence by diplomatic officers, consular agents and commissioners)

Article 15
Applicable
Article 16 Not applicable
Article 17 Not applicable
Article 18 No declaration of applicability 

(This page was last updated on 11 February 2015)

Conventions (incl. Protocols and Principles)