Constitution of the Republic of Korea

Constitution Of The Republic Of Korea

Constitution of the Republic of Korea

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The Constitution of the Republic of Korea (South Korea; ) is its basic law. It was promulgated on July 17, 1948, and last revised in 1987.


South Korea's first 1948 Constitution, drafted by Doctor Yu Jin-oh, provided for central control under the President. It was originally based on the Weimar system, in which the president was elected indirectly. It has been amended nine times and almost fully rewritten five times (constitutions of 1960, 1962, 1972, 1980, 1987). In 1919, the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea promulgated a constitution of Korea, but it was ineffective in Colonial Korea. See also: Division of Korea.

The 1948 Constitution was first amended in 1952 ahead of President Syngman Rhee's re-election, providing for direct presidential elections and a bicameral legislature. It was passed with procedural irregularities after fierce debate. In 1954, Rhee again forced an amendment, removing term limits for himself and emphasizing a capitalistic economic model.

Facing widespread public protests against these moves, the Second Republic began with the more democratic 1960 Constitution, creating a cabinet, a bicameral legislature, an election commission, and a constitutional commission. It also provided for elections for supreme court justices and provincial governors, as well as natural law-based individual rights.

With the 1961 "coup d’état" by Park Chung-hee, the 1960 version was nullified, and in 1962, the Third Republic's Constitution...
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