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[Bills in Focus] News portal transparency, labor union protection and golf course deregulation

June 5, 2023 - 10:05 By Korea Herald

Proposed Bill: Partial Amendment to the Act on the Promotion of Newspapers

Proposed by Rep. Yoon Doo-hyun (People Power Party)

● An increasing number of people have begun using online news services to read the news, implying that public opinion can be significantly influenced by the positioning of news articles. Accordingly, there have been calls to prescribe the duties and public responsibility of online news service providers.

This amendment aims to require online news services to uphold their societal role by specifying the responsibilities of online news services to ensure the fair and transparent delivery of news articles. It also authorizes the minister of culture, sports and tourism to investigate the compliance of online news service providers and request them to submit status data on profits and losses related to news provision.

Proposed Bill: Partial Amendment to the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act

Proposed by Rep. Yun Chang-hyun (People Power Party)

● Despite the growing diversity and complexity of unfair trading practices in the capital market, the current act primarily relies on criminal punishment. However, recurring violations by repeat offenders and the substantial time lag between the violation and the punishment have brought into question the effectiveness of the existing punishment system in maintaining a sound market order. Accordingly, there have been calls to diversify the forms of punishment to prevent more effectively unfair trading practices that harm multiple investors and erode the credibility of the capital market.

This amendment aims to impose additional punishment on individuals who engage in unfair trading practices. Such punishment includes restricting transactions in the capital market for a specific period and limiting activities as the executive of a listed company.

Pending Bill: Partial Amendment to the Trade Union and Labor Relations Adjustment Act

Proposed by Rep. Lee Eun-ju (Justice Party)

● The current act greatly limits trade union activities and easily exposes trade unions and workers to financial risks. Due to the conventional presumption of the worker-employee relationship of the current act, workers in special employment types and indirectly employed workers cannot receive civil immunity for industrial actions. Moreover, the current act only recognizes disputes over working conditions as industrial disputes and very narrowly defines legitimate industrial action. Furthermore, the absence of an upper limit on the amount of damage claims from trade union actions, etc., discourages individuals from participating in trade union activities.

This amendment aims to restrict unreasonable damage compensation claims against individuals, etc., and to protect effectively the three constitutional labor rights in practice by amending and introducing provisions in a direction that modifies the definition of workers, employers and industrial disputes, places stricter restrictions on damage claims and prohibits damage claims against individuals.

Promulgated Bill: Act on Special Measures for the Promotion of Venture Businesses

Competent ministry: Ministry of SMEs and Startups

● This bill aims to improve and supplement some deficiencies in the operation of the current system. It allows the issuance of multiple voting shares with multiple voting rights per share for a venture business’ founder who owns less than 30 percent of issued voting shares due to the inducement of large-scale investment. Moreover, in order to prevent the founder from unfairly taking advantage of their multiple voting shares, this bill prescribes that multiple voting shares shall be converted into common shares in cases where the founder inherits or transfers multiple voting shares or loses their executive role. In addition, this bill imposes limitations on the exercise of voting rights in relation to matters related to director remuneration and the reduction of directors’ liability to the company, ensuring that even multiple voting shares are limited to one voting right per share on these particular issues.

Administrative Announcement: Partial Amendment to the Enforcement Decree of the Installation and Utilization of Sports Facilities Act

Competent ministry: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

● In light of the amendment to the Installation and Utilization of Sports Facilities Act (amended on March 21), this amendment aims to consolidate the act’s enforcement decree and improve fair competition provisions that restrict the site areas of motor racecourses, sledding slopes and golf driving ranges.

This amendment deletes articles that prescribe: (1) the size and time limit for completing the obligatory concurrent construction of a non-membership-based golf course when establishing a membership-based golf course; (2) the amount and timing of funds deposited to the management authority for establishing a non-membership-based golf course; (3) the requirement for such depositors to form a corporation jointly that uses these deposits to install and manage non-membership-based golf courses; (4) the transitional measures concerning the concurrent establishment of non-membership-based golf courses and other relevant matters.


The Korea Herald republishes a weekly legislative report by local law firm DR & AJU LLC to provide the latest information on bills approved, proposed, pending and set to be promulgated. -- Ed.

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Bills in Focus