As South Korean Court Allows Citizens To Engage In Extramarital Affairs, Shareprices Of Condom Stocks Rise

By @vitthernandez on
Punishment for Adultery
A demonstrator holds a placard during a protest against stoning in Trafalgar Square, London, August 28, 2010. The protest was organized to coincide with similar ones in cities around the world after an international campaign was sparked by case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani in Iran; who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery. Reuters

It is no longer a crime to enter into extramarital affairs in South Korea. On Thursday, the country’s constitutional court scrapped the anti-adultery law that was approved in 1953.

News of the court ruling led to a surge in share prices of condom stocks, with shares of Unidus Corp reaching the 15 percent daily gain limit.

Until the court landmark decision, South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines were few of the non-Muslim countries that considered adultery a crime.

Since 1985 when electronic record-keeping started, almost 53,000 South Kkorean were indicted and over 35,000 were jailed for engaging in extramarital affairs, reports the Wall Street Journal.

In 2014, 892 were charged but since people accused of the crime of adultery opted to settle financially, none went to jail for marital infidelity.

Seven of nine judges favoured decriminalising adultery, while two – including Judge Lee Jung-mi, the only woman judge – dissented from the majority decision.

In making the landmark ruling, Presiding Justice Park Han-chul said, “It’s realistically impossible that all unethical acts face criminal justice.”

Seo Ki-seok, explained, “The law is unconstitutional as it infringes people’s right to make their own decisions on sex and secrecy and freedom of their private life, violating the principle banning excessive enforcement under the constitution,” quotes Reuters.

Conservative South Koreans may not like the court’s decision since it has the potential of destroying families. According to a survey of 2,000 adults made in 2014 by the state-run Korean Women’s Development Institute, 60 percent of survey respondents believe adultery should be punished, although 63 percent thought imprisonment was not the proper way of sanctioning those who are not faithful to their marriage vows.

It was the fifth review of the anti-adultery law since 1989, the last being in 2009 when the court rejected a petition to repeal the legislation because of the damaging impact of extramarital liaisons on the social order and its infringement on the rights of others.

To contact the writer, email: v.hernandez@ibtimes.com.au

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