Following up on the ratification of the Free Trade Agreement among Republic of Korea and United States, a judge of the former wrote on his facebook page: “November 22, 2011, a day when a pro-US-to-his-core president and trade officials sold out the working class and the national economy. I will never forget.” No disciplinary action was taken. Rather, the Supreme Court established and charged a public ethics committee with issuing guidelines on the use of social networks made by government officials.
The case raises interesting observations from two perspectives: one is political-ethical and discusses to what extent the freedom of speech should be limited for people fulfilling peculiar public functions, such as judges; the other is legal-technical and discusses to what extent Social Network Services, such as the personal facebook page, should be considered a “private space”.
This study aims at developing a comparative law analysis dealing with both the perspectives. In particular, the investigation will firstly focus on how the South Korean transplant of the value “freedom of speech” has been accomplished, stressing similarities and differences with the Western model. Therefore, the analysis will move on the doctrine of personal privacy, scrutinizing how civil law, common law and South Korean traditions have dealt or would deal with Social Network Services.
What is politically-ethically acceptable can be legally-technically not possible and vice-versa. With special reference to judicial conduct and to the relevant duty of neutrality, remarks on the solutions that different legal systems would offer shall be done.
Giovanni Tamburrini, Solbridge International School of Business, South Korea
Stream: Ethics; Religion; Philosophy
This paper is part of the ACERP2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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