High Court Armed Forces Republic of Korea

Article 110 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea provides, “(1) military courts may be established as special courts to exercise jurisdiction over military trials; (2) the Supreme Court shall have the final appellate jurisdiction over military courts; (3) the organization and authority of military courts, and the qualifications of their judges shall be determined by Act; (4) military trials under an extraordinary martial law may not be appealed in case of crimes of soldiers and employees of the military; military espionage; and crimes as defined by Act in regard to sentinels, sentry posts, supply of harmful foods and beverages, and prisoners of war, except in the case of a death sentence.”


Accordingly, the Military Court Act provides how to organize the military courts, the scope of jurisdiction, the qualification of military judges, the trial procedures, as well as how to organize the military prosecution agencies , their authority and investigating procedures, and military criminal trial procedures.


Further, the Military Criminal Act provides special types of offenses that constitute military crimes, in addition to the general Criminal Act applicable to all citizens.


The Act on the Execution of Criminal Penalties in the Armed Forces and the Treatment of Military Inmates (abbreviated as the Military Criminal Penalties Execution Act ) provides how to treat military prisoners, what their rights are, how to execute their sentences of imprisonment if convicted, and how to operate military correctional facilities, including military prison and facilities for pretrial confinement.


Judgment of the Constitutional Court of Korea regarding Military Courts

In establishing military courts as special courts in accordance with the delegation of Article 110, paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Constitution, considering the special characteristics of military organizations and military tribunals and the need for speedy and appropriate military trial to maintain discipline and commanding authority, it is reasonable and necessary to install military courts in military units [and to] assign convening authority to military commander [which grants them] power to appoint and designate military judges and lay judges from among general officers [...].

(93hun-ba25, Judgment, Oct. 31, 1996)