On March 13, 2013, Open Net filed a constitutional complaint against the Prosecution’s practice of applying the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Act (the “Act”) on virtual child pornography. This is the beginning of a series of campaigns planned to aid legal actions against the Act and to demand its reform.
The Act was enacted to impose aggravated punishment for sexual offenses against children and juveniles. The Act punishes the production, distribution, or possession of pornographic materials in which children are exploited. However, the prosecution and the police have been applying the Act to virtual images such as cartoons or animations where no actual child is exploited, or pornography where an adult wearing school uniforms appears. The court also takes the same approach, and on February 20, 2013, the Suwon District Court sentenced imprisonment under the Act on a school uniform pornography case.
Open Net agrees that it is a serious crime to exploit children or juveniles sexually. However, applying the Act on cases where no actual child victim exists is an excessive exercise of the punitive power and serious infringement on the freedom of expression. We have other laws such as the Criminal Code to regulate those virtual obscene materials. In the complaint, Open Net argued that the relevant provision of the Act is in violation of constitutional principles: the principle of clarity, the rule against excessive restriction, and equality.
Read Korean original here.