Written by Lawyer Kim Hyun-sik of K&J Law firm
There has been criticism in the past that the punishment for stalking crimes was light due to fines under the Misdemeanor Punishment Act, and the Stalking Punishment Act was first proposed by the National Assembly in 1999, but legislation has been canceled for various reasons. Above The Stalking Punishment Act was passed 22 years after its first initiative in March 2021 and took effect from October 21 of the year after a six-month promulgation period.
▷ A person who commits a stalking crime is sentenced to up to three years in prison or fined up to 30 million won. ▷ A person who commits a stalking crime by carrying or using a weapon or other dangerous goods will be sentenced to up to five years in prison or fined up to 50 million won.
However, Above The Stalking Punishment Act clearly provides a basis for criminal punishment, not misdemeanor, as a sanction for the stalking act immediately before the specific crime. Since the current Stalking Punishment Act stipulates that it is an no-punishment against will, which hinders the early intervention of investigative agencies to protect victims, and the perpetrator is causing secondary stalking or retaliatory crimes for the purpose of agreement, so the government is pushing to abolish it.
In addition, legislation is being promoted to revise related regulations so that electronic anklet can be attached.
Nevertheless, there remains a legislative absence related to "online stalking," and the government is expected to propose a bill to punish "online stalking". This is to specify personal information, distribute and post it to a large number of people, and punish them, including online stalking activities that harass others.
Currently, it is regarded as stalking only when personal information is found, stored private privacy searched online, or when writings and photos are reached to the victim, but according to the revised law, 'personal information, personal location information, credit information, and information that can be synthesized and processed to identify objects are provided or distributed to third parties using an information network system(INS) will be punished by itself, and the ‘Nth Room case’ will be revised to allow stalking punishment.
Online stalking activities to be regulated by the revised Stalking Punishment Act were also criminalized under the current Special Act on the Punishment of Sexual Violence Crimes, Act on Promotion of Information and Communication Network Use, and defamation. Without having to meet the strict requirements required by the above related laws, the Stalking Punishment Act enables immediate regulation, enabling temporary or provisional measures, and enabling a faster investigation.
A recently ruling has been made that attempts to agree on criminal damage will also be punished for stalking crimes if they continue dozens of times against the will of the damage parties. The court said that the attempt to reach an agreement during the criminal trial for violating the Special Act on the Punishment of Sexual Violence Crimes (communication media scandal) on charges that the suspect has already sent sexual shame and disgusting Instagram DM is also stalking.
Stalking crimes usually occur when one side of a relationship demands an end to the relationship, and the general public should clearly recognize that this level of harassment is understood as an act of affection and that stalking is considered a serious crime, not a pre-stage act of the crime.