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31호 (판례평석) 소수자 및 약자의 권리 보호와 헌법재판 / 임지봉 (PDF)

민주법연 2006.09.03 18:42 조회 수 : 24370 추천:837

소수자 및 약자의 권리 보호와 헌법재판 
- 헌재2006.5.25. 2003헌마715, 2006헌마368 결정의 평석을 중심으로 -
/ 임지봉

[국문 주제어]

소수자 및 약자, 생존권, 기본권의 충돌, 안마사제도, 헌법재판관 인선



Protection of Minority's Rights and Constitutional Adjudication: Focusing on Massagist System Case


Lim, Ji-Bong
Professor, Sogang University


Art. 3 Sec. 1 of Korean Medical Services Act Regulation provided that only the blind could be registered massagists. This provision purported to give the blind a means of living who could not have competitive power in the other occupations. The blind people's monopolization of the massagist occupation had been a customary law in Korea since early 1910s. On June 26, 2003, Korean Constitutional Court ruled for the blind based on the customary law principle and protected the blind's right to survive. 

However, on May 25, 2006, Korean Constitutional Court changed its position and ruled against the blind. The Court invalidated Art. 3 Sec. 1 of Korean Medical Services Act Regulation in that it infringed upon the freedom of occupation of people who are not blind by excessively restricting their right with administrative regulation violating LRA(Less Restrictive Alternative) Rule.    

Art. 15 of Korean Constitution protects freedom of occupation by providing, "All Korean people shall have the freedom of occupation." However, Art. 34 Sec. 5 of Korean Constitution also protects the right to survive of minority people by prescribing, "The government should protect the needy people such as the handicapped, the sick and the old by enacting law." Korean Constitutional Court neglected the blind people's right to survive by excessively focusing on the freedom of occupation who are not blind. Conclusively speaking, I believe this case was about the conflict of two basic rights, the right to survive and the freedom of occupation and the Court should have given precedence to the blind people's right to survive over the freedom of occupation of ordinary people based on the constitutional principle, protection of minority's right, which was more urgent.

To support this conclusion, this paper examines foreign laws supporting the blind people by allowing them to monopolize a certain occupation as well as Korean massagist system for blind people which had been protected by law and custom in Korea for a long time. Finally, this paper pays attention to the issue of diverse composition of Korean Constitutional Court that could represent not only the interests of majority people but also those of minority people.



[Key words]

minority, right to survive, conflict of basic rights, massagist system, selection of constitutional court Justices

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