Court scolds autonomous district for ban on assembly due to coronavirus

▲ On April 22, last year, Asiana Keio laid-off workers and members of solidarity organizations began the march of fighting spirit, urging them to return to their original positions before retirement. It is going up toward the house of former Kumho Asiana Chairman Park Sam-gu, Hannam-dong, Seoul.

“Despite the fact that the union was holding an outdoor assembly by reporting it as a legitimate outdoor assembly, the defendant (ward office) completely and uniformly banned the assembly, including the assembly site, without leaving any room for specific or individual circumstances. ”

On the 17th of last month, the 11th Administrative Division of the Seoul Administrative Court (Presiding Judge Kang Woo-chan) rebuked the ward office in a lawsuit against the dismissal of the assembly restriction notice issued by Asiana Keio dismissed workers saying that the assembly restrictions at the Jongno-gu Office in Seoul were illegal. The court rejected the ruling that the freedom to choose a place of assembly should be protected as the core of the ‘freedom of assembly’ guaranteed by the Constitution. Rejection means refusal of a trial on the merits on the grounds of deficiencies in the litigation requirements or inappropriate law.

After the lawsuit was filed, the notice was abolished and dismissed
Litigation costs are imposed on the autonomous district

On May 12, 2020, the union submitted an outdoor assembly report to the police stating that 100 people would participate in the sidewalk and road in front of the Kumho Asiana Group headquarters in Jongno-gu, Seoul to hold a ‘resolution meeting to urge the withdrawal of Asiana KO unfair and illegal layoffs under the pretext of Corona 19’. submitted to The purpose was to condemn the unfair dismissal of Asiana Keio. The police allowed the assembly from May 15 to June 11 that year.

However, on May 26, the ward office announced a notice of assembly restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, making it impossible to hold assemblies near Jongno 1-ga ~ Jongno 6-ga and in front of Jongno-gu Office. In accordance with the Infectious Disease Prevention and Management Act (Infectious Disease Prevention Act), if the notice is violated, a fine of not more than 3 million won will be imposed on the participants of the assembly. Afterwards, the ward office abolished the notice as of November 1 of the following year due to with Corona.

However, the notice, which was abolished after May 27, 2020, when the union filed a lawsuit, became a problem. The court said, “Even if (the plaintiff) receives a judgment to cancel the notice, it cannot be considered that the freedom of assembly, which was restricted during the duration of the notice, cannot be reinstated, so it should be considered that the legal interests have been extinguished.”

Court “The significance of the rally near Kumho Asiana headquarters is significant”

Nevertheless, it denounced it as illegal to ban gatherings through a comprehensive and uniform notice about the meeting place and area in front of the Kumho Asiana Group headquarters. The court ruled, “We will clarify these points, and reflecting this, the costs of litigation shall be borne by the defendant (ward office),” the court ruled.

In particular, he emphasized, “As this rally raises an objection to the layoffs of ‘Asiana Keio’, which has become a social problem, the designation of a meeting place near the Kumho Asiana Group headquarters is very significant.” Kumho Asiana is a ‘key opponent’ to which the union wants to protest, so the place of assembly is an important part of freedom of assembly.

The court said, “The Kumho Asiana side becomes a key opponent to which the union wants to communicate and protest collectively,” the court said. ” he explained. This is interpreted as meaning that the essence of freedom of assembly may be infringed if collective expression of opinions is not possible at the meeting place. The court ruled that “the lawsuit in this case was dismissed, but the defendant (ward office) should bear the costs of the lawsuit.”

Generally, the losing party bears the costs of litigation, but it is evaluated that this judgment is unusual. Lawyer Kim Young-gwan (Public Transport Union Court) who represented the union said, “Even if the necessity to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is acknowledged to some extent, the uniform and total ban on assemblies is a measure that clearly violates the principle of minimal intrusion under the Constitution.” The court seems to have decided that more strict protection should be given when an assembly is banned ex post in response to a legitimate assembly report.”

Leave a Comment