Constitutional Court Dismisses Petitions Against Democratic Party’s Broadcasting and Pro-Labor Bills

SEOUL - The Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that the Democratic Party's (DP) unilateral move to present three broadcasting bills and a pro-labor bill to a National Assembly plenary session was lawful, rejecting a petition filed by the ruling People Power Party (PPP).

According to a new release by the Yonhap News Agency, the PPP's claim that their rights to review the bills were violated was dismissed.

The DP had unilaterally passed three amendments—related to the Broadcasting Act, the Foundation for Broadcast Culture Act, and the Korea Educational Broadcasting System Act—aiming to reform the governance structure of public broadcast media in South Korea. The bills were moved to a plenary session on April 27, a session that was boycotted by the PPP.

This move followed a period in which the Assembly's Legislation and Judiciary Committee, chaired by PPP lawmaker Kim Do-eup, had failed to process these bills for over 60 days. According to the National Assembly Act, if a bill is pending for more than 60 days without reason, respective standing committees can request a direct referral to a plenary vote, with approval from more than three-fifths of the members.

The court stated that the 60-day review period had already expired, and the legislation committee was conducting a policy review beyond its rights for review. The PPP argues that the broadcasting bills would increase the presence of progressive figures on public broadcasting boards, while the DP contends that the bills aim to prevent political influence in the appointment process.

The Constitutional Court also dismissed a separate petition by the PPP against the DP’s unilateral move to present a pro-labor bill, commonly referred to as the "yellow envelop bill," to a National Assembly plenary vote. The bill aims to guarantee bargaining rights for indirectly employed workers and prohibits litigation against unionized workers to suppress their strikes.

In rejecting the PPP's petition, the court observed that the legislation committee appeared to be delaying the review process for the "yellow envelop bill" by repeating procedures not deemed necessary. The DP, which holds a majority in the 300-member National Assembly, has committed to passing both the broadcasting and the pro-labor bills in a plenary session scheduled for November 9.

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