Source : Korea Times
April 24, 2008
The Constitutional Court Thursday dismissed a petition from Internet cafe owners who sought the lifting of a ban on doing business in school zones, saying restricting individual rights for the sake of a "healthy" educational environment serves the public interest.
A group of Internet cafe owners filed the petition after they received a court order that imposed a 1 million won ($1,000) fine on each of them for operating in "school purification zones." In the special zones -- within 200 meters of schools -- "any activities and facilities that have a pernicious influence on society" are banned according to the school health and hygiene law, with game rooms, karaoke rooms and Internet cafes included.
The owners filed a suit to lift the ban, but a local district court ruled against them.
Their final appeal to the Constitutional Court was also dismissed in a ruling approved by seven justices out of nine.
"To set up school purification zones by law can be justified as a means to nurture students in a healthy environment, and the ban is an appropriate measure to serve the purpose of the law," the court said.
Those who violate the regulation can be sentenced to a maximum one year in jail or fined up to 5 million won.
The court also said that the damage to the Internet cafe owners' right to do business is "not so great" as the importance of providing a healthy environment for students.
Link : http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/04/117_23062.html