초록 close

Police is one of the most important and essential part of state function. The meaning of police and the scope of police law, however, differ from age to age and from state to state. Having accepted the Continental legal tradition, Korean police law has a variety of concepts of police, among which the most important is the material concept. Police in the material sense is generally understood as “activities of state which, on the ground of sovereignty, authoritatively command and coerce citizens in order to preserve public safety and order.” It is compose of three elements: (1) The objective of police is to preserve public safety and order; (2) The means of police is authoritative command and coercion; and (3) The basis of police power is general sovereignty. Each of these elements, as generally explained, has some defects and nowadays needs to be modified. More important is that the relevancy of this concept to real working of the police is under doubt. Police in the material sense is regardless of the agency; it refers to the activities any agency who exercises this power. Thus came the distinction of so-called security police, or general police, which means the activities of general police agencies, and so-called administrative police in a narrow sense, or special police, which means the activities to prevent and remove danger by agencies other than general police. Most Korean administrative law scholars support this wide concept of police comprising both security police and administrative police in a narrow sense. But it is neither appropriate nor necessary to include the latter in police. That should rather be understood as a part of those areas of administration carried out by the agency. If police law should provide directions and guidelines for police agencies, it is desirable and necessary to understand police in a narrow sense, that is, as only the activities of general police agencies. And accordingly the scope of police law is advisable to be limited to the law pertaining to police in a narrow sense