Goo Hara Act passes National Assembly’s legislation subcommittee, now just two votes away from becoming law

In the midst of the other complicated mess in the news, a bunch of people had been asking for clarification of a seemingly confusing update on the status of Goo Hara Act, which has continued to be pursued by the KARA member’s brother and lawmakers. Thankfully, the update was positive and an even more recent update provides optimism that it may actually get done.

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Backtracking to the start of this due to the confusion aspect of it, Hara’s brother has been fighting since about March 2020 for the act to be passed, with the goal of essentially including a way to challenge the automatic inheritance rights of parents.

The amendment established a “declaration system for loss of inheritance rights” that takes away biological parents’ inheritance rights if they do not fulfill their parenting obligations or commit crimes such as abuse.

The public recognized their case, and they got the signatures necessary to submit the amendment in May of that year. However, ultimately, it was unable to be passed during the 20th National Assembly as they basically ran out of time and had to prepare for the next National Assembly.

As for Goo Hara’s estate itself, in late 2020 the court ruled that 60 percent will go to her father and 40 percent will go to her mother due to the former being the primary caretaker. While her father ended up giving his share of the inheritance to her brother, seemingly out of guilt for how things ended up, her mother took her share despite having abandoned the family when Goo Hara was nine. That ruling is unfortunately final and the fight to pass the Goo Hara Act was always designed to help those who are in their situation in the future.

Going back to the amendment, while the Goo Hara Act had passed initial stages back in 2021 to be included in the 21st National Assembly, no updates had come since. However, around a week ago it was in the headlines again because the Constitutional Court ruled the inheritance laws that the Goo Hara Act revolves around unconstitutional.

According to the legal community on April 25th, the Constitutional Court made a unanimous decision on the unconstitutionality of Article 1112, Section 4 of the Civil Code on this day.
The Constitutional Court stated, “Granting inheritance rights to siblings of the deceased, even though their contribution to the formation of the inherited property or expectations about the inherited property are hardly recognized, is difficult to justify.”
The current Civil Code forces family members to have a certain share of the property left by the deceased.
In addition, the Constitutional Court ruled the provisions of Article 1112, Paragraphs 1 to 3 of the Civil Code, which regulate inheritance to direct lineal ascendants & descendants (parents, children) and spouses of the deceased, as unconstitutional.
The Constitutional Court determined that granting inheritance to family members who have long neglected or abused the deceased contradicts the sense of justice and common sense of the people.

So basically, the big win for the Goo Hara Act is that parts of the provision it aims to alter were ruled unconstitutional. Despite confusion about the status of the Goo Hara Act in the past, now it is in the hands of the National Assembly to pass.

So far, so good, earlier today the amendment passed the Legislation Review Subcommittee of the National Assembly’s Legislation and Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support. That puts it two votes away from finally becoming law.

The amendment will take effect in January 2026 if it passes the plenary session of the Judiciary Committee and the plenary session of the National Assembly on the 28th.

Seo Young Kyo, the Representative who proposed the act, is pleased with the progress but is still fighting for changes. She points out that pushing implementation to 2026 instead of doing it six months after it passes is a betrayal of the public’s will and is trying to get that corrected. Regardless, the relief for me is that there seems to be optimism that this could actually be happening by the end of the month.

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A lot of confusion with this story in the past is likely tied to bills passing certain barriers within the governmental system but not actually passing every stage, and K-pop sites are ill-equipped to handle that kind of nuance and legalese. Still, this time the Goo Hara Act seems like it’s actually on the verge, though I’m not popping champagne until the last two votes are done.

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