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Statute of Limitations in Civil Claims in Korea

Statute of limitations varies from country to country.



Like in many other countries, Korea also has a statute of limitations. Thus, one must review whether the statute has run out before considering raising a litigation. The Court will make a judgment on the statute of limitations only when the defendant raises the issue. Therefore, even if one’s statute of limitations has expired, there is still a chance to win the case if the opposing party does not refer to the statute of limitations.

In case of general contractual claims, the statute of limitations is 10 years, while it is 5 years for typical commercial claims arising out of commercial contracts that involve a commercial entity. Tort claims must be raised within 10 years from the date the tort was committed, or 3 years from the date the claimant became aware of the damages and the identity of the tortfeasor. 

However, the above explanation is applicable when the governing law is Korean law. Noting that the governing law can be prearranged by the agreement between parties, or can be decided by the Court pursuant to the private international law, one might have to look into other nations’ laws to review the applicable statute of limitations. 

Biryong Lee, Esq.

Attorney at Law

D H Legal Group, Seoul

email: biryong.lee@dhlegal.co.kr