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SPECIAL ACT ON INVESTIGATING THE TRUTH OF THE APRIL 16 SEWOL FERRY DISASTER AND BUILDING A SAFE SOCIETY

Act No. 12843, Nov. 19, 2014

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is, in relation to the disaster that followed the sinking of the Sewol Ferry on April 16, 2014, in the Korean Peninsula Ocean near Jodo-myeon, Jindo-gun, Jeollanam-do, to ascertain the truth concerning the causes of the disaster, the procedures followed to manage the disaster, follow-up measures, etc.; to identify the locus of responsibility; to provide support to victims; and to build and establish a safe society by formulating measures for preventing and responding to further accidents and disasters.
 Article 2 (Definitions)
The terms used in this Act shall be defined as follows:
1. The term “4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster” means the tragedy that followed the sinking of the Sewol Ferry on April 16, 2014, in the Korean Peninsula Ocean near Jodo-myeon, Jindo-gun, Jeollanam-do, which caused a number of victims and sufferers;
2. The term “victim” means a person who was aboard the Sewol Ferry at the time the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster occurred, but who died or whose life or death is unknown, due to the disaster;
3. The term “sufferer” means any of the following:
(a) Any person, other than a victim, who was aboard the Sewol Ferry at the time the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster occurred (excluding those who, as a crew member of the Sewol Ferry, abandoned the ferry without taking necessary action to rescue passengers);
(b) The spouse, lineal ascendants or descendants, and siblings of a victim;
(c) The spouse, lineal ascendants or descendants, and siblings of a person falling under item (a).
CHAPTER II COMPOSITION AND OPERATION OF SPECIAL INQUEST ON 4/16 SEWOL FERRY DISASTER
 Article 3 (Establishment of Special Inquest on 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster)
The Special Inquest on 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster shall be established (hereinafter referred to as the “Inquest”) to perform duties, such as ascertaining the truth regarding the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster, enhancing institutions related to the building of a safe society, and examining support measures for sufferers.
 Article 4 (Independence of Inquest)
When the Inquest performs duties under its authority, it shall maintain political neutrality, as well as independence and objectivity.
 Article 5 (Duties of Inquest)
The Inquest shall perform the following duties:
1. Matters related to investigating the cause of the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster;
2. Matters related to reforming statutes, institutions, policies, practices, etc., which contributed to causing the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster, and formulating corrective measures;
3. Matters related to investigating the appropriateness of the rescue and recovery operations conducted in relation to the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster, as well as the Government's responses;
4. Matters related to investigating the impartiality and appropriateness of press reports regarding the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster, as well as the actual conditions of the defamation of character against sufferers through postings, etc., on the information and communications network;
5. Matters related to requesting the National Assembly to adopt a resolution for appointing special prosecutors in relation to the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster;
6. Matters related to formulating comprehensive measures to build a safe society, including formulating measures to prevent and respond to accidents and disaster;
7. Matters related to establishing and revising rules for the operation of the Inquest;
8. Matters related to examining support measures for sufferers;
9. Others matters which the Inquest determines to be necessary to realize the purpose of this Act.
 Article 6 (Composition, etc. of Inquest)
(1) The Inquest shall be comprised of 17 Commissioners, including five Standing Commissioners.
(2) Ten persons selected by the National Assembly (including two Standing Commissioners); two persons nominated by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (including one Standing Commissioner); two persons nominated by the president of the Korean Bar Association (including one Standing Commissioner); and three persons selected at a meeting of the representatives of families of victims pursuant to Article 50 (5) (including one Standing Commissioner), from among the following persons, shall be appointed by the President, as Commissioners. In such cases, when the National Assembly selects ten persons, the negotiation body of a political party, to which the President belongs or belonged, shall recommend five persons (including one Standing Commissioner); and other negotiation bodies and non-negotiation bodies shall recommend five persons (including one Standing Commissioner):
1. Any current or former judge, public prosecutor, military judicial officer, or attorney-at-law with at least ten years' experience;
2. Any current or former professor, associate professor, or assistant professor at a university or college with at least ten years' experience, in teaching subjects relating to oceanography or ships; political science, public administration, or jurisprudence; media studies; social welfare; etc.;
3. Any person who has at least ten years' experience working in a field related to psychiatry or forensic medicine, as a psychiatrist or a forensic doctor;
4. Any person who has at least ten years' experience working in a field related to accident or disaster management, safety management, or emergency relief;
5. Any person who has at least ten years' experience working in a field of education, journalism, or culture and art.
(3) One Chairperson and one Vice-Chairperson shall be elected, from among the Standing Commissioners, following a resolution by the Inquest.
(4) The Standing Commissioners, including the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Inquest, shall be appointed as public officials in political service.
(5) The term of office of the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Commissioners shall be one year: Provided, That where the operating period of the Inquest is extended, the term of office shall be deemed extended by the same period the operating period is extended.
(6) Where office held by a Commissioner is vacated during the term of office, a person with the authority to select or designate the relevant Commissioner shall select or designate his/her successor within 30 days from the date the vacancy occurs, and the President shall immediately appoint the selected or designated person.
 Article 7 (Operating Period of Inquest) 
(1) The Inquest shall complete its activities within one year from the date the Inquest is fully comprised: Provided, That where it is impracticable to complete its activities within the aforesaid period, the Inquest may extend its operating period by up to six months on only one occasion, following a resolution by the Inquest.
(2) Notwithstanding the proviso to paragraph (1), where it is necessary to prepare and publish a comprehensive report and a white paper prescribed in Article 47 after the completion of its investigative activities, the Inquest may additionally extend its operating period by up to three months on only one occasion, following a resolution by the Inquest.
 Article 8 (Duties of Chairperson)
(1) The Chairperson shall represent the Inquest, and exercise general control over the affairs thereof.
(2) Where the Chairperson is unable to perform any of his/her duties in extenuating circumstances, the Vice-Chairperson or a Standing Commissioner pre-designated by the Chairperson shall act on his/her behalf in the order named.
(3) The Chairperson may propose the submission of a bill regarding affairs under the jurisdiction of the Inquest, to the President.
(4) Where the Chairperson performs duties related to the budget of the Inquest, he/she shall be deemed the head of a central government office defined in Article 6 of the National Finance Act.
 Article 9 (Commissioners' Independence in Performing Duties and Guarantee of Status)
(1) No Commissioner shall be subject to outside instruction or interference in performing his/her duties.
(2) No Commissioner shall be dismissed from office against his/her will, except in any of the following cases:
1. If a Commissioner is unable to perform his/her duties due to mental or physical incapability;
2. If a Commissioner is sentenced to imprisonment without prison labor or severer punishment.
(3) Where a Commissioner falls under paragraph (2) 1, the Inquest may require him/her to retire by a resolution passed with the concurrent vote of two-thirds of all incumbent Commissioners.
 Article 10 (Prohibition of Concurrent Offices of Commissioners, etc.)
(1) A Standing Commissioner shall neither concurrently take any office falling under any of the following, nor perform the duties thereof during office:
1. A public official of any other State organ or a local government (excluding an educational official);
2. Other positions or duties determined by rules of the Inquest.
(2) No Commissioner shall participate in political activities.
 Article 11 (Grounds for Disqualification of Commissioners)
(1) Any of the following persons shall be disqualified from being a Commissioner:
1. A person falling under any subparagraph of Article 33 of the State Public Officials Act;
2. A member of a political party;
3. A person registered as a candidate (including a preliminary candidate) in an election to be held under the Public Official Election Act;
4. A person subject to investigation for directly or indirectly causing the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster.
(2) Where a Commissioner falls under any subparagraph of paragraph (1), he/she shall resign from office ipso facto.
 Article 12 (Exclusion, Challenge, and Abstention of Commissioners)
(1) Where a Commissioner, or his/her spouse or former spouse, is or was a relative (referring to relatives specified in Article 777 of the Civil Act) to a person subject to investigation, such Commissioner shall be excluded from participating in deliberation or resolution on matters related to the person subject to investigation: Provided, That this shall not apply when a sufferer defined in subparagraph 3 of Article 2, is subject to investigation.
(2) Where a Commissioner is deemed unlikely to conduct fair deliberation or resolution, the relevant person subject to investigation may file a request to challenge such Commissioner, with the Inquest. In such cases, where the request to challenge is deemed grounded, the Inquest shall determine to accept the request.
(3) A Commissioner against whom a request to challenge is filed, shall be prohibited from participating in determination under paragraph (2).
(4) Where a Commissioner deems that he/she falls under paragraph (1) or (2), such Commissioner may voluntarily abstain from deliberation and resolution by the Inquest.
 Article 13 (Meeting Proceedings and Quorum for Resolution)
The Chairperson shall preside over Inquest meetings; except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act, resolutions shall be passed with the concurrent vote of a majority of all incumbent Commissioners.
 Article 14 (Publication of Proceedings)
(1) The proceedings of the Inquest shall be disclosed to the public: Provided, That if deemed necessary by the Inquest, they need not be made public.
(2) Where any disclosure is made under paragraph (1), none of the matters to be kept confidential under Article 44 shall be disclosed.
(3) Disclosure referred to in paragraph (1) shall be made by means of disclosure of the meeting minutes, to attendees at, broadcasting, streamed, etc.
(4) Necessary matters concerning the disclosure of proceedings shall be determined by rules of the Inquest.
 Article 15 (Maximum Number of Employees of Inquest, etc.)
(1) The maximum number of employees at the Inquest shall be determined within 120 persons, by Presidential Decree.  
(2) Except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act, matters necessary for the organization of the Inquest shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree, and matters necessary for the operation of the Inquest shall be determined by rules of the Inquest.
 Article 16 (Establishment of Sub-Inquests)
(1) The following Sub-Inquests shall be established under the Inquest, to share and perform some of the duties of the Inquest:
1. Sub-Inquest on Truth Investigation;
2. Sub-Inquest on Safety of Society;
3. Sub-Inquest on Support Assurance.
(2) The Chairperson of a Sub-Inquest shall be designated by the Chairperson of the Inquest, from among the Standing Commissioners.
(3) Article 13 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the proceedings of meetings and the quorum for resolution of the Sub-Inquests.
(4) Except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act, matters necessary for the organization and operation of the Sub-Inquests shall be determined by rules of the Inquest.
 Article 17 (Establishment of Advisory Organs)
(1) An advisory organ may be established under the Inquest, to seek advice on matters necessary for performing the duties of the Inquest.
(2) An advisory organ may be established under a Sub-Inquest referred to in Article 16 (1), to seek advice on matters necessary for performing the duties of the Sub-Inquest.
(3) The members of advisory organs established pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be commissioned by the Chairperson of the Inquest, following a resolution by the Inquest.
(4) Except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act, matters necessary for the organization and operation of advisory organs shall be determined by rules of the Inquest.
 Article 18 (Secretariat)
(1) A Secretariat shall be established within the Inquest, to deal with general affairs of the Inquest.
(2) The Secretariat shall have one secretary-general and necessary employees; and the Vice-Chairperson of the Inquest shall serve as the secretary-general.
(3) Public officials of at least Grade III or public officials belonging to the Senior Civil Service Corps, from among the staff belonging to the Secretariat, shall be appointed by the President, on the recommendation of the Chairperson of the Inquest, after an examination by the Inquest; public officials of Grade IV or V shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Inquest, after an examination by the Inquest; and public officials of not exceeding Grade VI shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Inquest, on the recommendation of the secretary-general.
(4) The secretary-general shall take charge of the affairs of the Secretariat and command and supervise the staff belonging thereto, under the direction of the Chairperson of the Inquest.
(5) Except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act, matters necessary for the organization and operation of the Secretariat shall be determined by rules of the Inquest.
 Article 19 (Status Guarantee of Employees, etc.)
(1) No employee of the Inquest shall be subject to retirement, layoff, demotion, or dismissal from office, against his/her will, unless his/her punishment as declared by a court becomes final or it is by disciplinary action.
(2)  Any employee of the Inquest, other than dispatched public officials, shall be deemed public officials in extraordinary civil service under the State Public Officials Act during the operating period of the Inquest.
 Article 20 (Disciplinary Committee)
(1) A Disciplinary Committee shall be established under the Inquest, to resolve on disciplinary action against the employees of the Inquest.
(2) The composition, competence, and deliberation procedures of the Disciplinary Committee, kinds and effects of disciplinary action, and other necessary matters therefor, shall be prescribed by rules of the Inquest.
 Article 21 (Dispatch of Public Officials, etc.)
(1) If deemed necessary to perform the duties of the Inquest, the Chairperson may request State agencies, local governments, or public institutions designated under Article 4 of the Act on the Management of Public Institutions (hereinafter referred to as “State agencies, etc.”) to dispatch public officials or staff members thereof, to the Inquest, and provide support necessary therefor. In such cases, the heads of State agencies, etc. in receipt of a request for dispatch shall respond to such request without delay, unless they can clearly explain that doing so will cause significant challenges in performing their duties.
(2) Public officials or staff members dispatched to the Inquest under paragraph (1) shall perform affairs of the Inquest, separated from the State agencies, etc. to which they belong.
(3) No State agencies, etc. which have dispatched public officials or staff members under their control to the Inquest pursuant to paragraph (1), shall take unfavorable measures against the said public officials or staff members in terms of human resources affairs.
CHAPTER III INVESTIGATION FOR ASCERTAINING THE TRUTH AND HOLDING OF HEARINGS BY SPECIAL INQUEST ON 4/16 SEWOL FERRY DISASTER
SECTION 1 INVESTIGATION FOR ASCERTAINING THE TRUTH
 Article 22 (Investigation for Ascertaining Truth)
The Inquest may conduct investigation for ascertaining the truth in connection with its duties stipulated in Article 5 (hereinafter referred to as “investigation”), either ex officio or upon request by a sufferer.
 Article 23 (Application for Investigation)
(1) Any application referred to in Article 22 (hereinafter referred to as “application for investigation”) shall be made by a document stating the following matters: Provided, That where the application cannot be made in writing due to extenuating circumstances, it may be made orally:
1. Name and address of an applicant;
2. Grounds for application and facts which serve as the cause for the application.
(2) Necessary matters concerning the procedures, methods, etc. for the application for investigation shall determined by rules of the Inquest.
 Article 24 (Decision of Rejection)
(1) Where an application for investigation falls under any of the following, the Inquest shall reject such application without conducting investigation for the relevant case:
1. When the application for investigation does not fall within the scope of the matters subject to the investigation of the Inquest;
2. When the details of the application for investigation are deemed manifestly false or unfounded;
3. When the application for investigation is filed regarding the facts identical to any other application already dismissed by the Inquest: Provided, That this shall not apply when an applicant submits important explanatory materials not submitted when the previous application for investigation was filed.
(2)  If an application for investigation falls under any subparagraph of paragraph (1), the Inquest shall reject such application, even after it determines to initiate an investigation under Article 25 (1).
 Article 25 (Initiation of Investigations)
(1)  If an application for investigation does not fall under any of the reasons for rejection specified under Article 24 (1), the Inquest shall determine to initiate an investigation and conduct a necessary investigation regarding relevant matters without delay.
(2)  If necessary, the Inquest may conduct a preliminary investigation for determining whether to initiate an investigation, to the extent not exceeding 30 days before such determination.
 Article 26 (Process for Conducting Investigations)
(1) The Inquest may take any of the following measures as part of the process for conducting investigations:
1. To require a person subject to investigation and an expert witness to submit a written statement;
2. To require a person subject to investigation and an expert witness to appear or to make statements;
3. To require a person subject to investigation, an expert witness, and other relevant institutions, facilities, organizations, etc. to submit materials or things deemed related to the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster and the custody of submitted materials or things;
4. Factual statement regarding related institutions, facilities, organizations, etc.;
5. Designating an appraiser and requesting appraisal;
6. On-site investigation of places, facilities, materials, or things by accessing places deemed related to the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster.
(2)  Where the Inquest conducts an on-site investigation under paragraph (1) 6, it may request the presentation of materials or things deemed related to the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster. In such cases, a person in receipt of such request shall comply therewith, without delay.
(3)  Articles 147 through 149 and 244-3 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall apply mutatis mutandis where the Inquest hears statements pursuant to paragraph (1) 2.
(4)  Articles 110 through 112, 129 through 131, and 133 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall apply mutatis mutandis where the Inquest requires the submission of materials or things pursuant to paragraph (1) 3, and any person who refuses to submit materials or things shall explain the reasons for such refusal in detail.
(5)  If deemed necessary, the Inquest may assign a Commissioner or employee of the Inquest to take measures falling under the subparagraphs of paragraph (1).
(6)  Where the Inquest exercises its authority in connection with paragraph (1), any Commissioner or employee who exercises the authority, shall carry identification indicating his/her authority and produce it to interested parties.
 Article 27 (Order to Accompany)
(1)  Where any person deemed having evidential materials or information critical to the investigation of the Inquest (excluding a witness at a hearing, an appraiser, and an expert witness), from among those in receipt of a request to appear under Article 26 (1) 2, fails to comply with the request to appear at least twice without just grounds, the Inquest may issue a warrant to accompany, following a resolution by the Inquest.
(2)  The warrant to accompany referred to in paragraph (1) shall specify the name and domicile of a targe person, the reason for issuing the order to accompany, the place of accompanying, the issuance date, the validity period of the warrant, and the statements that, upon the expiration of the validity period, the warrant shall not be executable and shall be returned, and that any person in receipt of such warrant who refuses to comply therewith, shall be subject to the imposition of an administrative fine, and then shall be signed and sealed by the Chairperson. If the name of a target person is unclear, he/she may be indicated by his/her facial features, physical features, and other specifiable methods, and if he/she has no obvious domicile, the specification of domicile may be omitted.
(3)  The warrant to accompany shall be executed by producing it to a target person.
(4) The warrant to accompany shall be executed by an employee of the Inquest.
(5)  The warrant to accompany to a target person confined in a correctional institution or detention house (including a military correctional institution or detention barrack), shall be executed by a correctional officer, upon delegation by an employee of the Inquest.
(6)  Where a target person who is an active-duty soldier is in the barracks, the commanding officer of the military unit to which the target person belongs shall be bound to cooperate with an employee of the Inquest in executing the warrant to accompany.
 Article 28 (Accusation and Request for Investigation)
(1) If as a result of an investigation, the investigated matters are confirmed to be true and a criminal case is suspected, the Inquest shall file an accusation with the Prosecutor General: Provided, That where the accused is the military personnel or civilian personnel in the military service, the accusation may be filed with the Chief of General Staff of the armed forces to which the said accused belongs or the Minister of National Defense.
(2) Where the Inquest deems that there is a high probability of a criminal act in the process of conducting investigations, the Inquest may request an investigative agency to perform investigations.
(3) The Prosecutor General shall designate a prosecutor to be in charge of the investigation of a case filed by the Inquest, the prosecution thereof, and maintenance of the prosecution, and take measures necessary for the prosecutor to be able to conduct investigations fairly and impartially.
(4) The Inquest may request the Minister of Justice to prohibit or suspend the departure of a person who files an accusation or a request for investigation from the Republic of Korea.
 Article 29 (Periods for Investigations and Trials, etc.)
(1) The investigation and trial of a case filed by the Inquest shall be conducted promptly, taking priority over other cases. The investigation of a case filed by the Inquest shall be completed within three months from the date of accusation, and the judgement on such case shall be rendered within six months from the date of prosecution in the first instance, and within three months from the date of the pronouncement of judgement of the preceding instance in both the second and third instances.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), the period referred to in Articles 361, 361-3 (1) and (3), 377, and 379 (1) and (4) under the Criminal Procedure Act, shall be seven days, respectively.
 Article 30 (Request for Inspection by Board of Audit and Inspection)
(1) If as a result of an investigation, any public official deems deserving disciplinary action prescribed in the State Public Officials Act and other statutes, the Inquest may request the Board of Audit and Inspection to conduct inspection, following a resolution by the Inquest. In such cases, the Board of Audit and Inspection shall notify the findings of inspection to the Inquest within three months from the date it receives such request for inspection.
(2) Where the Board of Audit and Inspection fails to complete its inspection within the period stipulated in paragraph (1) due to extenuating circumstances, it may make an interim report to the Inquest and request an extension of the inspection period. In such cases, the Chairperson of the Inquest may agree to extend the period of inspection by up to two months.
SECTION 2 HEARINGS
 Article 31 (Holding of Hearings) 
(1) Where the Inquest deems necessary to perform its duties, it may hold a hearing, following a resolution by the Inquest, in order to hear the testimony, appraisal, or statement from witnesses, appraisers, or expert witnesses and to take evidence.
(2)  No hearing shall be held with the intention of infringing upon the privacy of an individual or interfering with a pending trial or prosecution of a case under investigation.
(3) A hearing shall be disclosed to the public: Provided, That the Inquest may opt not to disclose any or all of a hearing by resolution.
(4) The procedures and methods for a hearing held by the Inquest pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be determined by rules of the Inquest.
 Article 32 (Request for Attendance of Witnesses, etc.)
(1) Where the Inquest requests for the submission of materials or things or for the attendance of a witness, appraiser, or expert witness in relation to a hearing, the Chairperson of the Inquest shall issue a written request to the relevant person or the head of the relevant agency.
(2) A request to submit materials pursuant to paragraph (1) may be filed in writing, electronic documents, or as recorded on the magnetic tapes or magnetic discs of computers, or other similar media or as being inputted in the computer networks.
(3) Each written request referred to in paragraph (1) shall state the date, time, and place on and at which the materials or things shall be submitted or the witness, appraiser, or expert witness shall attend, and matters concerning legal sanctions where the relevant person fails to comply with such request, as well as, in cases of the witness or expert witness, the major issues to be examined.
(4) Each written request referred to in paragraph (1) shall be served at least seven days before the date the submission of materials or things shall be made or the witness, appraiser, or expert witness shall attend.
(5) With respect to the service of written requests referred to in paragraph (1), the provisions of the Civil Procedure Act concerning service shall apply mutatis mutandis.
(6) Any witness or expert witness requested to attend may submit in advance a written answer to the major issues to be examined.
 Article 33 (Obligation of Witnesses to Attend, etc.)
(1) Except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act, any person requested by the Inquest to submit materials or things, or to attend as a witness, appraiser, or expert witness under Article 32 (1), shall comply with such request, notwithstanding the provisions of other Acts.
(2) With respect to a person requested by the Inquest to submit materials or things or to attend as a witness, appraiser, or expert witness under Article 32 (1), Articles 3 and 4 (1) of the Act on Testimony, Appraisal, etc. before the National Assembly shall apply mutatis mutandis.
 Article 34 (Oaths of Witnesses, etc.)
(1) Where the Chairperson of the Inquest requires a witness or appraiser attending a hearing, to present testimony or appraisal, he/she shall have the witness or appraiser take an oath.
(2) Where any person who attends a hearing as an expert witness agrees to take an oath as a witness, he/she may be examined as a witness.
(3) The Chairperson of the Inquest shall clearly state the meaning of an oath before the oath, and inform the relevant person of the punishment for false testimony or appraisal.
(4) Where any person takes an oath as a witness under paragraphs (1) and (2), Article 157 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall apply mutatis mutandis.
(5) Where any person takes an oath as an appraiser under paragraph (1), Article 170 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall apply mutatis mutandis.
 Article 35 (Protection of Witnesses, etc.)
(1) Any witness who attends a hearing may be accompanied by counsel who is an attorney-at-law to seek advice on his/her legal rights. In such cases, the counsel shall submit a document certifying his/her qualification as an attorney-at-law.
(2) Where a witness or expert witness expresses his/her intention not to admit broadcasting or news photos, or requests a hearing to be held in a closed setting for any special reason, the Inquest may prohibit the recording, videotaping, broadcasting, or photographing thereof or may opt not to disclose any or all of a hearing to the public, by resolution.
(3) No witness, appraiser, or expert witness shall be subject to any unfavorable sanction, other than punishment prescribed by this Act, by reason of his/her testimony, appraisal, or statement at a hearing.
 Article 36 (Verification)
(1) Where necessary for a hearing, the Inquest may conduct a verification of materials or things deemed related to the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster, following a resolution by the Inquest.
(2) Where a verification is conducted under paragraph (1), the Chairperson of the Inquest shall issue a notice to conduct a verification to those who manage the materials or things subject to the verification (in cases of State agencies, etc., referring to the heads of relevant agencies). In such cases, such notice shall be served three days before the date of verification at the latest.
(3) A notice to conduct a verification referred to in paragraph (2) shall specify the Commissioner(s) to conduct the verification, the purposes, objects, methods, date, time, and place of the verification, and other matters necessary for verification.
(4) With respect to State agencies, Article 4 (1) of the Act on Testimony, Appraisal, etc. before the National Assembly shall apply mutatis mutandis.
(5) With respect to the service of a notice to conduct a verification referred to in paragraph (2), the provisions of the Civil Procedure Act concerning service shall apply mutatis mutandis.
CHAPTER IV SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
 Article 37 (Request for Resolution by National Assembly for Appointing Special Prosecutors)
(1) Where investigation by a special prosecutor is deemed necessary in relation to the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster, the Inquest may request the National Assembly to adopt a resolution for treating the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster as a case subject to investigation by a special prosecutor specified in Article 2 (1) 1 of the Act on the Appointment, etc. of Independent Prosecutor.
(2) Even after the period of an investigation conducted by a special prosecutor requested pursuant to paragraph (1), expires, if deemed necessary, the Inquest may request the National Assembly to re-adopt a resolution prescribed in paragraph (1) on only one occasion.
 Article 38 (Cooperation between Inquest and Special Prosecutors)
(1) Where deemed necessary in connection with investigation by a special prosecutor in the course of conducting the investigation, the Inquest may submit materials or present its opinions to the special prosecutor.
(2) Where it is requested by the Inquest, a special prosecutor may assign an assistant special prosecutor to cooperate with the Inquest for performing duties, by presenting opinions, etc.
 Article 39 (Obligation of State Agencies, etc. to Cooperate)
State agencies, etc. shall be obliged to actively cooperate with the Inquest as it performs its duties for investigating the truth.
 Article 40 (Delegation, Entrustment, etc. of Duties)
(1) Where deemed necessary, the Inquest may partially delegate or entrust its duties to State agencies, etc., experts, or private organizations, or it may perform such duties jointly with State agencies, etc., experts, or private organizations.
(2) Necessary matters concerning the delegation, entrustment, or joint performance of duties referred to in paragraph (1) shall be determined by rules of the Inquest.
 Article 41 (Confidentiality)
No former or current Commissioner of the Inquest, employee of the Inquest, member of an advisory organ, appraiser, or no expert or private organization including persons related thereto who or which participates or participated in the investigation according to the delegation or entrustment by the Inquest or who or which performs or performed any duties of the Inquest, shall divulge professional confidential information of the Inquest or use any such information for any purpose, other than performing duties of the Inquest.
 Article 42 (Prohibition of False Personation)
No person shall exercise the authority of the Inquest by falsely pretending to be a Commissioner or employee of the Inquest or a member of an advisory organ, by falsely pretending to have been delegated or entrusted with duties of the Inquest, or by falsely pretending to jointly perform duties of the Inquest.
 Article 43 (Protection of Activities of Inquest, etc.)
(1) No person shall obstruct the performance of duties by a Commissioner or employee of the Inquest, a member of an advisory organ, or an appraiser by violence, intimidation, or force.
(2) No person shall be accorded any unfavorable treatment, such as the removal from office, layoff, reduction of salary, or transfer to another position, on the ground that he/she has provided information or attempted to provide information in relation to the investigation.
(3) The Inquest shall formulate measures for protecting witnesses, appraisers, and expert witnesses, as well as for securing related materials or things and preventing the destruction thereof.
(4) The Inquest may provide necessary support, including the payment of compensation, and proposal of pardon, to a person who presents testimony or statement or submits materials or things important for the investigation.
(5) The details of support and procedures for providing support under paragraph (4), and other necessary matters, shall be prescribed by rules of the Inquest.
 Article 44 (Protection of Persons subject to Investigation, etc.)
(1) No person shall disclose the identity of any person subject to investigation or expert witness, or matters examined with respect thereto, in newspapers, magazines, broadcasts (including Internet newspapers and broadcasts), or any other publication.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Inquest may disclose examined matters, following a resolution by the Inquest: Provided, That this shall not apply where disclosure is limited under the Official Information Disclosure Act or other Acts or when the relevant person's privacy is feared to be invaded.
 Article 45 (Transportation Expenses, Travel Expenses, etc.)
Each person who visits the Inquest or any other place to submit materials or things or to present testimony, appraisal, statement, etc. in accordance with this Act, shall be reimbursed for transportation expenses, travel expenses, and paid daily allowances, lodging, etc., as prescribed by rules of the Inquest.
 Article 46 (Exemption of Liability for Disclosure)
No Commissioner or employee of the Inquest shall have any civil or criminal liability for details disclosed by the Inquest in accordance with this Act, unless he/she is found to have acted either intentionally or negligently.
 Article 47 (Preparation and Submission of Comprehensive Report, etc.)
(1) The Inquest shall prepare a comprehensive report within three months from the date of completing the investigation under this Act and report it to the National Assembly and the President.
(2) Where deemed necessary, in addition to the comprehensive report referred to in paragraph (1), the Inquest may make a special investigative report to the President.
(3) The comprehensive report referred to in paragraph (1) shall contain recommendations for the following:
1. Measures related to reforming statutes, institutions, polices, practices, etc. which caused the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster and formulating measures therefor;
2. Corrective measures regarding State agencies, etc. accountable for the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster, and measures related to disciplinary action against public officials found to be responsible, etc.;
3. Measures for enhancing the impartiality and appropriateness of press reports regarding accidents or disasters;
4. Measures for preventing defamation of character against sufferers of accidents or disasters;
5. Measures for formulating a comprehensive plan for the establishment of a safe society, including the preparation of preventive measures and countermeasures against accidents or disasters;
6. Measures necessary to support sufferers.
(4) State agencies, etc. in receipt of a recommendation specified under paragraph (3) shall implement it, except in extenuating circumstances.
(5) State agencies, etc. in receipt of a recommendation specified under paragraph (3), shall annually report to the National Assembly regarding the details of implementation of the recommendation pursuant to paragraph (4) or the reasons of the failure of implementation.
(6) Where the National Assembly deems the details of implementation reported pursuant to paragraph (5) insufficient, it shall request the relevant State agencies, etc. to supplement the same as necessary.
(7) If State agencies, etc. fail to comply with a request to supplement prescribed in paragraph (6) without just grounds, the National Assembly may demand disciplinary action against public officials found to be accountable.
(8) Where the National Assembly enacts or amends a related Act, it shall reflect the purport of the comprehensive report referred to in paragraph (1), except in extenuating circumstances.
(9) The Inquest may establish and operate a comprehensive report preparation task force under the jurisdiction of the Secretariat, to prepare a comprehensive report referred to in paragraph (1).
(10) The Inquest may conduct an actual status survey and research, to prepare a comprehensive report under paragraph (1).
(11) The Inquest shall publish and disclose a comprehensive report prescribed in paragraph (1) and a white paper which describes the details of activities of the Inquest: Provided, That no disclosure shall be made where disclosure is limited under the Official Information Disclosure Act or other Acts or concerning matters for which the relevant person's privacy is feared to be invaded.
 Article 48 (Establishment of Data Recording Task Force)
(1) The Inquest may establish and operate a data recording task force under the jurisdiction of the Secretariat, to collect and retain materials related to the 4/16 Sewol Ferry Disaster.
(2) The materials collected by a data recording task force shall be kept and displayed at memorial-related sites.
 Article 49 (Period of Existence of Secretariat)
The Secretariat shall be maintained for three months after the completion of the activities of the Inquest, to deal with remaining business affairs of the Inquest.
 Article 50 (Meetings of Representatives of Families of Victims)
(1) The Minister of Oceans and Fisheries shall convene a meeting of the representatives of families of victims (hereinafter referred to as “representatives’ meeting”), to select Commissioners (including Standing Commissioners) prescribed in Article 6 (2).
(2) One person, per victim, who falls under any of the following, may file an application to participate in a representatives’ meeting, with the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries:
1. Spouse of a victim;
2. Lineal ascendants or descendants of a victim;
3. Siblings of a victim.
(3) Where multiple persons apply to participate in a representatives’ meeting referred to in paragraph (2) for one victim, the power of representation shall be recognized in the order listed under paragraph (2).
(4) Where multiple persons of the same order of priority apply to participate in a representatives’ meeting for one victim, the power of representation shall be recognized only when one person is designated to exercise the power of representation by the agreement among those who file an application to participate, which shall be reported to the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries.
(5) The selection of Commissioners (including Standing Commissioners) prescribed in Article 6 (2) by a representatives’ meeting shall require a quorum of two-thirds of the representatives and the concurrent vote of two-thirds of those present.
(6)  Necessary matters concerning the application to participate in a representatives’ meeting, convocation of a meeting, procedures for selecting Commissioners of the Inquest, etc., shall be prescribed by the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries.
CHAPTER V PENALTY PROVISIONS
 Article 51 (Penalty Provisions)
(1) Any person who obstructs the performance of duties by a Commissioner or employee of the Inquest, a member of an advisory organ, or an appraiser, by violence, intimidation, or force, in violation of Article 43 (1), shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not exceeding five years or by a fine not exceeding 50 million won.
(2) Any of the following persons shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not exceeding three years or by a fine not exceeding 30 million won:
1. Any person who damages the reputation of any third person or the deceased, by disclosing the identity of a person subject to investigation or an expert witness, or matters examined with respect thereto, in violation of Article 44 (1);
2. Any person who fails to submit materials or things to a hearing without just grounds;
3. Any witness who fails to attend a hearing, take an oath, or give testimony without just grounds;
4. Any appraiser who fails to take an oath or conduct appraisal at a hearing without just grounds;
5. Any witness or appraiser who gives false testimony or appraisal at a hearing;
6. Any person who interferes with attendance or verification at a hearing by a witness, appraiser, or expert witness.
(3) Any of the following persons shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not exceeding two years or by a fine not exceeding 20 million won:
1. Any person who divulges professional confidential information of the Inquest or uses any such information for any purpose, other than performing duties of the Inquest, in violation of Article 41;
2. Any person who exercises the authority of the Inquest by falsely pretending to be a Commissioner or employee of the Inquest or a member of an advisory organ, by falsely pretending to have been delegated or entrusted with duties of the Inquest, or by falsely pretending to jointly perform duties of the Inquest, in violation of Article 42.
 Article 52 (Accusation)
(1) Where the Inquest deems that a witness, appraiser, etc. has committed any of the offenses referred to in Article 51 (2) 2 through 6, it shall accuse him/her.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Inquest may opt not to accuse him/her when confession is made before an offense is detected.
(3) Upon receiving a written accusation under paragraph (1), the relevant public prosecutor shall conclude investigation within two months from the date of receiving the written accusation, and the Public Prosecutor General shall report the findings thereof to the Inquest without delay.
 Article 53 (Administrative Fines)
(1) Any of the following persons shall be subject to an administrative fine not exceeding 30 million won:
1. Any person who fails to comply with a request to submit materials or things required under Article 26 (1) 3 without just grounds, or who submits false materials or things;
2. Any person who fails to comply with a request to submit materials or things required under Article 26 (2) without just grounds, or who submits false materials or things.
(2) Any of the following persons shall be subject to an administrative fine not exceeding ten million won:
1. Any person who falsely replies to a factual statement prescribed in Article 26 (1) 4;
2. Any person who refuses or interferes with an on-site investigation prescribed in Article 26 (1) 6 without just grounds;
3. Any person who fails to comply with an order to accompany prescribed in Article 27 without just grounds;
4. Any person who accords unfavorable treatment, in violation of Article 43 (2).
(3) Administrative fines referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be imposed and collected by the Chairperson of the Inquest, as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(4) The Act on the Regulation of Violations of Public Order shall apply to matters related to procedures for the imposition, collection, trials, execution, etc., of administrative fines referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2). For the purposes of administrative fines, the Chairperson of the Inquest shall be deemed an administrative agency defined in subparagraph 2 of Article 2 of the Act on the Regulation of Violations of Public Order.
ADDENDA
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on January 1, 2015.
Article 2 (Preparation for Enforcement of this Act)
The appointment of Commissioners or employees of the Inquest, the establishment and promulgation of the rules of the Inquest, related to the enforcement of this Act, the preparation for establishing the Inquest, and the preparation necessary for a meeting of representatives of families of victims, may be performed before this Act enters into force.
Article 3 (Applicability to Beginning of Term of Office of Commissioners)
The term of office of the first Commissioner of the Inquest appointed under this Act, shall be deemed to begin on the date this Act enters into force.