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SPECIAL ACT ON INVESTIGATING THE TRUTH OF SOCIAL DISASTERS AND BUILDING A SAFE SOCIETY

Act No. 15213, Dec. 12, 2017

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is, in relation to the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster, to build and establish a safe society by investigating the truth about the causes of such Disasters, the procedures followed, subsequent measures taken, etc.; identifying those responsible therefor; providing support for sufferers; and formulating a plan to prevent and respond to accidents and disasters.
 Article 2 (Definitions)
The terms used in this Act shall be defined as follows:
1. The term "Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster" means a series of incidents that caused the deaths of a number of victims and harm to the health of a number of sufferers, such as pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary injury, or respiratory disease, due to exposure to humidifier disinfectants containing toxic chemicals;
2. The term "April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster" means the incident that caused a number of victims and sufferers following the sinking of the Sewol Ferry on April 16, 2014, in the Korean Peninsula Ocean near Jodo-Myeon, Jindo-Gun, Jeollanam-Do;
3. The term "victim" means any of the following persons:
(a) Any person who deceased among victims of humidifier disinfectants defined in subparagraph 4 of Article 2 of the Special Act on Remedy for Damage Caused by Humidifier Disinfectants;
(b) Any person who deceased aboard the Sewol Ferry at the time the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster occurred or is still missing;
4. The term "sufferer" means any of the following persons:
(a) Any person who suffered harm to his/her health among victims of humidifier disinfectants defined in subparagraph 4 of Article 2 of the Special Act on Remedy for Damage Caused by Humidifier Disinfectants;
(b) Any person, other than victims, who was aboard the Sewol Ferry at the time the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster occurred (excluding those who, as a crew member of the Sewol Ferry, abandoned the Sewol Ferry without taking necessary action to rescue passengers);
(c) The spouse, lineal ascendant(s) or descendant(s), and sibling(s) of a victim;
(d) The spouse, lineal ascendant(s) or descendant(s), and sibling(s) of a person referred to in items (a) and (b);
5. The term "toxic chemical" means any toxic chemical defined in subparagraph 2 of Article 2 of the Special Act on Remedy for Damage Caused by Humidifier Disinfectants.
CHAPTER II COMPOSITION AND OPERATION OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATION COMMISSION ON HUMIDIFIER DISINFECTANT DISASTER AND APRIL 16 SEWOL FERRY DISASTER
 Article 3 (Establishment of Special Investigation Commission on Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster)
The Special Investigation Commission on the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster (hereinafter referred to as the "Commission") shall be established to perform such duties as investigating the truth about the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster, improving systems related to building a safe society, and inspecting measures to support sufferers.
 Article 4 (Independence of Commission)
The Commission shall maintain political neutrality, independence, and objectivity in performing duties under its authority.
 Article 5 (Duties of Commission)
Duties of the Commission are as follows:
1. Investigate the causes of the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster;
2. Amend statutes, systems, policies, practices, etc. which contributed to the cause of the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster and formulate corrective measures;
3. Investigate the appropriateness of rescue and salvage operations conducted in relation to the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster and the response(s) of the Government;
4. Thoroughly inspect the hull of the Sewol Ferry salvaged and placed on land;
5. Request the National Assembly to adopt a resolution for appointing an independent prosecutor in relation to the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster;
6. Formulate comprehensive measures to build a safe society, such as formulating a plan to prevent and respond to accidents and disasters;
7. Enact and amend the rules for operating the Commission;
8. Inspect measures to support sufferers;
9. Other matters the Commission deems necessary to perform the duties referred to in subparagraphs 1 through 8.
 Article 6 (Composition, etc. of Commission)
(1) The Commission shall be comprised of nine members, including five standing members.
(2) The President shall appoint nine persons recommended by the National Assembly (the Commission shall be comprised of one person recommended by the Speaker of the National Assembly, four persons recommended by the negotiation body of the political party to which the President belongs or belonged, and four persons recommended by other negotiation bodies; standing members shall be comprised of one person recommended by the Speaker of the National Assembly, two persons recommended by the negotiation body of the political body to which the President belongs or belonged, and two persons recommended by other negotiation bodies) from among the following persons:
1. A person who is or was a judge, public prosecutor, military judiciary, or attorney-at-law for at least ten years;
2. A person who is or was a professor, associate professor, or assistant professor at a university for at least ten years;
3. A person who is or was engaged in the field related to accident or disaster management, safety management, or emergency relief for at least ten years;
4. A person who is or was engaged in the field related to the maritime, ship, or diving for at least ten years;
5. A person who is or was engaged in the field related to environmental health, such as chemical substances, toxicology, preventive medicine, occupational and environmental medicine, for at least ten years;
6. A person who is or was engaged in the fields of education, journalism, religion, culture, or art for at least ten years;
7. A person who has at least ten years’ experience in fact-finding investigations and is deemed to have extensive knowledge and experience related thereto;
8. A person who works or has worked at the National Human Rights Commission of Korea or at an organization related to human rights for at least ten years;
9. A person who is or was engaged in the field of investigation or intelligence-gathering for at least ten years.
(3) One Chairperson and one Vice Chairperson shall be elected by vote from among the standing members of the Commission.
(4) Pubic officials in political service shall be appointed as standing members, the Chairperson, and the Vice Chairperson.
(5) The Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson, and members shall serve until the expiration of the period for which the Commission is permitted to operate: Provided, That where the operating period of the Commission is extended, the term of office thereof shall be deemed extended by such period.
(6) Where a vacancy occurs during the term of office, a person with the authority to recommend the relevant member shall recommend the successor within 30 days from the date the vacancy occurs, and the President shall immediately appoint the recommend person as a member.
 Article 7 (Operating Period of Commission)
The Commission shall complete its activities within one year from the date the first determination to commence an investigation is made under Article 25: Provided, That where it is impracticable to complete its activities within the aforesaid period, the Commission may, by resolution, extend such operating period by up to one year only once.
 Article 8 (Duties of Chairperson)
(1) The Chairperson shall represent the Commission and exercise general supervision over its affairs.
(2) Where the Chairperson is unable to perform his/her duties due to extenuating circumstances, the Vice Chairperson or a standing member pre-designated by the chairperson shall act on his/her behalf in the order named.
(3) The Chairperson may propose that the President submit items for deliberation and discussion related to the Chairperson’ duties.
(4) The Chairperson shall be deemed the head of a central government agency pursuant to Article 6 of the National Finance Act for the purposes of performing duties related to the budget of the Commission.
 Article 9 (Members’ Independence in Performing Duties and Guarantee of Status)
(1) Commission members shall perform their duties independently without any external instruction or interference.
(2) No Commission member shall be dismissed from office against his/her will, except in any of the following cases:
1. Where a member has substantial difficulty in performing his/her duties due to a physical or mental disability;
2. Where a member is deemed to have interfered with the affairs of the Commission or have intentionally inflicted damage to the Commission;
3. Where a sentence of imprisonment or more severe punishment imposed on a member is upheld.
 Article 10 (Prohibition, etc. of Members from Holding Concurrent Offices)
(1) A standing member shall neither hold concurrent offices nor perform duties while in office as follows:
1. A public official of any other State agency or local government (excluding an educational official);
2. Other offices or duties provided for by the Rules of the Commission.
(2) No Commission member shall engage in political activities.
 Article 11 (Grounds for Disqualification of Members)
(1) None of the following persons shall be a Commission member:
1. Any person referred to in the subparagraphs 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) for an election held pursuant to the Public Official Election Act;
4. A person subject to investigation for directly or indirectly causing the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster or the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster.
(2) A Commission member shall resign from office, if the member falls under any of the subparagraphs of paragraph (1).
 Article 12 (Exclusion of, Challenge to, and Refrainment by, Members)
(1) Where a Commission member or his/her current or former spouse is or was a relative (referring to relatives referred to in Article 777 of the Civil Act) of a person subject to investigation, the member shall be excluded from deliberation and decision-making on matters related to the person subject to investigation: Provided, That the foregoing shall not apply where a sufferer defined in subparagraph 4 of Article 2 is subject to investigation.
(2) Where any ground arises making it impracticable to expect fair deliberation or decision-making of a Commission member, a person subject to investigation or an applicant for investigations may file a request to challenge the Commission member with the Commission. In such cases, the Commission shall decide on challenging the Commission member, if the application for challenge is deemed appropriate.
(3) A Commission member to whom a request for challenge is filed shall not participate in decision-making under paragraph (2).
(4) A Commission member may voluntarily refrain from deliberation or decision-making by the Commission, if the member deems that he/she falls under paragraph (1) or (2).
 Article 13 (Proceedings of Meetings and Quorum to Adopt Resolutions)
The Chairperson shall preside over Commission meetings, and resolutions shall be passed when a quorum constituting a majority of the incumbent members are present and with the concurrent vote of a majority of the members present, except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act.
 Article 14 (Disclosure of Proceedings)
(1) The Commission shall disclose the proceedings of meetings: Provided, That it may choose not to disclose the proceedings, where deemed necessary.
(2) The Commission shall disclose the proceedings of meetings under paragraph (1) by making minutes available for public inspection, opening the place of meeting to the public, and broadcasting or streaming meetings via the Internet.
(3) Matters necessary to disclose the proceedings of meetings shall be provided for by the Rules of the Commission.
 Article 15 (Maximum Number of Commission Staff, etc.)
(1) The maximum number of Commission staff, excluding Commission members, shall be provided for by Presidential Decree within a limit of 120 persons.
(2) Matters necessary for the organizational structure of the Commission shall be provided for by Presidential Decree and matters necessary for operating the Commission shall be provided for by the Rules of the Commission, except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act.
 Article 16 (Establishment of Subcommittees)
(1) The Commission shall establish the following subcommittees to perform some of its duties:
1. A subcommittee to investigate the truth of the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster;
2. A subcommittee to investigate the truth of the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster;
3. A subcommittee to build a safe society;
4. A subcommittee to provide support.
(2) The Chairperson shall appoint the chairperson of each subcommittee from among the standing members.
(3) The chairperson of each subcommittee shall administer the affairs and direct and supervise staff members under his/her authority under the direction of the Chairperson.
(4) Article 13 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the proceedings of meetings and quorum in the adoption of resolution(s) by each subcommittee.
(5) Matters necessary for the organizational structure and operation of subcommittees shall be provided for by the Rules of the Commission, except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act.
 Article 17 (Establishment of Advisory Board)
(1) The Commission and subcommittees may have an advisory board to seek advice on matters necessary to perform their duties.
(2) The Chairperson shall commission members of the advisory board referred to in paragraph (1) following a resolution by the Commission.
(3) Matters necessary for the organizational structure and operation of the advisory board shall be provided for by the Rules of the Commission, except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act.
 Article 18 (Establishment of Secretariat)
(1) A secretariat shall be established in the Commission to perform administrative duties.
(2) A secretary-general and necessary staff members shall be assigned to the secretariat, and a member in Class A special service of the Senior Executive Service shall be appointed as the secretary-general.
(3) The President shall appoint public officials of Grade 3 or higher grade, or members of the Senior Executive Service among staff members of the secretariat on the recommendation of the Chairperson after examination by the Commission, and the Chairperson shall appoint public officials of Grade 4 or lower grade after examination by the Commission.
(4) The secretary general shall administer the affairs of the secretariat and direct and supervise staff members under his/her authority under the direction of the Chairperson.
 Article 19 (Guarantee of Status of Staff Members)
(1) No Commission staff member shall resign, be terminated, demoted, or dismissed from office, against his/her will, except in circumstances where a sentence is upheld or he/she is subjected to disciplinary action.
(2) Commission staff members, with the exception of dispatched public officials, shall be deemed public officials in special service under the State Public Officials Act for the operating period of the Commission.
 Article 20 (Disciplinary Committee)
(1) A disciplinary committee shall be established in the Commission to resolve any disciplinary action against Committee staff members.
(2) The composition, authority, and procedures for deliberation of the disciplinary committee, types and effect of disciplinary action, and other matters necessary for disciplinary action shall be provided for by the Rules of the Commission.
 Article 21 (Dispatch of Public Officials, etc.)
(1) The Chairperson may request State agencies, local governments, and public institutions referred to in 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 and provide necessary support, if deemed necessary to perform the duties of the Commission. In such cases, the heads of State agencies, etc. requested to dispatch public officials or staff members shall promptly provide cooperation, unless an explanation that doing so causes significant challenges in the performance of their duties.
(2) Public officials or staff members dispatched to the Commission pursuant to paragraph (1) shall perform the duties of the Commission independently of the State agencies, etc. to which they belong.
(3) No State agencies, etc. which have dispatched public officials or staff members pursuant to paragraph (1) shall take any unfavorable measures against the public officials or staff members regarding personnel management.
(4) State agencies, etc. shall comply with the request of the Chairperson to withdraw dispatch.
(5) The assignment of public officials or staff members dispatched by State agencies, etc. and other related matters shall be provided for by the Rules of the Commission.
CHAPTER III INVESTIGATIONS AND HEARINGS TO ASCERTAIN TRUTH BY SPECIAL INVESTIGATION COMMISSION ON HUMIDIFIER DISINFECTANT DISASTER AND APRIL 16 SEWOL FERRY DISASTER
SECTION 1 Investigations to Ascertain Truth
 Article 22 (Investigations to Ascertain Truth)
The Commission shall conduct investigations to ascertain the truth of the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster (hereinafter referred to as “investigation”) on its own authority, and may conduct investigations regarding the duties pursuant to Article 5 upon application by any sufferer.
 Article 23 (Application for Investigations)
(1) An application referred to in Article 22 (hereinafter referred to as "application for investigations") shall be made in writing stating the following: Provided, That where there are special circumstances under which an application cannot be made in writing, it may be made orally:
1. Name and address of an applicant;
2. Grounds for filing an application and facts based on which an application is filed.
(2) Procedures and methods for filing applications for investigation and other necessary matters shall be provided for by the Rules of the Commission.
 Article 24 (Decision of Rejection)
(1) The Commission shall reject an application for investigations without investigating the relevant case where the application falls under any of the following:
1. Where the application for investigations does not fall within the scope of investigation by the Commission;
2. Where the content of the application for investigations is deemed clearly false or groundless;
3. Where the application for investigations is filed based on identical facts to any other application already rejected by the Commission: Provided, That the foregoing shall not apply where an applicant submits important explanatory materials not submitted for a previously filed application for investigations.
(2) Where an application for investigations falls under any subparagraph of paragraph (1) even after the Commission decides to commence investigations under Article 25 (1), such application for investigations shall be rejected.
 Article 25 (Commencement of Investigations)
(1) The Commission shall commence investigations by passing a resolution.
(2) The Commission may conduct preliminary investigations for a period not exceeding 30 days to decide whether to commence investigations before deciding to proceed with investigations, where necessary.
 Article 26 (Methods for Conducting Investigations)
(1) The Commission may conduct investigations by the following methods:
1. Requesting a written statement from a person subject to investigation and unsworn witnesses;
2. Requesting a person subject to investigation and an unsworn witness to attend for taking statements;
3. Requesting materials or items the Commission deems necessary to perform the duties provided for in Article 5 from a person subject to investigation and an unsworn witness, and other related institutions, establishments, organizations, etc., and taking custody of the submitted materials or items;
4. Making fact-checking inquiries to related institutions, establishments, organizations, etc.;
5. Designating an expert witness and requesting opinions from the expert witness;
6. Having access to a place which the Commission need to enter to perform the duties provided for in Article 5 and conducting on-site investigations of the place, facilities, materials, or items.
(2) Any person who receives a request from the Commission under paragraph (1), such as taking measures, shall immediately comply with the request.
(3) Articles 147 through 149 and 244-3 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall apply mutatis mutandis where the Commission takes 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 Commission requests materials or items from persons subject to investigation and unsworn witnesses, and other related institutions, establishments, organizations, etc. pursuant to paragraph (1) 3, and any person who refuses to submit materials or items shall provide an explanation as to the reason for such refusal in detail.
(5) The Commission may require a Commission member or staff member to take any measure pursuant to the subparagraphs of paragraph (1), where deemed necessary.
(6) Where the Commission exercises its authority pursuant to paragraph (1), a Commission member or staff member who exercises such authority shall carry identification indicating such authority and produce it to a relevant person.
(7) The Commission may conduct investigations into the following by inspecting, copying or requesting duplicates (hereinafter referred to as "inspection, etc.”) of investigation records, court records, and other records (hereinafter referred to as "investigation records, etc."). Paragraphs (1) through (6), Articles 27, and 31 through 36 shall not apply in such cases:
1. Matters ascertained as fact through investigations completed by the following organizations:
(a) The Special Investigation Commission on the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster established under the Special Act on Investigating the Truth of the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster and Building a Safe Society;
(b) The Sewol Investigation Commission established under the Special Act on Establishment and Operation of the Commission on Investigating the Hull of the Sewol Ferry;
(c) The Special Investigation Commission on State Administration for ascertaining the truth of the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster, remedying damage, and preparing measures to prevent the recurrence thereof;
2. Criminal facts about cases in which a criminal proceeding is ongoing or concluded.
(8) Paragraph (7) shall not apply where a new clue or evidence is submitted.
(9) Where the Commission requests inspection, etc. of investigation records, etc. pursuant to paragraph (7), a person who receives such request shall comply therewith.
 Article 27 (Summons to Appear Before Commission)
(1) Where a person who has been requested to attend pursuant to Article 26 (1) 2 and deemed to have material evidence or information about investigations by the Commission (excluding witnesses, expert witnesses, and unsworn witnesses at hearings) refuses to attend at least twice without just cause, the Commission may, by resolution, issue a summons requiring the person to appear before the Commission.
(2) A summons issued under paragraph (1) shall contain the name and address of the person to be summoned; reasons for summoning the person to appear before the Commission; the place where the person is to appear; the date the summons is issued; the period of validity; a statement that the summons shall not be executed and shall be returned, if the period of validity expires; and a statement that an administrative fine shall be imposed, if the person refuses to appear after receiving the summons, and shall be signed and sealed by the Chairperson. Where the name of the person to be summoned is unclear, his/her features, build, and other matters that may identify the person to be summoned may be indicated thereon, and where his/her address is unknown, the address may be omitted.
(3) A summons to appear before the Commission shall be served by presenting it to the relevant person.
(4) A summons to appear before the Commission shall be served by a staff member of the Commission.
(5) Where an inmate in a correctional facility or detention center (including a military correctional facility or detention center) is required to appear before the Commission, a correctional officer shall serve the summons on the inmate through delegation from a staff member of the Commission.
(6) Where a person to be summoned before the Commission is an active-duty soldier in the barracks, the officer in command of the military unit to which the person belongs is obligated to cooperate with a staff member of the Commission in the service of the summons to appear before the Commission on such person.
 Article 28 (Filing Indictments and Requesting Investigations)
(1) Where the matters investigated by the Commission are ascertained as fact and a crime is suspected, the Commission shall file an indictment with the Prosecutor General: Provided, That where the accused is a soldier or civilian personnel in the military service, the Commission shall file an indictment with the Chief of Staff of the armed forces to which the accused belongs or the Minister of National Defense.
(2) Where the Commission deems that there is high probability of a criminal act in the course of the investigation, it may request an investigative agency to conduct investigations.
(3) The Prosecutor General shall appoint a public prosecutor to lead the investigations of a case on which the Commission has filed an indictment, to file for a prosecution, and to proceed with the prosecution, and shall take measures necessary for the public prosecutor to conduct investigations fairly and impartially.
(4) The Commission may request the Minister of Justice to prohibit or suspend a person indicted or requested for investigations from leaving the Republic of Korea.
 Article 29 (Period, etc. of Investigations and Trial)
(1) An investigation and trial of a case on which the Commission files an indictment shall be conducted promptly and preferentially to other cases. The investigation of a case on which the Commission files an indictment shall be completed within three months from the date the indictment is filed, and judgment on such trial shall be rendered within six months from the date of the prosecution thereof at the court of first instance, and within three months respectively from the date the lower court renders judgment in case of the appellate court and the Supreme Court.
(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) of the Criminal Procedure Act shall be seven days, respectively.
 Article 30 (Requesting Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea to Audit)
(1) The Commission may request the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea, by resolution of the Commission, to audit a public official deemed to deserve disciplinary action provided for in the State Public Officials Act and other statutes by the investigation. In such cases, the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea shall notify the Commission of the findings of an audit within three months from the date it receives a request for audit.
(2) Where the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea fails to complete its audit within the period provided for in paragraph (1) with just cause, the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea may provide an interim report to the Commission and request an extension of the audit period. In such cases, the Chairperson may agree to extend the audit period not exceeding two months.
SECTION 2 Hearings
 Article 31 (Holding Hearings)
(1) The Commission may hold hearings by resolution to take testimonies from witnesses, hear opinions from expert witnesses, take statements from unsworn witnesses, and to adopt evidence, where deemed necessary to perform its duties
(2) The Commission shall not hold any hearing on the infringement of privacy of an individual or for intervening in an ongoing court proceeding or the prosecution of a case under investigation.
(3) Hearings shall be open to the public: Provided, That all or some hearings may be closed to the public by resolution of the Commission.
(4) Procedures and methods for holding hearings by the Commission pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be provided for by the Rules of the Commission.
 Article 32 (Support from the State, etc.)
The Commission may request State agencies, etc. to provide a place and administrative support to hold hearings and other necessary facilities, and the State agencies, etc. shall comply with such request unless just cause exists.
 Article 33 (Requesting Attendance, etc. of Witnesses)
(1) Where the Commission requests the presentation of materials or items or the attendance of witnesses, expert witnesses, and unsworn witnesses in relation to hearings, the Chairperson shall issue a written request to the relevant persons or the heads of the relevant agencies.
(2) Where the Commission requests the presentation of materials pursuant to paragraph (1), the Chairperson may require the materials to be presented in writing, electronically, or recorded on the magnetic tape or computer disk or other similar media, or to be entered via an electronic network.
(3) A written request issued pursuant to paragraph (1) shall state the date, time, and place on and at which materials or items shall be submitted or a witness, expert witness, or unsworn witness shall attend, and the legal sanctions to be imposed for failure to comply with the request of the Commission, and a written request issued to a witness or an unsworn witness shall additionally state substantial issues to be examined.
(4) A written request issued pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be served seven days prior to the date by which the materials or items shall be submitted or on which the date a witness, expert witness or unsworn witness shall attend.
(5) Provisions of the Civil Procedure Act providing the service of documents shall apply mutatis mutandis to the service of written requests referred to in paragraph (1).
(6) A witness or an unsworn witness requested to attend may submit beforehand a written answer to the substantial issues to be examined.
 Article 34 (Obligations of Witnesses, etc. to Attend)
(1) Any person requested to submit materials or items or to attend as a witness, expert witness, or unsworn witness pursuant to Article 33 (1) shall comply with such request, notwithstanding the provisions of other Acts, except as otherwise expressly provided for in this Act.
(2) Articles 3 and 4 (1) of the Act on Testimony, Appraisal, etc. before the National Assembly shall apply mutatis mutandis to persons requested to submit materials or items or to attend as a witness, expert witness, or unsworn witness pursuant to Article 33 (1).
 Article 35 (Oath by Witnesses, etc.)
(1) Where the Chairperson requires a witness to testify at a hearing or an expert witness to provide an expert opinion at a hearing, the witness or expert witness shall be required to take an oath.
(2) Where a person who attends a hearing as an unsworn witness consents to take an oath as a witness, such person may be examined as a witness.
(3) The Chairperson shall fully explain the meaning of an oath and inform that a punishment shall be imposed for perjury or a false expert opinion before a witness or expert witness takes an oath.
(4) Article 157 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall apply mutatis mutandis where a person takes an oath as a witness pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2).
(5) Article 170 of the Criminal Procedure Act shall apply mutatis mutandis where an expert witness takes an oath pursuant to paragraph (1).
 Article 36 (Protection of Witnesses, etc.)
(1) A witness may be accompanied by legal counsel, who is an attorney-at-law, to a hearing to seek advice on his/her legal rights. In such cases, the legal counsel shall submit a document certifying his/her qualification as an attorney-at-law.
(2) The Commission may prohibit recording, video-recording or broadcasting or photographing, or may have the hearing fully or partially closed to the public, by resolution where a witness or an unsworn witness expresses his/her intention to decline broadcasting or news photographs or requests a hearing to be closed to the public for special circumstances
(3) No witness, expert witness, or unsworn witness shall be subjected to any unfavorable disposition, other than punishments provided for by this Act, due to the testimony, expert opinion, or statement provided at a hearing.
 Article 37 (Verification)
(1) The Commission may verify materials or items deemed related to the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster or the Sewol Ferry Disaster by resolution, where necessary for hearings.
(2) Where the Commission intends to verify materials or items pursuant to paragraph (1), the Chairperson shall give notice of verification to the manager of the materials or items subject to verification (in case of a State agency, etc., referring to the head of the State agency). In such cases, notice of verification shall be delivered three days prior to the date of verification.
(3) Notice of verification given under paragraph (2) shall state Commission members to provide verification, the purpose of verification, materials or items subject to verification, methods for verification, the date and place of verification, and other necessary matters required for verification.
(4) Article 4 (1) of the Act on Testimony, Appraisal, etc. before the National Assembly shall apply mutatis mutandis to State agencies, etc.
(5) Provisions of the Civil Procedure Act providing for the service of documents shall apply mutatis mutandis to the service of notice of verification under paragraph (2).
CHAPTER IV SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
 Article 38 (Requesting National Assembly to Adopt Resolution for Appointing Independent Prosecutor)
(1) The Commission may at any time request the National Assembly to adopt a resolution so that the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster or the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster may be subject to investigations by an independent prosecutor under Article 2 (1) 1 of the Act on the Appointment, etc. of Independent Prosecutor where an investigations by an independent prosecutor is deemed necessary in relation to the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster or the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster.
(2) Where the Commission makes a request pursuant to paragraph (1), the competent standing committee of the National Assembly shall complete examining the relevant agenda item within three months from the date such request for examination is made.
(3) Where the competent standing committee of the National Assembly fails to complete examining the relevant agenda item within the period referred to in paragraph (2), the relevant agenda item shall be deemed completely examined by the competent standing committee of the National Assembly and immediately submitted to a plenary session on the day after the expiration of such period, and the relevant agenda item shall be presented to the first plenary session held after the relevant agenda item is submitted.
 Article 39 (Cooperation between Commission and Independent Prosecutor)
(1) The Commission may submit materials or present its opinion to an independent prosecutor in the course of investigations, if deemed necessary for the investigations by the independent prosecutor.
(2) Upon receipt of a request by the Commission, the independent prosecutor may require assistant prosecutors to cooperate with the Commission in performing its duties in such a manner as presenting opinions.
 Article 40 (Obligations of State Agencies, etc. to Cooperate)
Upon receipt of a request by the Commission, State agencies, etc. shall fully cooperate with the Commission in the performance of its duties such as the provision of necessary facilities to investigate the truth.
 Article 41 (Delegation, Entrustment, etc. of Duties)
(1) The Commission may delegate or entrust part of its duties to a State agency, etc., expert, or private organization or jointly perform part of its duties with a State agency, etc., expert, or private organization, where deemed necessary.
(2) Matters necessary to delegate, entrust and jointly perform duties under paragraph (1) shall be provided for by the Rules of the Commission.
 Article 42 (Duty to Maintain Confidentiality)
None of former or current Commission members, former or current staff members of the Commission, former or current members of the advisory board, former or current expert witnesses, experts or private organizations that participate in an investigation or perform the duties of the Commission delegated or entrusted by the Commission, or relevant persons shall disclose confidential information obtained in the course of the performance of the duties of the Commission or use such confidential information for any purpose other than the performance of the duties of the Commission.
 Article 43 (Prohibition of Misrepresentation)
No person shall exercise the authority of the Commission by misrepresentation of the fact that he/she is a member or staff member of the Commission or a member of the advisory board or is delegated or entrusted with, or jointly performing, the duties of the Commission.
 Article 44 (Protection, etc. of Activities of Commission)
(1) No person shall interfere with the performance of the duties of a member or staff member of the Commission, a member of the advisory board or an expert witness through the use of violence, intimidation or fraud.
(2) No person shall be accorded any unfavorable treatment, such as dismissal, suspension from office, reduction of salary, or transfer to another position, on the grounds that he/she has provided or intends to provide information for the Commission in relation to investigations.
(3) The Commission shall devise measures for protecting witnesses, expert witnesses, and unsworn witnesses and securing related materials or items and to prevent the destruction thereof.
(4) The Commission may provide support to persons who provide testimony, provide statements, or submit materials or items important for investigations through the payment of a monetary reward or proposal of a pardon.
(5) Details of the support referred to in paragraph (4) and procedures for providing such support and other necessary matters shall be provided for by the Rules of the Commission.
 Article 45 (Protection of Persons, etc. subject to Investigation)
(1) No person shall disclose the identity of a person subject to investigation or unsworn witness, or matters investigated with respect thereto, in any newspaper, magazine, broadcasting (including the Internet newspapers and broadcasting) or any other publication.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the Commission may disclose investigated matters investigation by resolution: Provided, That the foregoing shall not apply where the disclosure thereof is restricted pursuant to other Acts, such as the Official Information Disclosure Act.
 Article 46 (Transport Expenses, Travel Expenses, etc.)
Persons who attend the Commission or other places to submit materials or items or to provide testimony, an expert opinion or a statement shall be reimbursed for transportation, travel, lodging, and other necessary expenses incurred, and shall be provided with a stipend, as provided for by the Rules of the Commission.
 Article 47 (Exemption from Liability Following Disclosure)
No member or staff member of the Commission shall have any civil or criminal liability for matters disclosed by the Commission, unless he/she is found to have acted either intentionally or negligently.
 Article 48 (Preparation, Submission, etc. of Comprehensive Report)
(1) The Commission shall prepare and submit a comprehensive report to the National Assembly and the President within three months after it completes the investigation under this Act.
(2) The Commission may file a special report on the investigation with the President, in addition to the comprehensive report referred to in paragraph (1), where deemed necessary.
(3) The comprehensive report referred to in paragraph (1) shall include recommendations on the following:
1. Measures related to reforming statutes, systems, policies, practices, etc. which caused the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster and formulating measures therefor;
2. Corrective action to State agencies, etc. responsible for the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster and measures, such as disciplinary action against public officials responsible therefor;
3. Measures to improve other matters investigated by the Commission;
4. Measures to prevent defamation of sufferers related to accidents and disasters;
5. Measures to formulate comprehensive measures to build a safe society, such as preparing a plan to prevent and respond to accidents and disasters;
6. Measures necessary to support sufferers.
(4) State agencies, etc. which receive recommendations regarding the subparagraphs of paragraph (3) shall implement such recommendations, unless just cause exists.
(5) State agencies, etc. which receive recommendations regarding the subparagraphs of paragraph (3) shall annually report the details of recommendations implemented under paragraph (4) and reasons for failed implementation to the National Assembly.
(6) The National Assembly shall request the State agencies, etc. to make improvements where it is deemed the details of recommendations State agencies, etc. have implemented and reported pursuant paragraph (5) are insufficient.
(7) The National Assembly may request State agencies, etc. to take disciplinary action against responsible public officials where the State agencies, etc. fail to comply with a request to make improvements under paragraph (6) without just cause.
(8) The National Assembly shall reflect the purpose of the comprehensive report under paragraph (1) in the enactment or amendment of related Acts, unless just cause exists.
(9) The Commission may establish and operate a task force in the secretariat to prepare the comprehensive report under paragraph (1).
(10) The Commission may conduct fact-finding surveys and research to prepare the comprehensive report under paragraph (1).
(11) The Commission shall publish and disclose the comprehensive report under paragraph (1) and a white paper containing the details of activities of the Commission: Provided, That the foregoing shall not apply where the disclosure thereof is restricted pursuant to other Acts, such as the Official Information Disclosure Act.
 Article 49 (Establishment of Archives and Records Administration Team)
(1) The Commission may establish and operate an Archives and Records Administration Team to collect and preserve information related to the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster.
(2) Matters concerning the establishment and operation of the Archives and Records Administration Team and the storage of information collected by the Archives and Records Administration Team shall be provided for by the Rules of the Commission.
 Article 50 (Period of Existence of Secretariat)
The secretariat shall continue to exist for three months after the Commission completes its activities, to conduct remaining Commission business.
CHAPTER V PENALTY PROVISIONS
 Article 51 (Interrogation)
The Commission may interrogate a suspect, witness, or unsworn witness, if deemed necessary for the investigation.
 Article 52 (Preparation of Reports)
(1) The Commission shall prepare an interrogation report after interrogating a suspect, witness, or unsworn witness.
(2) An interrogator shall read an interrogation report to a person testifying before the Commission or permit the inspection of the interrogation report by such person to ensure that the provided testimony was correctly transcribed.
(3) Where a person testifying before the Commission requests an addition, deletion, or revision of the substance of an interrogation report, the investigator shall state such request in such report.
(4) An interrogation report shall state the date and the place and shall be signed and sealed by the following persons:
1. The interrogator;
2. A person testifying before the Commission;
3. Participants.
 Article 53 (Substitution for Interrogation Report)
(1) Where it is necessary to urgently deal with a case which requires interrogation of a criminal caught in the act of committing an offense, a document stating significant matters of interrogation may be substituted for an interrogation report.
(2) The document referred to in paragraph (1) shall state the date and place and shall be signed and sealed by an interrogator and a suspect.
 Article 54 (Request for Attendance)
(1) The Commission may require the attendance of a suspect, witness, or unsworn witness, if deemed necessary for the investigation.
(2) The Commission may require a suspect, witness, or unsworn witness to attend or appear at the designated place, if deemed necessary for the investigation.
(3) Where the Commission requires the attendance of a suspect, witness, or unsworn witness, a written request for attendance shall be issued.
 Article 55 (Penalty Provisions)
(1) Any person who interferes with the performance of duties by a member or staff member of the Commission, a member of the advisory board, or an expert witness through the use of violence, intimidation or fraud, in violation of Article 44 (1), shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding fifty million won.
(2) Any of the following persons shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding thirty million won:
1. A person who defames a person or deceased person by disclosing the identity of a person subject to investigation or unsworn witness, or matters investigated with respect thereto, in violation of Article 45 (1);
2. A person who fails to submit requested materials or items for a hearing without just cause;
3. A witness who fails to attend a hearing, take an oath, or provide testimony at the hearing without just cause;
4. An expert witness who fails to take an oath or provide an expert opinion at a hearing without just cause;
5. A witness who provides false testimony or an expert witness who provides false expert opinion at a hearing;
6. A person who interferes with the attendance of a witness, expert witness, or unsworn witness at a hearing or verification.
(3) Any of the following persons shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than two years or by a fine not exceeding twenty million won:
1. A person who discloses confidential information obtained in the course of performance of the duties of the Commission or uses such confidential information for any purpose other than the performance of the duties of the Commission, in violation of Article 42;
2. A person who exercise the authority of the Commission by misrepresentation of the fact that the person is a member or staff member of the Commission or a member of the advisory board or is delegated or entrusted with, or jointly performing, the duties of the Commission, in violation of Article 43.
 Article 56 (Administrative Fines)
(1) Any of the following persons shall be punished by an administrative fine not exceeding thirty million won:
1. A person who fails to comply with a request for the submission of materials or items under Article 26 (1) 3 without just cause or submits false materials or items;
2. A person who fails to comply with a request made under Article 26 (2) without just cause;
3. A person who fails to comply with a summons to appear before the Commission issued under Article 27 without just cause.
(2) Any of the following persons shall be punished by an administrative fine not exceeding ten million won:
1. A person who falsely replies to a fact-checking inquiry made under Article 26 (1) 4;
2. A person who refuses or interferes with an on-site investigation conducted under Article 26 (1) 6 without just cause;
3. A person who gives unfavorable treatment, in violation of Article 44 (2).
(3) The Chairperson shall impose and collect administrative fines pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2), as provided for by Presidential Decree.
(4) The Act on the Regulation of Violations of Public Order shall apply to matters concerning the imposition and collection of administrative fines under paragraphs (1) and (2), and procedures for trial, execution, etc. For administrative fines, the Chairperson shall be deemed an administrative agency defined in subparagraph 2 of Article 2 of the aforesaid Act.
ADDENDA
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
Article 2 (Preparation for Enforcing This Act)
(1) The President shall appoint members of the Special Investigation Commission on the Humidifier Disinfectant Disaster and the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster within 30 days after the promulgation of this Act.
(2) Where all nine Commission members referred to in Article 6 (1) are not elected after the lapse of one month upon the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (1), the Commission may be comprised of at least 2/3 of the members.
(3) Where necessary to enforce this Act, activities to prepare for the establishment of the Commission, such as appointing members, public officials belonging thereto and staff members, may be conducted before this Act enters into force.
(4) The Government may provide funds and human resources necessary for conducting activities to prepare for the establishment of the Commission under paragraph (3).
Article 3 (Transfer of Data, etc. of Commission)
(1) The National Archives of Korea shall transfer all investigated materials, findings from investigations, and evidence taken by the Special Investigation Commission on the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster established under the Special Act on Investigating the Truth of the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster and Building a Safe Society to the Commission established under this Act.
(2) The Sewol Investigation Commission established under the Special Act on Establishment and Operation of the Commission on Investigating the Hull of the Sewol Ferry shall transfer all investigated materials, findings from investigations, and evidence to the Commission established under this Act within the period during which the secretariat is permitted to continue under Article 44 of the aforesaid Act after investigations.
Article 4 (Election of Members)
The National Assembly shall commence with the procedures for electing members from the date this Act is promulgated.