SEOUL, November 2, 2001 ( – South Korea’s top court has rejected a challenge to the country’s law against adultery. South China Morning Post reports that a young couple convicted of the offence – one of the partners was married – challenged the law, saying the state had no right to interfere with their private lives. Under the law, offenders can be imprisoned for up to two years.

In their ruling, eight of the nine judges said they were defending the country’s traditional values of chastity, the sanctity of marriage and the importance of maintaining monogamy. The ruling said: “The law responds to the need for maintaining and protecting wholesome family life. Therefore, this law provides for a minimum limit on individual freedom.” While mainstream women’s groups backed the law as an effective weapon against philandering husbands, feminists said they want the law abolished.

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