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Legislative amendment to the Building Act, which calls for joining the association

etc. Bang Yukyung Apr 06, 2022

The amendment to the Building Act, which has been embroiled in controversy for three years since its 2019 initiative, passed the National Assembly Legislation and Judiciary Committee (hereinafter referred to as the Judiciary Committee) on January 10. As the enforcement decree of the bill was announced on February 3, the association's mandatory subscription was also revived after 22 years. Starting in August 2022, when the bill comes into effect, architects who open are obligated to join the Korean Architects Association, the only legal organization. This applies retroactively not only to new architects but also to all existing architects. Controversy has been steadily raised that the association's mandatory subscription (Article 31-3), which is the core of the amendment to the Building Act, violates the freedom of choice of occupation and freedom of association guaranteed by the Constitution. Architects who continued to express concern over the revision agreed by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Korean Architects Association in 2020 organized a preparatory committee for the founding of the Korean Architects Association (tentative name) to check the single association. They criticized the revision, pointing out problems such as expanding building history qualifications, reviving license systems, and reducing building tests.

In June last year, the National Assembly Judiciary Committee rejected the amendment, citing the public role of the Korean Architects Association, infringement of freedom of choice of occupation, and excessive membership fees. However, the bill, which added only the condition of "extending the subscription period of existing architects by another year," was passed, leaving the homework intact. Recently, the Korean Architects Association said, "We will focus our capabilities on improving the legal system and strengthening the status of architects," and came up with various supplementary measures such as expulsion of qualified rental members and strengthening employee ethics. Attention is focusing on how to solve the internal integration and trust building of architects.