The Dispute Resolution Review: South Korea
Introduction to the dispute resolution framework
The judicial system in Korea operates under a three-tier system that primarily consists of the following:
- district courts as the courts of first instance;
- High Courts as the courts of second instance; and
- the Supreme Court of Korea.
While district courts mainly handle cases involving civil and criminal law matters, there are also specialised courts such as the Patent Court for matters involving patents, family courts for family law matters, and the Administrative Court, which deals with matters involving administrative law. As the pinnacle of the judicial system, the Supreme Court has the competence to make final and binding decisions on given cases, and its interpretation of the law in effect binds the lower courts. Separate from the Supreme Court, there is also the Constitutional Court of Korea, which has jurisdiction over cases involving questions of constitutionality of statutes.
The most distinguishing characteristic of Korean law is that Korea is a civil law country that relies primarily on statutes enacted by the Korean National Assembly. Nonetheless, the courts still play an equally important role in interpreting and developing the law. Although Korea does not recognise the common law principle of stare decisis, the Supreme Court's decisions still have very strong precedent value on lower courts, as lower courts' decisions are most likely to be overturned in the appeal process if they stray from the Supreme Court's interpretations.
In addition to the courts, arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution method has become increasingly important in Korea. Notably, the demand for international arbitration in Korea has been growing, reflecting the fact that countless Korean companies carry on dealings every day on an international level.
The year in review
In 2018, Korean courts made a great effort to be more 'international'. Namely, on 1 July 2018, the amended Court Organisation Act entered into force. In accordance with Article 62-2 of the amended Court Organisation Act, court proceedings for certain categories of cases, such as those cases under the jurisdiction of the Patent Court, can now be conducted in a foreign language with the parties' consent. In such cases, the usual requirement to provide an interpretation and attach a translation when a foreign language is used does not apply.
i Overview of court procedure
Civil court procedures can be divided into litigation procedure; provisional attachment and provisional disposition procedure; enforcement procedure; and property specification procedure comprising statement of property, debt defaulter roster and property inquiry. The litigation procedure is prescribed by the Civil Procedure Act (CPA), and the provisional attachment and provisional disposition procedure is prescribed by the Civil Execution Act (CEA).
ii Procedures and time frames
A civil litigation proceeding commences when the plaintiff files a complaint to the court of first instance. Upon receipt of such written complaint, the court serves a copy of the complaint to the defendant. Private deliveries are not permitted. Once the defendant receives the copy of the complaint, he or she must submit a written defence within 30 days of the date of such receipt.2 Should the defendant fail to file a defence within the designated time period, the court may rule without a hearing.3
In general, after the defendant has filed a written defence, the court then schedules the first hearing. During the hearing, the parties make oral pleadings regarding the aforementioned written claims, submit evidentiary documents and conduct witness examinations. The hearings are typically held once a month, and although there is no limit to the total number of hearings, there can be as few as two or as many as eight hearings. As such, it is usual for the court of first instance to take about six months to one year to complete its proceedings and render its judgment; generally, a court decision is rendered one month after the final hearing.
The unsuccessful party may file an appeal within two weeks of the date of receiving the court's service of written judgment.4 In a common appellate procedure at the court of second instance (usually at the High Courts), the unsuccessful party first submits a written brief with the statement of appeal, to which the counterparty submits its reply. Then the court designates a date for the hearings. Since an appellate procedure at the court of second instance is considered as a continuation of the hearing from the court of first instance, the parties are able to submit additional briefs with new arguments and introduce additional factual evidence. Similar to the proceedings at the court of first instance, the hearings at the court of second instance also usually take place once a month. Although there is no limit to the number of hearings, normally fewer hearings are involved at the court of second instance, unless a new evidence has been introduced. As such, court proceedings at the court of second instance will normally take four to six months.
The unsuccessful party may further appeal the appellate court's judgment to the Supreme Court within two weeks of the date of receiving the appellate court's written judgment. Appealing to the Supreme Court does not require any approval from the court. The Supreme Court is only able to rule on questions of law, and therefore, no hearing date is designated and all proceedings are conducted in writing.
However, if no reasonable grounds for appeal are presented, the Supreme Court may dismiss the proceedings by a decision without further examination. The Supreme Court must render its decision to dismiss within four months of the date it received the record of the case from the lower court. In such cases, the Supreme Court is not required to state any reasoning for its decision to dismiss.
After the four-month period, the Supreme Court must designate a date to render its verdict, then announce its judgment on that date. However, it is very difficult to predict how long it will take the Supreme Court to actually render its judgment, since there is a large number of ongoing cases that it must deal with. From the initial filing of an appeal until the rendering of the final judgment, it may take five to six months or as long as three to four years.
Aside from the court litigation procedure, there is also a separate provisional attachment and provisional disposition procedure. Provisional attachment is a provisional remedy whereby the debtor's right to dispose of a property in advance is temporarily seized, which means its assets to secure the execution of the creditor's monetary claims are preserved. Provisional disposition prevents the object of dispute from being disposed of, thereby securing the status quo until the execution of the judgment.
The provisional attachment or provisional disposition proceeding also commences when the plaintiff submits a written application. Generally, provisional attachment or provisional disposition cases are decided without hearings, and they normally take two to three weeks from the filing of an application to the court's ruling.
iii Class actions
Class actions are not generally permissible in Korea, and there is no single statute that sets out a procedure for class actions. However, there are certain areas of law, such as securities law, that provide for class actions.
First, under the Securities-related Class Action Act, a class action may be filed in cases of claims for damages caused by false documentation of securities registration statements and business reports by investors.
Second, under the Framework Act on Consumers, when a business directly infringes on consumers' rights and interests with respect to their lives, bodies or properties, and when such infringement persists, consumer organisations that meet certain requirements may file a class action seeking prohibition and suspension of such infringement.
Lastly, under the Personal Information Protection Act, if a business that possesses and controls the personal information of its consumers rejects or does not accept the results of a collective mediation, then the consumer organisations may bring a class action to court and seek prohibition and suspension of the infringement.
iv Representation in proceedings
In Korea, both persons and corporations have the capacity to stand trial. Any association or foundation, provided it is not a corporation, is allowed to file a lawsuit under its name to the extent that it is represented by its representative or administrator. A foreigner's capacity to stand trial is also generally not limited by law. Even where the foreigner does not have such capacity pursuant to the laws of his or her home country, he or she has the capacity if it is provided under Korean law.
Meanwhile, other than the above-mentioned class actions pertaining to securities-related actions, consumer rights and personal information protection rights, representation by an attorney is not required for legal proceedings. However, in principle, only lawyers are eligible to represent others in litigation procedures.
v Service out of the jurisdiction
The CPA prescribes that 'service to be effected in a foreign country shall be entrusted by the presiding judge to the Korean ambassador, minister or consul stationed therein or the competent government authorities of such country'.5 The method of 'entrustment to the competent government authorities of such country' shall be divided into entrusting to a foreign competent court through a diplomatic channel (the competent court method) and entrusting to a foreign central authority through a non-diplomatic channel (the central authority method). The common practice seems to be to entrust the case to the relevant foreign competent government authority.
Meanwhile, the Hague Service Convention and the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, to which Korea is a signatory, follow the central authority method. Therefore, the central authority shall be entrusted where such conventions apply; otherwise, the foreign competent court shall be entrusted (Articles 3, 5(1) and 6 of the Act on International Judicial Mutual Assistance in Civil Matters).
Under the CPA, court documents can also be serviced to the place of business or an office in addition to a person's domicile or residence (Article 26 of the CPA) and, therefore, if the place of business or office is located within the territory of Korea, no service abroad is necessary.
vi Enforcement of foreign judgments
A foreign judgment that satisfies the requirements for recognition and enforcement under Article 217 of the CPA is accorded the same effect as a final and conclusive judgment in Korea. Pursuant to Article 26(1) of the CEA, compulsory execution based on a foreign judgment may be carried out in Korea once it has been formally recognised through an enforcement judgment by a Korean court. The above-mentioned requirements for an effective foreign judgment are as follows:
- the international jurisdiction of the foreign court is recognised under the principle of international jurisdiction pursuant to the statutes or treaties of Korea;
- the defendant who lost the case must have been served with the complaint and the summons or any order in a lawful manner in advance so that he or she had sufficient time to prepare a defence;
- the recognition of the judgment must not be contrary to the public policy of Korea;6 and
- there must be a guarantee of reciprocity between South Korean and the foreign country to which the foreign court belongs.
The enforcement proceeding is initiated by application to the court by the party seeking compulsory execution based on a foreign judgment. In general, the application for an enforcement judgment shall be filed to the district court located at the counterparty's general forum, such as a person's domicile.7 The same rules that govern court proceedings for domestic judgments apply to the enforcement proceedings of foreign judgments. In principle, foreign judgments that are appropriate for recognition and enforcement are those that contain orders for defendants to perform, but declaratory judgments may also be enforced to the extent that there is legal interest to do so. The court shall not examine the merits of the foreign judgment during the enforcement proceedings.8
vii Assistance to foreign courts
For the purpose of mutual assistance in civil matters, Korea is a Member State of the Hague Service Convention and the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters, and has entered into a number of bilateral treaties with certain countries.
Meanwhile, Article 12 of the Act on International Judicial Mutual Assistance in Civil Matters states that 'Any judicial cooperation with respect to an entrustment by a foreign country may be given only when it conforms to the following requirements':
- a judicial cooperation treaty is concluded with the country to which the entrusting court belongs, or there is a guarantee as provided in Article 4;
- it will not be detrimental to public peace and order, and good public morals in the Republic of Korea;
- the entrustment is made through a diplomatic channel;
- the entrustment of service is made in writing specifying the name, nationality, address or residence of the person to be served;
- the entrustment of evidence examination is made in writing specifying the party, summary of case, methods of evidence or the name, nationality, address or residence of the person to be inquired and matters to be inquired, in a case of witness inquiry;
- a translation in the Korean language is appended; and
- the country to which the entrusting court belongs guarantees the payment of expenses needed for implementing the entrusted matters.
viii Access to court files
In principle, a party or a third party that has prima facie proven its interest in a given case may, as prescribed by the Supreme Court Regulations, file a request to the court to peruse and make copies of the records.9
Moreover, anyone may apply to peruse records of final and conclusive judgments for the purposes of protecting and pursuing one's rights, carrying out academic research or promoting public interest. However, even in such cases, the records of cases that the courts have ordered to be conducted in private cannot be revealed. Also, the court shall not allow perusal of the cases if the relevant interested parties do not consent to it at the time of the application.10
Notwithstanding the above, any person may peruse or duplicate a written judgment that is final and conclusive by using electronic methods. However, perusal or duplication may be restricted for those written judgments of which the courts have prohibited disclosure. In such cases, court administrative officers shall take protective measures prescribed by the Supreme Court Regulations before such perusal and duplication to ensure that personal information, such as names, stated in a written judgment is not revealed.11
ix Litigation funding
There is no specific law or regulation regarding litigation funding that allows a third party with no interest in a certain case to bear the cost of litigation and reserve the rights to parts of the damage award.
However, those who have difficulty affording legal services can apply to the courts for litigation aids or seek legal aid services from the Korea Legal Aid Corporation. With regard to litigation aid, the CPA provides that 'a court may grant a litigation aid, either ex officio or upon request of a person who is unable to pay for the costs of a lawsuit' (Article 128 of the Civil Procedure Act). The Korea Legal Aid Corporation provides legal aid to persons with low income with or without service charges (Articles 1 and 8 of the Legal Aid Act).
i Conflicts of interest and Chinese walls
Conflicts of interest are regulated by the Attorney-at-law Act (Attorney Act) and the Code of Ethics prescribed by the Korean Bar Association (KBA). The key provision is Article 31(1) of the Attorney Act, which restricts the acceptance of certain legal cases. According to this provision, no attorney shall provide services with respect to a case that falls under any of the following:
- a case brought by the opposing party for which the attorney has already provided consultation and accepted to handle (or represent) the case;
- a different case brought by the opposing party of a case that the attorney is currently handling (or representing); or
- a case that the attorney handles or has come to handle in his or her capacity as a public official, mediator or arbitrator.
However, with regard to point (b), the attorney may take the case if the client the attorney is currently representing gives consent. In the application of points (a) and (b), any law office in which two or more attorneys represent or handle cases or jointly operate with a uniform organisation while sharing profits and expenses, even though it is not a law firm (legal person), limited liability company or partnership, shall be considered as one entity (Article 31(2) of the Attorney Act).
If one begins his or her practice as a lawyer after retiring as a judge, a prosecutor or a public official, for one year after his or her retirement, he or she shall not accept cases that are related to or being handled by a state agency, such as a court, a prosecutor's office, the Financial Services Commission and the Fair Trade Commission, as the case may be, in which he or she has worked for one year prior and up to his or her retirement (Article 31(3) of the Attorney Act).
There is no express mention of Chinese walls in either the Attorney Act or the KBA Code of Ethics for attorneys. However, to the extent that the Attorney Act allows, there are several cases in practice in which a Chinese wall is arranged in the process of handling cases with the consent of the client.
ii Money laundering, proceeds of crime and funds related to terrorism
Although, there is no specific provision with respect to lawyers' responsibilities in connection with money laundering and proceeds of crime, laundering of proceeds of crime in general is regulated by the Act on Regulation and Punishment of the Concealment of Criminal Proceeds. Also, under Article 24 of the Attorney Act, as a general rule in performing his or her duties, a lawyer is prohibited from concealing the truth or making false statements. Furthermore, the Code of Ethics provides that a lawyer shall not collaborate in any criminal acts or any other illegal activities committed by clients. In the event that the lawyer finds that the client's activities amount to criminal acts or other illegal activities, he or she shall promptly suspend the collaboration (Article 11(1) of the Code of Ethics).
As for funds related to terrorism, the Act on Prohibition Against the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction prohibits the provision of funds for the purpose of acts of terrorism, directly or indirectly via a third person. Additionally, Article 3(3) of the Act on Real Name Financial Transactions and Confidentiality prescribes that 'no person shall perform financial transactions under the real name of another person for the purposes of concealing illegitimate property, money laundering or financing of terrorism and evading compulsory execution, and other evasions of the law'.
iii Data protection
According to Article 17(1) of the Personal Information Protection Act, an entity that controls personal information (a personal information controller) may provide (or share) someone's (the information owner's) personal information to a third party under the following circumstances:
- where consent is obtained from the information owner; and
- where the personal information is provided within the scope of purposes for which it was collected pursuant to Article 15(1)2, 3, and 5.
Article 17(2) of the Personal Information Protection Act prescribes matters that need to be addressed when obtaining consent under the above-mentioned paragraph, such as the recipient of the personal information, the purpose of the information, particulars of the information to be provided, and the time period for which the recipient retains and uses such information.
According to Article 18(2) of the Personal Information Protection Act, where necessary for the investigation of a crime, indictment and prosecution, or for the court to proceed with the case, etc., a personal information controller may use personal information or transfer it to a third party for purposes other than those intended, unless it is likely to unfairly infringe on the interest of the information owner or the third party.
Meanwhile, Article 12 of the KBA Code of Ethics sets forth that 'a lawyer must act with prudence in protection of personal information in his or her conducts'. However, no further provision is provided in detail.
Documents and the protection of privilege
Unlike the United States, in Korea, attorney–client privilege is not expressly stated in the law. Under Korean law, no statute expressly provides for the client's right to refuse disclosure of the communication he or she exchanged with the lawyer.
However, according to Article 26 of the Attorney Act, no lawyer or former lawyer shall disclose any confidential information that he or she has learned in the course of performing his or her duties. A lawyer may disclose such confidential information only when there is a special provision in statutes that compels or allows for the disclosure. In this respect, the CPA allows an attorney to refuse to testify as a witness (Article 315) and refuse to produce documents for which a confidentiality obligation has not been waived (Article 344(1)3(c)). Similarly, the Criminal Procedure Act allows the attorney to refuse to testify as a witness (Article 149) and resist seizure of articles held in his or her custody or possession as a consequence of the mandate he or she has received in the course of the work and that relates to confidential information of other persons (Article 112).
Where the admissibility of evidence is at issue with a legal memorandum, the Seoul High Court had ruled that for 'an exchange of confidential communication between a client and an attorney while the client was seeking a legal advice, it is deemed that such a client reserves the right to refuse the disclosure thereof'.12 However, the Supreme Court rejected the Seoul High Court's ruling and decided that 'privilege cannot be accorded to the legal opinion exchanged between an attorney and a client under normal circumstances, where such a person has not yet been designated as the accused or the defendant of an official criminal procedure such as investigation, indictment or prosecution thereof'.13
ii Production of documents
In comparison to common law-style discovery, Korean courts allow for somewhat limited production of documents as set out in the CPA. According to Article 343 of the CPA, when a party intends to offer any documentary evidence, he or she shall submit a document or file a request for a court order to make the person in possession of the document submit it. Once ordered by the court to submit the document, the person ordered is generally (with some exclusions) obligated to submit the document under any of the following circumstances (Article 344 of the CPA):
- when the person possesses the document that the party has referenced in the court proceedings;
- when the applicant holds a legal right to ask the holder of the document to transfer or show it to him or her; and
- if the document has been prepared for the benefit of the applicant or prepared in relation to the legal relationship between the applicant and the holder of the document.
Following a party's document request pursuant to Article 345, the court may, if deemed necessary for such request, order the other party to submit a list of documents it possesses in relation to the party's document request or a list of documents containing descriptions of the document it intends to submit in response to the document request (Article 346 of the CPA).
With regard to the burden of proof, the Supreme Court has ruled that 'for the court to render an order to submit the documents, the burden of proof is on the applicant to prove that such documents exist and are in possession of the other party'.14 Furthermore, in relation to whether the court should accept or reject the applicant's document request, the Supreme Court has decided that 'if the court deems that the document requested is an unnecessary exhibit, then such motion for a document production order may be dismissed'. Additionally, such dismissal may be given when there is no direct connection between the claim and the fact to be substantiated by the document requested.15 A video file shall not be subject to document production orders.16
When rendering a document production order, the court may offer the counterparty an opportunity to state its opinion. Once the counterparty states its opinion on whether it possesses such document and whether such document has relevance to the case, the court shall examine the document's existence, possession and necessity as an exhibit, and whether the counterparty is obligated to produce the document. When the court finds that there is reasonable cause to render a document production order, the court shall render such an order in the form of a judgment (Article 347(1) of the CPA).17 However, in practice, the court first advises the counterparty to provisionally furnish the document. The judgment by the court may be immediately appealed (Article 348 of the CPA).
Meanwhile, the court may order the person holding such document to furnish the document if the court deems it necessary to determine whether the document falls under Article 344 (i.e., a document that the holder is obligated to produce). In this case, the court shall not allow other persons to view the document (Article 347(4) of the CPA).
Alternatives to litigation
i Overview of alternatives to litigation
There are various forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms in Korea such as settlement, negotiation, arbitration, mediation and conciliation. Among them, the most frequently used method is arbitration, both for domestic and international disputes. Korea is a country with heavy emphasis on trade with foreign countries, and this reality has been well reflected in the constant inflow of international arbitration cases seated in Korea in recent years. To further facilitate international arbitration in Korea, the Korean Arbitration Act was amended in 2016 to adopt the key provisions of the 2006 UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (UNCITRAL Model Law), which reflect the most up-to-date norms regarding arbitration.
The bedrock of arbitration in Korea is the Korean Arbitration Act, which was first promulgated in 1966 and went through a major change in 1999, when Korea adopted the 1985 UNCITRAL Model Law. It went through another major amendment in 2016 to reflect the 2006 UNCITRAL Model Law.
The Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB) is the major arbitral institution used by domestic and international parties in Korea. The KCAB was established as an independent arbitration institution in 1970 and, as a designated commercial arbitration institution by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, it receives substantial subsidies and assistance from the government. It has separate arbitration rules for domestic and international arbitrations. The KCAB International Arbitration Rules underwent a significant change in 2016, adopting many of the most up-to-date international practices. Most notably, the rules introduced an emergency arbitration procedure and procedures for a multi-party arbitration.
In 2017, the KCAB administered 385 arbitration cases, of which 307 were domestic arbitrations and 78 were international arbitrations. Within Asia, Korean companies are some of the most active in utilising arbitration as the method of dispute resolution.
If an arbitration is seated in Korea, then a party may file an application to set aside its award in accordance with Article 36 of the Korean Arbitration Act. The grounds for setting aside is largely similar to those provided in Article 5 of the New York Convention. For an arbitration seated in a foreign country that is a signatory to the New York Convention, a party may seek to refuse enforcement of the award at the enforcement stage on the grounds provided in Article 5 of the New York Convention.
Korean courts have abundant experience in dealing with issues related to arbitration and there is a large reservoir of court precedents. For many controversial issues, Korean courts have taken a favourable view towards arbitration, respecting the parties' intention to arbitrate. For example, with regard to the existence of a valid arbitration agreement, the Supreme Court has held that where an arbitration agreement shows clear intention for arbitration to settle disputes, the requirements for a valid arbitration agreement are fulfilled and the agreement does not need to state the place of arbitration, the governing law or the arbitral institution.18
The most notable recent development in relation to arbitration was the 2016 amendment to the Korean Arbitration Act. A few of the most significant changes were as follows. First, the scope of arbitrable disputes was broadened to cover disputes concerning economic interests as well as non-economic interests. Second, the requirements for valid arbitration agreements were mitigated by allowing the agreement to be concluded orally, by conduct or by other means other than writing. Third, the efficacy of arbitration was strengthened by adopting interim measures from the 2006 UNCITRAL Model Law and simplifying the award enforcement procedure. Instead of a court judgment, there is now a court decision, which requires simpler procedures and is enough for enforcement of an award. Finally, the court assistance in taking evidence was improved by allowing tribunals to participate directly in the court evidence examination process.
Arbitration in Korea is becoming an important method of ADR with help from both the courts and the legislature.
Common law-style mediation seems to be somewhat less common in Korea. The more common method of ADR is conciliation administered by courts pursuant to the Judicial Conciliation of Civil Disputes Act.
Conciliation may be initiated by an application or by a decision of the court. Conciliation cases are normally handled by the conciliation judge, and cases may be conciliated by the conciliation judge or a conciliation council composed of three commissioners. During a conciliation proceeding, the conciliation judge actively participates and tries to draw out an agreement between the parties. In that respect, the conciliation judge is given wide discretion to decide on how to proceed with the conciliation. A conciliation process is completed by writing the terms of agreements between the parties in the court record. The conciliation has the same effect as a settlement in court.
Outlook and conclusions
In 2018, the judicial system in Korea took a big leap towards becoming more international with the amended Court Organisation Act, which allows court proceedings to be conducted in a foreign language at the Patent Court, and the planned amendment to the Korean Private International Law Act, which would introduce detailed provisions regarding international jurisdiction for greater predictability and stability.
Along with these developments, Korea has also pushed to promote ADR by enacting a new law, the Arbitration Industry Promotion Act, and establishing a new arbitral institution, the Asia-Pacific Maritime Arbitration Centre, which is dedicated to maritime arbitration cases.
With important amendments to key legislation such as the Korean Arbitration Act and the Korean Private International Law Act, it will be interesting to see the courts interpret the changes in law and develop their jurisprudence.
1 Joo Hyun Kim and Jae Min Jeon are partners at Shin & Kim. The information in this chapter was accurate as at February 2019.
2 Article 256(1) of the CPA.
3 Article 257(1) of the CPA.
4 Article 396(1) of the CPA.
5 Article 191 of the CPA.
6 For example, a lower court ruled that, in cases where damages awarded by a foreign judgment are considered to be grossly excessive, the court may limit the recognition of the foreign judgment that exceeds the amount that would have been awarded by a Korean court in a similar case on the grounds that recognising such excessive part would be contrary to the public policy of Korea. (Seoul Eastern District Court decision 93GaHap19069, 10 February 1995.)
7 Article 26(2) of the CEA.
8 Article 27 of the CEA.
9 Article 162(1) of the CPA.
10 Article 162(2), (3) of the CPA.
11 Article 163-2(1), (2) of the CPA.
12 Seoul High Court decision 2008Noh2778, 26 June 2009.
13 Supreme Court decision 2009Do6788, 17 May 2012.
14 Supreme Court decision 2007Ma725, 14 April 2008.
15 Supreme Court Decision 2014Ma2239, 1 July 2016.
16 Supreme Court decision 2009Ma2105, 14 July 2010.
17 When rendering an order of submission to a third party, such third party or a person designated thereby must be examined (Article 347(3) of the CPA).
18 Supreme Court 2005Da74344, 31 May 2007.