Top court backs cadet’s right to drink

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Top court backs cadet’s right to drink

The Supreme Court struck down a decision by a military academy to expel one of its cadets for unauthorized drinking, saying the academy’s code of conduct is too restrictive.

The ruling is expected to lead to sweeping changes in the so-called three bans that military academies in Korea have in their codes of conduct for cadets: prohibiting drinking, smoking and marriage.

The cadet, identified by his surname Kim, filed the suit after the Korea Army Academy expelled him in November 2015 for drinking a bottle of soju with friends in November 2014 and downing several shots of soju during a family dinner in April 2015.

The district and the appeals courts upheld the school’s decision to expel the cadet, but the highest court struck it down and sent the case back to the appeals court, saying banning cadets from drinking even in their private lives is too restrictive to their privacy and right to freedom of action.

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