Thai Justice

Thailand Law and Attorneys

Thai Justice

Thailand legal system

Thailand’s legal system is based mostly on a combination of Western laws and the traditional Thai laws. This combination of laws is added to the influence of Islamic committees in the southern provinces, which regulate some of the government’s jurisdictions over several cases.

Thailand’s legal system is often criticized because of its disproportional penalties. For example, many people have suffered death penalty or life imprisonment for crimes such as drug possession/dealing or thievery, while other crimes such as severe marital abuse or terrorism are punished with less severity. Similarly, slander and libel are considered crimes, instead of civil torts.

The Prime Minister and NCPO (National Council for Peace and Order) leader, currently Prayut Chan-o-cha, can proclaim any judicial, legislative and administrative order, which is later cataloged as legal.

Crime judgments

The court appoints a certified translator for those who are accused of committing a crime but cannot afford one. Appeals must be filed no longer than 30 days after the judge’s verdict.

Law sources

Thailand disposes of several law sources, from which the Constitution of Thailand is the most relevant of all.

  • Constitution of Thailand
  • Royal proclamations and/or emergency decrees, which are proclaimed by the king due to a personal decision. These laws are proclaimed urgently due to national security issues, including public calamities, national economic stability, and other urgent reasons.
  • Acts and statutes. Most of these made minor changes on the basic codes (Penal Code, Civil and Commercial Code, Civil Procedure Code and Criminal Procedure Code).
  • Subordinate legislation. These include ministerial regulations.
  • Supreme Court and other judicial decisions. Even though no court in Thailand is bound to follow the decisions they or more important courts make, common law precedent has influenced Thai Law. For example, the Supreme Court’s decisions are used as secon authorities.