1The following text is from the Constitute Project, who through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License, has generously made this content available for use for noncommercial purposes. Follow (right-click) the links and read the annotation to learn more. 1
4Thailand has been under the rule of democratic government with the King as head of the state for more than 75 years, during which several constitutions were promulgated and amended. To ensure suitability with the situation in the country and change of time and by virtue of the provisions of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand (Interim Edition) of B.E. 2549 on the establishment of the Constitutional Drafting Assembly and Constitution Drafting Committee in charge of drafting a new Constitution to direct the guidance for the administration of the country in the future, and people have been allowed to extensively express their views and opinions about the new charter. Views and opinions of the people have been gathered for use in drafting of the new Constitution as prescribed by the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand (Interim Edition) of B.E. 2549.
5The major objectives of the new draft Constitution are to further promote and protect people’s right and liberty, encourage people’s roles and participation in the administration of the country, concretely check and cross-examine the use of the state power; provide the mechanisms of political institution in both the legislative and administrative branches with well-balanced and effective under the democratic parliamentary form of administration; support honesty and impartial operations of courts and independent organizations; and above all, to emphasize the values and significance of morality, ethics and good governance as virtuous guidance for the country’s affairs.
6After the completion of drafting of the new Constitution, the Constitution Drafting Assembly has presented the draft charter to the people and held a referendum, the first of its kind in the country, to allow them to vote whether to approve this whole constitution. The referendum result is that the majority of the eligible voters who have come to vote approved for the enactment of this newly draft constitution.
7President of the National Legislative Assembly has graciously presented this draft constitution to the King for His signature for its enactment as the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand. With the King’s opinion, the royal permission has been granted in compliance to the approval of majority of the people.
8By the Royal Command, this Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand is now enacted to replace the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand (Interim Edition) of B.E. 2549, dated October 1, B.E. 2549, as of this announcement day.
16The sovereign power belongs to the Thai people. The King as Head of the State shall exercise such power through the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers and the Courts in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
17Duty performed by the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers, the Courts, as well as the constitutional-mandated organizations and the state agencies shall in compliance to the legal justice principle.
25Whenever no provision under this Constitution is applicable to any case, it shall be decided in accordance with the constitutional practice in the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of the State.
44A Privy Councilor shall not be a member of the House of Representatives, senator, Election Commissioner, Ombudsman, member of the National Human Rights Commission, judge of the Constitutional Court, judge of an Administrative Court, member of the National Counter Corruption Commission, member of the State Audit Council, Government official holding a permanent position or receiving a salary, official of a State enterprise, other State official or holder of other position of member or official of a political party, and must not manifest loyalty to any political party.
47"I, (name of the declarer), do solemnly declare that I will be loyal to His Majesty the King and will faithfully perform my duties in the interests of the country and of the people. I will also uphold and observe the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand in every respect."
53Whenever the King is absent from the Kingdom or unable to perform His functions for any reason whatsoever, the King will appoint a person Regent, and the President of the National Assembly shall countersign the Royal Command therefore.
55In the case where the King does not appoint a Regent under section 18, or the King is unable to appoint a Regent owing to His not being sui juris or any other reason whatsoever, the Privy Council shall submit the name of a person suitable to hold the office of Regent to the National Assembly for approval. Upon approval by the National Assembly, the President of National Assembly shall make an announcement, in the name of the King, to appoint such person as Regent.
60While being Regent under paragraph one or acting as Regent under paragraph two, the President of the Privy Council shall not perform his or her duties as President of the Privy Council. In such case, the Privy Council shall select a Privy Councilor to act as President of the Privy Council pro tempore.
63"I, (name of the declarer), do solemnly declare that I will be loyal to His Majesty the King (name of the King) and will faithfully perform my duties in the interests of the country and of the people. I will also uphold and observe the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand in every respect."
67The Amendment of the Palace Law on Succession, B.E. 2467 shall be the prerogative of the King. At the initiative of the King, the Privy Council shall draft the Palace Law Amendment and shall present it to the King for his consideration. When the King has already approved the draft Palace Law Amendment and put His signature thereon, the President of the Privy Council shall notify the President of the National Assembly for informing the National Assembly. The President of the National Assembly shall countersign the Royal Command, and the Palace Law Amendment shall have the force of law upon its publication in the Government Gazette.
70In the case where the Throne becomes vacant and the King has already appointed His Heir to the Throne under the Palace Law on Succession, B.E. 2467, the Council of Ministers shall notify the President of the National Assembly. The President of the National Assembly shall convoke the National Assembly for the acknowledgement thereof, and the President of the National Assembly shall invite such Heir to ascend the Throne and proclaim such Heir King. In the case where the Throne becomes vacant and the King has not appointed His Heir under paragraph one, the Privy Council shall submit the name of the Successor to the Throne under section 22 to the Council of Ministers for further submission to the National Assembly for approval. For this purpose, the name of a Princess may be submitted. Upon the approval of the National Assembly, the President of the National Assembly shall invite such Successor to ascend the Throne and proclaim such Successor King.
71During the expiration of the term of the House of Representatives or the dissolution thereof, the Senate shall act as the National Assembly in acknowledging the matter under paragraph one or in giving an approval under paragraph two.
73Pending the proclamation of the name of the Heir or the Successor to the Throne under section 23, the President of the Privy Council shall be Regent pro tempore. In the case where the Throne becomes vacant while the Regent has been appointed under section 18 or section 19 or while the President of the Privy Council is acting as Regent under section 20 paragraph one, such Regent, as the case may be, shall continue to be the Regent until the proclamation of the name of the Heir or the Successor to ascend the Throne as King.
74In the case where the Regent who has been appointed and continues to be the Regent under paragraph one is unable to perform his or her duties, the President of the Privy council shall act as Regent pro tempore.
77In the case where the Privy Council will have to perform its duties under section 19 or section 23 paragraph two, or the President of the Privy Council will have to perform his or her duties under section 20 paragraph one or paragraph two or section 24 paragraph two, and during that time there is no President of the Privy Council or the President of the Privy Council is unable to perform his or her duties, the remaining Privy Councilors shall elect one among themselves to act as President of the Privy Council or to perform the duties under section 20 paragraph one or paragraph two or section 24 paragraph three, as the case may be.
83The rights and liberties, recognized by this Constitution expressly, by implication or by decisions of the Constitutional Court, shall be protected and directly binding on the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers, the Courts, and other State organs in enacting, applying and interpreting laws.
87A person shall be able to directly exercise his or her to bring a lawsuit to cause the State to comply with the provisions of this paragraph. However, where there already exists a law with details of the exercise of such rights and liberties enshrined in this Constitution, the exercise of the rights and liberties shall be in accordance with the provisions of the said law.
90It is prohibited to restrict a person’s rights and liberties enshrined in this Constitution except by virtue of law, which must not materially affect the important substance of such rights and liberties.
91The law under paragraph one shall be of general application and shall not be intended to apply to any particular case or person; provided that the provision of the Constitution authorizing its enactment shall also be mentioned therein.
97Unjust discrimination against a person on grounds of difference in origin, race, language, sex, age, physical conditions or health, economic or social status, religious belief, education or constitutionally political view, which does not contravene the provisions of this Constitution, shall not be permitted.
100Military personnel, police, government servants, other State officials, and employees of State agencies shall enjoy the same constitutional rights and liberties as the rest of the population, except for restrictions in ordinances, rules, or regulations issued by virtue of law, particularly in parts relating to politics, efficiency, and discipline or code of conduct.
104A Torture or brutal act or punishment by a cruel or inhumane means shall not be permitted; however, corporal punishment as provided by law shall not be regarded as punishment using cruel and inhumane means under this particular paragraph.
107In case of act affecting the rights and liberties under paragraph one, injured person, public prosecutor or other persons shall have the right to demand a halt or withdrawal of such action, and, within reasonable limits, choice of procedure or remedy for the damage that may have occurred.
114The restriction of such liberties under paragraph one is prohibited except by virtue of law, specifically for maintaining the security of the State, public peace and order or public welfare, town and country planning, or welfare of the youth.
118To spread or publicize news or images by any means to the general public, which violates or infringes a person’s rights or those of his or her family, or private life, is prohibited, except in public interest.
122It is prohibited to check, detain, or disclose communication between or among persons, including such other acts as to gain advance knowledge of the contents of the communication, except by virtue of law, specifically to protect national security or to maintain peace and order, or good morals of the people.
124A person shall enjoy full liberty to profess religion, religious sect or creed, and observe religious precept or exercise a form of worship in accordance with his or her belief; provided that it is not contrary to his or her civic duties, public order or good morals.
125In exercising the liberty referred to in paragraph one, a person is protected from any act of the State, which is derogatory to his or her rights or detrimental to his or benefits on the grounds of professing a religion, a religious sect or creed or observing religious precepts or exercising a form of worship in accordance with his or her different belief from that of other.
127Forced labour shall not be imposed except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for the purpose of averting imminent public calamity or by virtue of the law which provides for its imposition during the time when the country is in a state of war or armed conflict, or when a state of emergency or martial law is declared.
130A person shall not be punished except for having committed an act or acts which the law at the time of commission forbade and for which the law prescribed punishment. The punishment shall not exceed what was allowed by the law in force at the time of commission of such act.
1362.Basic right to the procedure process, which at least guarantees the basic right to an open trial, right to be informed of the facts, and to verify the documents adequately, right to present facts, refute, and produce witness and evidence, right to protest or refuse a judge or judges or examiners, right to be considered by judges or examiners in full quorum, and right to be explained about judgment or order;
1384.The injured party, the accused, plaintiff, defendant, partner, interested party, or witness in the case shall enjoy the right to suitable treatment during the process of justice, including the right for quick investigation and the right against self-incrimination;
1395.The injured party, the accused, and the witness shall enjoy the right to receive protection, assistance, remuneration from the State; compensation, and other necessary expenses by the virtue of the law;
1417.In a criminal case, the accused or defendant has the right for correct, quick investigation and justice; has enough opportunity to contend the case, check or to be correct informed of the facts, to have consultation by his or her advocate and temporary release.
148The expropriation of immovable property shall not be made except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for the State affairs on public utilities, necessary national defense, exploitation of national resources, town and country planning, promotion and preservation of the quality of the environment, agricultural or industrial development, land reform, preservation of ancient site or historic source, or other public interests, and fair compensation shall be paid in due time to the owner thereof, as well as to all persons having the rights thereto, who suffer loss by such expropriation, as provided by law.
149The amount of compensation under paragraph one shall be fairly assessed with due regard to the normal purchase price, mode of acquisition, nature and situation of the immovable property, loss of the person whose property or right thereto is expropriated, and the benefits the State and the person whose property is expropriated shall receive back from making use of that expropriated immovable property.
150The law on expropriation of immovable property shall specify the purpose of the expropriation and shall clearly determine the period of time to fulfill that purpose. If the immovable property is not used to fulfill such purpose within such period of time, it shall be returned to the original owner or his or her heir.
155The restriction on such liberties under paragraph one shall not be imposed except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for maintaining the security and safety of the State or economy of the country, protecting the public in regard to public utilities, maintaining public order and good morals, regulating the engagement in an occupation, consumer protection, town and country planning, preserving natural resources or the environment, public welfare, or preventing monopoly or eliminating unfair competition.
161The restriction on liberty under paragraph one shall not be prohibited except by virtue of law, specifically enacted for the purpose of maintaining the security of the State, safeguarding the rights, liberties, dignity reputation, family or privacy rights of the person, maintaining public or good morals or preventing the deterioration of the mind or health of the public.
163It is prohibited to ban a newspaper or other mass media from presenting news and information or expressing opinion in whole or in part, or to interfere by any means with the liberty of expression to restrict the liberty of the press under this Section except by virtue of law, expressly enacted under paragraph two.
164The censorship of news or articles by a officials of news or articles before their publication in a newspaper, printed matter, or radio and television board casting shall not be made except during the time when the country is in a state of war or armed conflict; provided this act can only be done by virtue of the law enacted under the provisions of paragraph two.
168Officials or employees in a private newspaper, radio, television board casting, or other mass media shall enjoy their liberties to present news and express their opinions under the constitutional restrictions without the mandate of any State agency, State enterprise or the owner of such business; provided that is not contrary to their professional ethics and have a right to organize institutions to protect their rights, liberties and justice, as well as to have a mechanism to control each other professional ethics.
169Civil servants, staff or employees of State agencies or State enterprises engaging in radio broadcast, telecast, or other mass media shall enjoy the same rights as their counterparts in the private sector under paragraph one.
170Any act, direct or indirect, by holders of political office, State officials, or owners of the enterprise to obstruct or intervene in presentation of news or expression of opinion on public issues by a person under paragraph one and paragraph two, shall be regarded as intentional abuse of powers and duties and shall have no legal effect except to ensure compliance with the professional ethics.
173There shall be one independent State agency whose responsibility is to allocate the frequencies under paragraph one and supervise radio and television broadcasting and telecommunication businesses as providing by law.
174In carrying out the act under paragraph two, regard shall be had to utmost public benefit at national and local levels in terms of education, culture, State security, other public interests, promotion of free and fair competition, and public participation in the operations.
175In directing and operating the business under paragraph two, there shall be measures to prevent merger or market dominance among themselves, which might result in obstruction of liberties of information or liberty to receive information from diverse sources.
177A holder of political office shall not be the owner or have the stakes in the newspaper, radio, television, and telecommunication businesses, no matter in his own name, or assign any other to act as owner or hold the stakes; or exercising by other means, direct or otherwise, which shall allow the administration of such business as if he owns or holds the stakes of such business.
181The deprived, the disabled or the permanently infirm, or those in difficult situations shall receive such rights as prescribed in paragraph one and the State support to ensure the education on equal footing as others.
185Education, training, learning, teaching, researching and disseminating such research according to academic principles shall be protected; provided that it is not contrary to his or her civic duties or good morals of the people.
188A person shall enjoy an equal right to receive appropriate and standard public health service, and the indigent shall have the right to receive free medical treatment from public health centers of the State.
192Children and youth shall have the rights of survival and to receive physical, mental, and intellectual development according to their potential in a suitable environment with vital regard to children and youth’s participation
193Children, youth, women, and family members shall have the rights to be protected by the State against violence and unfair treatment, and have the rights to be cured and rehabilitated when such incident happens.
194Intervention and restriction of the rights of children, youth, and family members shall not be permitted, except by virtue of law, specifically to conserve and maintain the status of family or for the greatest benefits of those individuals.