Constitution of Thailand (2007)/Chapter 3

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Constitution of Thailand (2007)
Chapter 3 : Rights and liberties of the Thai people

CHAPTER 3 : RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES OF THE THAI PEOPLE[edit]

Part 1 : General Provisions[edit]

Section 26. In exercising powers of all State authorities, regard shall be had to human dignity, rights and liberties in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

Section 27. Rights and liberties recognised 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, Courts, constitutional organs and State agencies in enacting, applying and interpreting laws.

Section 28. A person can invoke human dignity or exercise his or her rights and liberties in so far as it is not in violation of rights and liberties of other persons or contrary to the Constitution or good morals. A person whose rights and liberties recognised by this Constitution are violated can invoke the provisions of this Constitution for the purpose of exercising rights through the medium of the Court or defending himself or herself in the Court.

A person may have a recourse to the Court for directly enforcing the State to comply with provisions in this Chapter. Where the exercise of any particular right or liberty as recognized by this Constitution is a subject-matter of the existing law, such right and liberty shall be exercisable as provided by law.

A person shall have the right to receive from the State promotion, support and assistance as needed for the exercise of right in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.

Section 29. The restriction of such rights and liberties as recognised by the Constitution shall not be imposed on a person except by virtue of provisions of the law specifically enacted for the purpose determined by this Constitution and to the extent of necessity and provided that it shall not affect the essential substances of such rights and liberties.

The 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 authorising its enactment shall also be mentioned therein.

The provisions of paragraph one and paragraph two shall also apply mutatis mutandis to bylaws issued by virtue of provisions of law.

Part 2 : Equality[edit]

Section 30. All persons are equal before the law and shall enjoy equal protection under the law.

Men and women shall enjoy equal rights.

Unjust discrimination against a person on the grounds of the difference in origin, race, language, sex, age, disability, physical or health condition, personal status, economic or social standing, religious belief, education or constitutionally political view, shall not be permitted.

Measures determined by the State in order to eliminate obstacles to or to promote persons’ ability to exercise their rights and liberties in the same manner as other persons shall not be deemed as unjust discrimination under paragraph three.

Section 31. Members of the armed forces or the police force, Government officials, other State officials and officials or employees of State agencies shall enjoy the same rights and liberties under the Constitution as those enjoyed by other persons, unless such enjoyment is restricted by law or bylaw issued by virtue of the law specifically enacted in regard to politics, efficiency, disciplines or ethics.

Part 3 : Personal Rights and Liberties[edit]

Section 32. A person shall enjoy the right and liberty in his or her life and person. A torture, brutal act, or punishment by a cruel or inhumane means shall not be permitted; provided, however, that punishment in execution of a judgment of the Court or as provided by law shall not be deemed the punishment by a cruel or inhumane means under this paragraph.

No arrest or detention of person shall be made except by an order or a warrant of the Court or upon other causes as provided by law.

A search of a person or an act affecting the right and liberty under paragraph one shall not be made unless upon such causes as provided by law.

In the case where there occurs an act affecting the right and liberty under paragraph one, the injured person, the Public Prosecutor or any other person, in the interest of the injured person, has the right to file an application to the Court for an order stopping or revoking such act, and, for this purpose, there may be determined appropriate means or remedies for injury sustained.

Section 33. A person shall enjoy the liberty of dwelling.

A person is protected for his or her peaceful habitation in and for possession of his or her dwelling place.

An entry into a dwelling place without consent of its possessor or a search of a dwelling place or a private place shall not be made except by an order or a warrant of the Court or upon other causes as provided by law.

Section 34. A person shall enjoy the liberty of traveling and the liberty of making the choice of his or her residence within the Kingdom.

The restriction on such liberties under paragraph one shall not be imposed except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for the security of the State, public order, public welfare, town and country planning or welfare of the youth.

No person of Thai nationality shall be deported or prohibited from entering the Kingdom.

Section 35. A person’s family rights, dignity, reputation and the right of privacy shall be protected.

The assertion or circulation of a statement or picture in any manner whatsoever to the public, which violates or affects a person’s family rights, dignity, reputation or the right of privacy, shall not be made except for the case which is beneficial to the public.

A person shall have the right to be accorded protection against undue exploitation of personal data related to his or her individuality, as provided by law.

Section 36. A person shall enjoy the liberty of communication by lawful means.

The censorship, detention or disclosure of communications between persons including any other act disclosing information in the communication between persons shall not be permitted except by virtue of the provisions of the law specifically enacted for maintaining the security of the State or maintaining public order or good morals.

Section 37. A person shall enjoy full liberty to profess a religion, a religious sect or creed, and observe religious principles or religious precepts 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.

In 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 her due benefits on the grounds of professing a religion, a religious sect or creed or observing religious principles or religious precepts or exercising a form of worship in accordance with his or her different belief from that of others.

Section 38. Forced 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.

Part 4 : Rights in Administration of Justice[edit]

Section 39. No person shall be inflicted with a criminal punishment unless he or she has committed an act which the law in force at the time of commission provides to be an offence and imposes a punishment therefor, and the punishment to be inflicted on such person shall not be heavier than that provided by the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.

The suspect or the accused in a criminal case shall be presumed innocent. Before the passing of a final judgement convicting a person of having committed an offence, such person shall not be treated as a convict.

Section 40. A person shall have the following rights in the administration of justice:

(1) the right to have easy, expeditious, speedy and comprehensive access to justice;

(2) the fundamental rights in legal proceedings, in respect of which fundamental assurances must be accorded as to the openness of trial, adequate opportunities to receive information and examine documents, the submission of facts, arguments and evidence, the challenge of judges, trial by judges of a duly constituted quorum and reasoned decisions, judgments or orders;

(3) a person has the right to have his or her case tried in a correct, speedy and fair manner;

(4) the injured person, the suspect, the plaintiff, the defendant, the party, the interested person or the witness has the right to proper treatment in the administration of justice, including the right to correct, speedy, fair inquiries and the right not to make statements incriminating himself or herself;

(5) the injured person, the suspect, the accused and the witness in a criminal case has the right to receive necessary and appropriate protection and aids from the State, provided that necessary remuneration, compensation and expenses shall be as provided by law;

(6) the children, the youth, women the elderly or the disabled or persons of infirmity have the right to be accorded protection with regard to appropriate trials and have the right to receive proper treatment in cases related to sexual violence;

(7) in a criminal case, the suspect or the accused has the right to correct, speedy and fair inquiries or trials, adequate opportunities to defend himself or herself and to examine or be informed of evidence as necessary, legal assistance from an attorney and a provisional release; (8) in a civil case, a person has the right to receive appropriate legal aids from the State.

Part 5 : Rights in Property[edit]

Section 41. The property right of a person is protected.

The extent and the restriction of such right shall be in accordance with the provisions of the law.

The succession is protected. The right of succession of a person shall be in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Section 42. The expropriation of immovable property shall not be made except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for State affairs dedicated to public utilities, necessary national defence, exploitation of national resources, town and country planning, promotion and preservation of the quality of the environment, agricultural or industrial development, land reform, conservation of ancient places and sources of historical value 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.

The amount of compensation under paragraph one shall be fairly assessed with due regard to the normal market price, mode of acquisition, nature and location of the immovable property, losses suffered by the person whose property or right thereto is expropriated and benefits which the State and the person whose property or right thereto is expropriated obtain through the use of the expropriated immovable property.

The law on expropriation of immovable property shall specify the purpose of the expropriation and shall clearly determine the period of time to fulfil that purpose. If the immovable property is not used to fulfil such purpose within such period of time, it shall be returned to the original owner or his or her heir.

The return of immovable property to the original owner or his or her heir under paragraph three and the claim of compensation paid shall be in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Part 6 : Rights and Liberties in Occupation[edit]

Section 43. A person shall enjoy the liberties to engage in an enterprise or an occupation and to undertake fair and free competition.

The 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, preventing monopoly, or eliminating unfair competition.

Section 44. A person has the right to security in respect of safety and welfare at work, including security in the living both during the working life and upon leaving the state of employment.

Part 7 : Liberties in Expression of Persons and Mass Media[edit]

Section 45. A person shall enjoy the liberty to express his or her opinion, make speeches, write, print, publicise, and make expression by other means.

The restriction on the liberty under paragraph one shall not be imposed except by virtue of the provisions of the law specifically enacted for the purpose of maintaining the security of the State, safeguarding the rights, liberties, dignity, reputation, family or privacy rights of other persons, maintaining public order or good morals or preventing the deterioration of the mind or health of the public.

The closure of a newspaper or other mass media business in deprivation of the liberty under this section shall not be made.

The prohibition of a newspaper or other mass media business from presenting information or expressing opinions in whole or in part or imposition of interference by any means in deprivation of the liberty under this section shall not be made except by virtue of the law enacted under paragraph two.

The censorship by a competent official of news or articles before their publication in a newspaper or other mass media shall not be made except during the time when the country is in a state of war; provided that it must be made by virtue of the law enacted under paragraph two. The owner of a newspaper or other mass media business shall be a Thai national.

No grant of money or other properties shall be made by the State as subsidies to private newspapers or other mass media.

Section 46. Officials or employees of privately-owned newspaper, radio or television broadcasting or other mass media businesses shall enjoy their liberties to present news and express their opinions under the constitutional restrictions without any mandate of any Government agency, State agency, State enterprise or the owner of such businesses provided that it is not contrary to their professional ethics, and have the right to establish organizations protecting rights, liberties and fairness and establish self-regulatory mechanisms within professional agencies.

Government officials, officials or employees of a Government agency, a State agency or a State enterprise engaging in a radio or television broadcasting business or any other mass media business shall enjoy the same liberties as those enjoyed by officials or employees of privately-owned businesses under paragraph one.

Any act of a person holding a political position, a State official or a business owner which, whether directly or indirectly done, impedes or interferes with the presentation of news or the expression of opinions on a public issue by persons under paragraph one or paragraph two shall be deemed as an intentionally undue exercise of powers and duties and shall be of no effect, unless done in compliance with the law or professional ethics.

Section 47. Transmission frequencies for radio or television broadcasting and telecommunication are national communication resources for public interests.

There shall be an independent regulatory agency having the duty to allocate the frequencies under paragraph one and exercise supervision over the operation of radio or television broadcasting businesses and telecommunication businesses as provided by law.

In carrying out the act under paragraph two, regard shall be had to optimal benefits of the people at national and local levels in education, culture, State security, other public interests and free and fair competition, provided that public participation in the operation of public mass media shall also be encouraged.

In exercising supervision over the operation of businesses under paragraph two, there shall be measures for preventing any merger, cross right-holding or market dominance amongst mass media businesses or by any other person, which has the effect of impeding the liberty of the public in perceiving information or of obstructing public access to a diversity of information.

Section 48. A person holding a political position shall not own or hold shares in a newspaper, radio or television broadcasting or telecommunication business, whether in his or her own name or through his or her nominee or through other direct or indirect means enabling the management of such business in a way akin to owning or holding shares in such business.

Part 8 : Rights and Liberties in Education[edit]

Section 49. A person shall enjoy an equal right to receive education for the duration of not less than twelve years which shall be provided by the State thoroughly, up to the quality, and without charge.

The indigent, the disabled, persons of infirmity or persons suffering a state of difficulty shall be accorded the right under paragraph one and entitled to such support from the State as to enable them to receive education comparable to that received by other persons.

The provision of education by professional organizations or the private sector, alternative education by the people, selftuition and life-long learning shall be protected and promoted by the State as appropriate.

Section 50. A person shall enjoy an academic freedom.

Education, 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.

Part 9 : Rights to Receive Public Heath Services and Welfare from the State[edit]

Section 51. A person shall enjoy an equal right to receive public health services which are appropriate and up to the quality, and the indigent shall have the right to receive free medical treatment from public health centres of the State.

A person has the right to receive public health services from the State, which shall be provided thoroughly and efficiently.

A person has the right to be appropriately protected by the State against harmful contagious diseases, and to have such diseases eradicated, without charge and in a timely manner.

Section 52. Children and the youth have the right of survival and the right to receive physical, mental and intellectual development in accordance with their potential in a suitable environment, having prime regard to their participation.

Children, the youth, women and family members shall have the right to be protected by the State against violence and unfair treatment and shall also have the right to receive rehabilitation in the event of such circumstances.

Imposition of any interference with, and restriction on, rights of children, the youth or family members shall not be made except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for preserving and maintaining the status of the family or optimal benefits of such persons.

Children and the youth with no guardian shall have the right to receive appropriate care and education from the State.

Section 53. A person who is over sixty years of age and has insufficient income for the living shall have the right to receive such welfare and public facilities as suitable for his or her dignity as well as appropriate aids to be provided by the State.

Section 54. The disabled or persons of infirmity shall have the right to have access to and use public welfare and conveniences as well as appropriate aids to be provided by the State. Persons of unsound mind shall be appropriately assisted by the State.

Section 55. Homeless persons with insufficient income for the living shall have the right to receive appropriate aids from the State.

Part 10 : Rights in connection with Information and Complaints[edit]

Section 56. A person shall have the right to know and have access to public data or information in possession of a Government agency, a State agency, a State enterprise or a local government organisation, unless the disclosure of such data or information shall affect the security of the State, public safety or interests of other persons which shall be protected or purport to be personal data, as provided by law.

Section 57. A person shall have the right to receive data, explanations and reasons from a Government agency, a State agency, a State enterprise or a local government organisation prior to the approval or the operation of any project or activity which may affect the quality of the environment, health and sanitary conditions, the quality of life or any other material interest concerning such person or a local community and shall have the right to express his or her opinions to agencies concerned, for assisting further consideration of such matters.

In planning social, economic, political and cultural development, or in undertaking expropriation, town and country planning, zoning and making bylaws likely to have impacts on essential interests of the public, the State shall cause to be held comprehensive public hearings prior thereto.

Section 58. A person shall have the right to participate in the decision-making process of State officials in the performance of administrative functions which affect or may affect his or her rights and liberties.

Section 59. A person shall have the right to present a petition and to be informed of the result of its consideration without delay.

Section 60. A person shall have the right to file a lawsuit against a Government agency, a State agency, a State enterprise, a local government organisation or other State authority which is a juristic person to be liable for an act or omission done by its Government official, official or employee.

Section 61. The right of a person as a consumer shall be protected in respect of the acquisition of rightful information and a person as such shall have the right to make a complaint for a remedy of loss suffered as well as the right to assemble in an endeavour to protect rights of consumers.

There shall be an organisation for the protection of consumers, to be established as an entity independent from State agencies and consisting of representatives of consumers, which shall have the duties to give opinions for assisting considerations of State agencies in connection with the making and enforcement of laws and bylaws, give opinions in connection with the determination of measures for consumer protection and examine as well as report the performance or omission of acts protecting consumers. In this connection, the State shall also provide budgetary support to the operation of such independent organisation.

Section 62. A person shall have the right to monitor and make a request for an examination of the performance of duties of persons holding political positions, State agencies and State officials.

The person who bona fide provides to an agency responsible for the scrutiny of the exercise of State powers or to a State agency information in connection with the performance of duties of persons holding political positions, State agencies or State officials shall be protected.

Part 11 : Liberties in connection with Assembly and Association[edit]

Section 63. A person shall enjoy the liberty to assemble peacefully and without arms.

The restriction on such liberty under paragraph one shall not be imposed except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for the case of public assembling and for securing public convenience in the use of public places or for maintaining public order during the time when the country is in a state of war, or when a state of emergency or martial law is declared.

Section 64. A person shall enjoy the liberty to unite and form an association, a union, a league, a co-operative, a farmers’ group, a private organisation, a private development organisation or any other group.

Government officials and State officials shall have the liberty to assemble like other people provided that their assembly shall not affect the efficiency of public administration and the continuity of the provision of public services, as provided by law.

The restriction on such liberty under paragraph one and paragraph two shall not be imposed except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for protecting the common interest of the public, maintaining public order or good morals or preventing economic monopoly.

Section 65. A person shall enjoy the liberty to unite and form a political party for the purpose of making political will of the people and carrying out political activities in fulfilment of such will through the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of the State as provided in this Constitution.

The internal organisation, management and regulations of a political party shall be consistent with fundamental principles of the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of the State.

Members of the House of Representatives who are members of a political party, members of the Executive Committee of a political party, or members of a political party, of not less than the number prescribed by the Organic Act on Political Parties shall, if of the opinion that their political party’s resolution or regulation on any matter is contrary to the status and performance of duties of a member of the House of Representatives under this Constitution or contrary to or inconsistent with fundamental principles of the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of the State, have the right to refer it to the Constitutional Court for decision thereon.

In the case where the Constitutional Court decides that such resolution or regulation is contrary to or inconsistent with fundamental principles of the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of the State, such resolution or regulation shall lapse.

Part 12 : Community Rights[edit]

Section 66. Persons so assembling as to be a community, a local community or a traditional community shall have the right to conserve or restore their customs, local knowledge, good arts and culture of their community and of the nation and participate in the management, maintenance, preservation and exploitation of natural resources, the environment and the biological diversity in a balanced and sustainable fashion.

Section 67. The right of a person to give to the State and communities participation in the conservation, preservation and exploitation of natural resources and biological diversities and in the protection, promotion and preservation of the quality of the environment for regular and continued livelihood in the environment which is not hazardous to his or her health and sanitary condition, welfare or quality of life, shall be protected as appropriate.

Any project or activity which may seriously affect the community with respect to the quality of the environment, natural resources and health shall not be permitted, unless, prior to the operation thereof, its impacts on the quality of the environment and on public health have been studied and assessed and a public hearing process has been conducted for consulting the public as well as interested persons and there have been obtained opinions of an independent organisation, consisting of representatives from private organisations in the field of the environment and health and from higher education institutions providing studies in the field of the environment, natural resources or health.

The right of a community to bring a lawsuit against a Government agency, a State agency, a State enterprise, a local government organisation or other State authority which is a juristic person for the performance of duties under this provision shall be protected.

Part 13 : Rights to Protect the Constitution[edit]

Section 68. No person shall exercise the rights and liberties prescribed in the Constitution to overthrow the democratic regime of government with the King as Head of the State under this Constitution or to acquire the power to rule the country by any means which is not in accordance with the modes provided in this Constitution.

In the case where a person or a political party has committed the act under paragraph one, the person knowing of such act shall have the right to request the Prosecutor General to investigate its facts and submit a motion to the Constitutional Court for ordering cessation of such act without, however, prejudice to the institution of a criminal action against such person. In the case where the Constitutional Court makes a decision compelling the political party to cease to commit the act under paragraph two, the Constitutional Court may order the dissolution of such political party.

In the case where the Constitutional Court issues an order dissolving the political party under paragraph three, the right to vote of the dissolved political party’s leader and executive committee members at the time of the commission of the offence under paragraph one shall be suspended for the period of five years as from the date of such order of the Constitutional Court.

Section 69. A person shall have the right to resist peacefully any act committed for the acquisition of the power to rule the country by a means which is not in accordance with the modes provided in this Constitution.