Chapter III of the

Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand



CHAPTER III

Rights and Liberties of the Thai People

Section 24. All persons shall enjoy rights and liberties subject to the provisions of the Constitution. Man and woman shall have equal rights. The restriction of rights and liberties which is contrary to the will of the provisions of the Constitution cannot be done.

Section 25. All persons are equal before the law and shall enjoy equal protection under the law.

Section 26. All persons shall enjoy political rights. The exercise of political rights shall be in accordance with the provisions of law.

Section 27. Every person shall enjoy full liberty to profess a religion, a religious sect or creed, and to exercise a form of worship in accordance with his belief; provided that it is not contrary to his civic duties and to public order or good morals. In exercising [such liberty], every person is protected from any act of the State, which is derogatory to his rights or detrimental to his due benefits, on the grounds of professing a religion, a religious sect or creed, or of exercising a form of worship in accordance with his belief different from that of others.

Section 28. No person shall be inflicted with a criminal punishment unless he has committed an act which the law in force at the time of commission provides it to be an offense 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 commission.

Section 29. In criminal cases, it shall be presumed that an accused or an offender is innocent. Prior to the final decision indicating that such person is guilty, such person can not be treated as guilty person. Submission of bail by an accused or an offender in a criminal case shall be urgently considered and the bail can not be set in excess of necessity. The refusal of bail must be in accordance with principles provided in law and must be immediately informed to the accused or offender. The right to appeal against the refusal of bail shall be protected as provided by law. Person detained or imprisoned shall have the right to receive reasonable visits.

Section 30. Every person shall enjoy the liberty of his person. The arrest, detention or search of a person, irrespective of any circumstance, shall not be made except by virtue of law. However, the arrested or searched person shall be informed of the charge or reason and reasonable detail of the arrest or search without delay and the detained person shall have the right to meet and consult with a lawyer personally. To inform any person of the charge against him, there must be reasonable evidence that such person may commit the offenses as charged. In case of detention of any person, the detainee, the public prosecutor or any person has the right to request to the court with criminal jurisdiction that such detention is illegal. After receiving such request, the court shall immediately hear the case unilaterally. If the request has reasonable ground the court shall order the detainor to bring the detainee to the court immediately and if the detainor can not satisfactorily prove to the court that such detention is legal, the court shall immediately order the release of the detainee.

Section 31. In criminal case, the accused or defendant shall have the right of fair and speedy investigation or trial.

Section 32. The accused or defendant in a criminal case shall have the right of assistance from the state by providing the lawyer as specified by law. In civil cases, a person shall have the right of legal assistance from state as specified by law.

Section 33. A person shall have the right to refuse to give any statement against oneself which might cause oneself to be charged in criminal case. Statements from any person [which result] from torture, duress or use of force, or [a] statement resulting from any act which causes an involuntary statement shall not be heard as evidence.

Section 34. In the case where any person was inflicted with a criminal punishment by a final judgment, if it appears in the judgment of the Court reviewing the case thereafter that he did not commit the alleged offense, he shall be entitled to compensation and to recover any right he had lost by virtue of the results of the judgment upon the condition and in the manner provided by law.

Section 35. Forced labor 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 armed conflict or war, or when a state of emergency or martial law is declared.

Section 36. Every person shall enjoy the liberty of dwelling. Every person is protected for his peaceful habitation in and for possession of his dwelling place. The entry into a dwelling place without the consent of its possessor or the search thereof shall not be made except by virtue of law.

Section 37. The property right of a person is protected. The extent and the restriction of such right shall be specified by law. The succession is protected. The right of succession of a person shall be specified by law.


Section 38. The expropriation of immovable property shall not be made except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for the purpose of public utility, natural defence, exploitation of national resources, town and country planning, agricultural or industrial development, land reform, or other public interests, and fair compensation shall be paid in due time to the owner thereof as well as to the person having the right therein, who suffers loss by such expropriation, as to be specified by the law.

The amount of compensation under paragraph one shall be fairly assessed with due regard to the ordinary purchasing and buying price, mode of acquisition, nature andsituation of the immovable property and loss of a person who is expropriated.

The law on expropriation of immovable property shall certainly specify the purpose of the expropriation and shall clearly determine the period of time to fulfil that purpose of such immovable property. The immovable property, if not being used to fulfill that purpose within the period of time prescribed by law, shall be returned to the original owner or his heir unless it is used for other purposes according to paragraph one pursuant to the provisions of law. The return of the immovable property to the original owner or his heir under paragraph three and the claim of compensation paid shall be as specified by law.

Section 39. A person shall have the liberty to express opinion by speech, writing, printing, advertisement and other means of communication.

The restriction of such liberty in paragraph one shall not be imposed except by virtue of law for maintaining the security of state or safeguarding the liberty, dignity, reputation, family right or privacy of other person or maintaining public order or good morals or preventing deterioration of mentality or health of the people.

The closure of a publishing firm or publication which is the restriction of liberty under this section without the judgement or order of court shall not be done.

The official censor of presentation of news or articles in the newspaper, radio broadcast or television prior to the presentation shall not be done except it is done while the country is in period of battle or war, or while a state of emergency or martial law is declared, however it must be done by virtue of law enacted according to paragraph two.

Owners of newspaper businesses or other public media must be persons of Thai Nationality according to the provisions of law. The support of money or other property to private newspaper by the state shall not be done.

Section 40. Every person shall have equal right of receiving primary education according to the law on compulsory education. Every person shall enjoy the liberty of education; provided that such education is not contrary to his civic duties under the Constitution, and to the law relating to compulsory education and the law relating to the organization of education establishments. Liberty [in academic pursuits] shall be protected, however it must not be contrary to the duty of the citizen.

Section 41. Persons shall have the right to receive standard public health services and the poor person shall receive free medical treatment according to the provisions of law.

Section 42. Every person shall enjoy the liberty to assemble peacefully and without arms. [This] restriction on liberty . . . shall not be imposed except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for the case of public meetings and for securing public conveniences in the use of public places or for maintaining public order while the country is in a state of battle or war, or while a state of emergency or martial law is declared.

Section 43. Every person shall enjoy the liberty to form an association, union, league, co-operative or any other group.

The restriction of liberty under paragraph one shall not be imposed except by virtue of provisions of law to protection of public interest of people or to maintain peace or good morals of the people or to prevent any economic monopoly.

Section 44. Every person shall enjoy the liberty to form a political party for the purpose of carrying out political activities through the means of ademocraticregime with the King as Head of State as provided in this Constitution. The formation, incorporation, management and dissolution of a political party shall be in accordance with the provisions of the law on political parties. A political party shall prepare an account showing its assets and liabilities and shall publicly declare sources of its income and expenditure as the law provides.

Section 45. Every person shall enjoy the liberty of communication by lawful means. The censorship, detention, or disclosure of communication between persons including anyother act disclosing a statement in the communication between persons, shall not be made except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for the purpose of maintaining public order or good morals or security of the State.

Section 46. Every person shall enjoy the liberty of traveling and the liberty of making the choice of his residence within the Kingdom.

The restriction on liberties under paragraph one shall not be imposed except by virtue of the law specifically enacted for the purpose of maintaining 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 47. Family rights, dignity or reputation and right of privacy of every person shall be protected. The announcement or release the news either by statement or picture or any means to the public which will effect the right of persons in family, dignity or reputation and privacy shall not be done except for the public interest.

Section 48. A person shall have the right to submit complaints as the law provides.

  • (PART II) A person shall have the right to receive information or news from the government agency or state agency or public enterprise in order to check the performance of a government official or state official when such matter has or may have an effect on the living of such person as the law provided.


  • (PART III)
  • The right of a person to sue a governmental agency which is a juristic person to be liable for an act done by its official is protected.

  • (PART IV)
  • Persons who are in the armed forces, the police force and other government officials, local government officials and employees of State organizations shall enjoy the same rights and liberties under the Constitution as those accorded to the general person unless such enjoyment is restricted by law, by-laws or regulations issued by virtue of the law specifically enacted insofar as it is concerned with politics, efficiency or discipline.

  • (PART V)
  • The right of a person to engage in an enterprise or an occupation and fair free competition shall be protected. The restriction on such rights . . . shall be imposed only by virtue of the law specifically enacted for the purpose of maintaining security and safety of the State or the economy of the country, protecting the people on public utilities, maintaining public order and good morals, organizing the rule on occupation, consumer protection, town and country planning, natural resources or environment conservation, public welfare, or for the purpose of preventing monopoly or eliminating unfair competition.

  • (PART VI)
  • No person shall exercise the rights and liberties according to the Constitution against* the Nation, religions, the King and the Constitution.

    *[Emphasis added by ameriwire]

Public document, published by the Government of Thailand at: http://www.parliament.go.th/files/library/b05-b.htm
Accessed 26 May 2004.

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