The evolution of human rights in criminal proceedings under criminal law of Thailand


อ.ดร.ธนัทเทพ เธียรประสิทธิ์


The Proceedings of 9 ICADA 2020


Prior to 1885, criminal law of Thailand (Siam at that time) regarding the criminal proceed-
ings which is known as the “Jareet Nakhonban”, did not recognise the concept of human
rights, and many practices including the fact-finding in criminal cases were done in brutal
ways. Nonetheless, after the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce between
Great Britain and Siam, which is commonly known as the ‘Bowring Treaty’ in the latter
1885, the paradigm had shifted. Although, the treaty mainly focused on the issues of the
commerce and extraterritorial powers between the British Empire and the Kingdom of Si-
am, the treaty also had its side effect: the introduction of the concept of the recognition of
human rights into criminal law of Thailand. Since one of the reasons why Siam loss its ex-
traterritorial powers (via the treaty) is because the subjects of the British Empire did not
want to be subjected under the brutal and outdated trial of the “Jareet Nakhonbarn”. Con-
sequently, after the signing of the treaty, Siam began the administrative and legal reforms,
which include the abolition of the “Jareet Nakhonbarn” and the introduction of criminal
procedure code and for the first time, human rights are recognised under criminal law of
Thailand. By using a legal history studying approach, this article will demonstrate that this
Bowring Treaty has a significant impact on the evolution of human rights under criminal
law of Thailand by critically examining the history of criminal proceedings under the crim-
inal law of Thailand. Thereafter, it will perform a comparative analysis of the law on crim-
inal proceedings prior to the enforcement of the Bowring Treaty and after the adoption of
the Treaty, as well as identifying the key content of the treaty which influenced the law

(2563, มิถุนายน ). a sense of community in ASEANHandbook of Communication for Development and Social Change, 1325-1340.