Lese-majeste crime : toward a tougher law ?

A group of 64 members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is seeking to extend protections against criticism for members of the royal family and Privy Council members as well as representatives appointed by the monarchy. The group, led by Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, an NLA member and Supreme Court chief judge, plans to propose amendments to the Criminal Code in which Their Majesties’ children, privy councillors and representatives appointed by the monarchy will be protected from defamation, insults or threats. Under the draft proposal, offenders would be subject to a maximum jail term of five years and/or a fine of between 10,000 and 100,000 baht. The current Criminal Code covers only Their Majesties, the heir apparent and the regent, and carries a maximum seven-year prison term and/or a maximum 140,000 baht fine.

The NLA members also seek to amend the Criminal Procedure Code to restrict media coverage of lese majeste cases.”

“The draft amendments are expected to go to the NLA tomorrow .” (Bangkok Post)

And here, an article from Reuters.

Comment : right now it’s only a proposal. But it shows clearly what want the hardliners of the NLA… And to see that a chief juge at the Supreme Court is part of that group is a bit… worrying.

UPDATE OCTOBER 10
The controversial amendment has been… withdrawn. “Mr Pornpetch, who is the Supreme Court chief judge, said a member of the Privy Council telephoned him, saying the Privy Council felt uncomfortable with it and did not want the protection afforded by the amendment.

A phone call ? Once again, a burning political story ends like a Benny Hill Show.

BangkokPundit has a comprehensive analysis (here).

2 Responses to “Lese-majeste crime : toward a tougher law ?”


  1. 1 fall 9 October 2007 at 3:09 am

    Current law already protect the regent. So what does “representative” mean? Say, deputy PM?
    It would also be quite convenience for future coup or extraordinary appointment of office. Stage a coup, put Privy Council as PM, BAM!!, no argument, no criticism.

    This law is insane and down right bring us back to Sakdina time. All must prostate ourselves or face their righteous wrath for dare enough to speak against the holy power.

    Of course, all these are done under the principal that all men are equal under the law. Some are just more equal more than the other. (Definitely Animal Farm touche here.)

  2. 2 thaicrisis 9 October 2007 at 4:21 am

    Indeed, the political motivation of such move is obvious. Even gross.

    But again it’s only a proposal. I bet that this amendment will not be voted…


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


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