Defamation In Thailand

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The King and Us Freedom of speech can be a blessing, and sometimes a curse. While we can say all thoughts in our minds, our words can cause serious harm to others, especially the words which contain no truth. Struggling to find a way to protect and limit the scale of freedom of speech, humans created a defamation law, in order to protect the reputation of others. Like other countries, Thailand also adopted this law, and later adapted to its cultural hierarchy. This adaptation causes the Thai legal system to have different defamation laws for ordinary people and for the head of the state, aka King Rama VI, the current king of Thailand. The first similarity is that both laws are existed to protect a person from defamation whether the accusation is true or false. According to Section 326 of the Thai Criminal Code, defamation is defined as “an act of imputing anything about the third party in a manner which is aimed to impair the person’s reputation or place the person in contempt or hatred by others.” The same goes to the Section 112 of the Thai Criminal Code, lese majeste, containing the clause “The king shall be enthroned in a position of revered worship and shall not be violated. No person shall expose the king to any sort of accusation or action and whoever defames, insults or threatens the king, queen, heir-apparent, or regent shall…show more content…
Tanin Kravixian, a former Supreme Court judge once reinterpreted this law to cover all royal projects and the past kings of Chakri dynasty. The notable case which this law applies to when Sulak Sivalaska questioned the reliability of Thai historical event, King Naresuan that the elephant battle between him and Burmese prince Mingyi Swa, which happened 400 years ago may not really true. Thai authorities, at the time, almost successfully sentenced Sulak to three years in
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