In Thailand, even if it is a person who is actively seeking for the prosecution of an accused, it is actually the state who would be the primary complainant of the case. With this, the injured party would only act as a witness rather than the one suing the offending party. This is so because Thailand considers criminal acts as crimes against the state and as offensive to the peace and order of the Kingdom.
A criminal case arise when an injured party reports with the Royal Thai Police with regards to an alleged criminal act committed against him by another party.
Upon receiving the complaint, the police would then conduct a proper investigation in which their primary aim is to find for evidences and other pertinent facts as well as testimonies to support the complaint of the injured party with regards to the offense committed. This is with regards to any criminal acts.
On the other hand, if there is an impending crime or if a crime needs a certain amount of control considering that imposes great threat to the Thailand’s economy, social security and international relations, it would be the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) of the Ministry of Justice who would conduct the investigation. The organic personnel of the DSI conducting such investigation would be identified as the Special Case Inquiry Official.1
After a thorough investigation has been conducted by the inquiry official, the gathered documents and evidences would then be submitted to the public prosecutor for the prosecution of the accused.
The public prosecutor may also conduct its own investigations especially if the case is a high profile one or if the offense was committed overseas otherwise the prosecutor may appoint someone in capacity to investigate the matter on his behalf.
The said public prosecutor would then study the gathered documents and evidences if these would still require further investigation or if they are enough to secure a conviction and if he is in opinion that the accused must be prosecuted basing on the gathered evidences, the accused would be arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest or court order.
Nonetheless, there are a few circumstances in which the accused may be arrested with the warrant of arrest or court order.
The Thai Court
Since the offense committed is a criminal act, it shall be filed at the proper criminal court.
The Thai criminal court system does not utilize a jury to reach a verdict. In the Kingdom, it would be the judges who would render the decision of the court.
The court with the jurisdiction of the case is the court in which its territory includes the place where the criminal act has been committed unless otherwise when the accused is a resident of another territorial jurisdiction of another court or if the investigation has been done outside of such court’s coverage, the said trial would be conducted there.
Other Details of the Criminal Cases
A criminal case may be initiated by either the public prosecutor or by the injured party. In case of a sudden demise of the injured party, his family (i.e. ascendant, descendant or spouse) may proceed with the case in behalf of the injured party.
Since both the public prosecutor and the private injured party may prosecute the offending party, there can be instances in which both the public prosecutor and the injured party may file the same case on different courts against the same persons involved. With this, the court may order to harmonize the two different complaints into one.
How the Case Can Be Stopped
Several reasons may affect the criminal prosecution at court:
- If the accused has since passed away.
- If a compromise has been achieve between the two parties.
- If the complainant decides not to proceed with the case.
- If in case a new law identifies the alleged crime as lawful.
- I pardon has been given.