The Evolution of the Rule of Law in Thailand: The Thai Constitutions

13 Pages Posted: 25 May 2009

Date Written: July 22, 2008


After the absolute monarchy was replaced by the first constitution in 1932, the military and technocrats had made up Thai bureaucracy leaving little room for discussing stability of law and civil liberties. To date, there have been a number of military interventions as well as 18 constitutions (including the latest version in August 2007) as the ingredient of democratic regime for Thailand over the past 75 years. It is not surprising why it is commonly albeit wrongly perceived that the rule of law does not exist in the kingdom of Thailand.

The fact that Thailand’s constitutional government developed along in a different path from that of the Western world should not be solely used to sum up the absence of the rule of law. Instead, such fact should be drawn on as the starting point to illustrate how far the Thai Constitutions have learnt to embrace the rule of law for the country. Accordingly, the following study is set to prove whether Thailand does admire and advocate the constitutional governance where the laws and administrative procedures are designed to protect individual liberties, restrict the power of the state to infringe on individual rights, and hold leadership accountable to the public.

Keywords: Constitutional Law, Thailand’s constitution

Suggested Citation

Panikabutara Coorey, Pornsakol, The Evolution of the Rule of Law in Thailand: The Thai Constitutions (July 22, 2008). UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2008-45, Available at SSRN: or

Pornsakol Panikabutara Coorey (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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