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งานวิจัยเกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย

Ramification and Re-Sacralization of the Lese Majesty Law in Thiland
Somchai Preechasilpakul (สมชาย ปรีชาศิลปกุล) David Streckfuss
บทคัดย่อ / เนิ้อหาโดยสังเขป
In October 2007, the chairperson of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), Meechai Ruchupan, with information from the report of a panel looking into lese majesty, announced “three separate groups” are in a bid “to topple the institution of the monarchy.” The first group is: using the public stage to debate whether the institution of the monarchy should continue to exist. The group was
critical of the monarchy and spread its opinions through articles and research, and presented the idea of imposing
checks on the monarchy.

The second group is “anonymous” and uses “websites registered abroad” to create “a campaign” that “aims to attack [royal]
individuals” in “a campaign” to “criticises behaviour, publishes unsuitable pictures and distorts facts.” The last group “seeks to
abuse the institution for self-interest and political reasons.” The panel had been set up to investigate “ways to tackle national
problems through legislation, particularly the four reasons cited by the coup makers for overthrowing the Thaksin Shinawatra government,” including lese majesty. “Anti-monarchy activities,” the panel advised, could be countered by “setting the issue as a national agenda and appointing a panel to be in charge of such offences, ensuring the
National Police Commission strictly enforces the law, and promoting the image of the monarchy institution, especially by creating
understanding with the international community.” Beyond that, the panel recommended that those protected by the lese majesty law be extended to the king’s children and members of the Privy Council. The law would also “allow police and judges to ban publicity or criticism or comment on lese majeste cases in any media.”

Lese majesty as a criminal charge, as the most potent political charge in Thailand, has remained not only undiminished, but, as a few months ago indicate, shows signs of renewed vitality. While in many other ways Thailand seems to have become democratic, the lese majesty law exerts a kind of supra-natural hold on society. The frequency of the charge flares up in times of political upheaval. The law has a significant effect on the popular political movement for basic rights. This phenomenon deserves careful scrutiny, especially when it is claimed that Thailand is governed democratically.

In countries where the political role of monarchs changed with the transition to democracy, greater protection was given to rights.
Protection of the monarchy was diminished and greater leeway was given to criticize or express opinions about the monarchical institution. But the tendency in Thai society has been in the opposite direction. It seems as if to whatever degree democracy has been established, the law of lese majesty has both intensified and expansive, continuously invoked, thus giving Thai society a peculiar quality in comparison with other countries that have retained the institution of the monarchy. A greater understanding of this law, then, can help us better recognize the democratic development of Thailand from a perspective different from that of other societies.
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