Research Activities

Research Projects

Legacies of the Past in the Modern Rule of Law in Thailand (2018_2_40_026)


In the past decade, the more polarized politics become, the more politicized the legal system. Does the Thai legal system protect individual and civil rights from the state’s abuse of power as in normative rule of law? This project argues that the modern Thai legal system since the early 20th century has been a hybrid between a European-influenced legal system and the legacies of pre-modern legal traditions with particular authoritarian characteristics that reflect its historical development over the past 150 years. The hybridity appears most evidently in laws, institutions, apparatuses, and ideology regarding national security. In order to identify the characteristics of this hybrid legal system, which is quite different from that of developed countries, in this project, we examine two issues in particular, namely, impunity privileges and the abuse of the lèse-majesté law.


April 2018 - March 2020

Members of the Research Project
[ Organizer ] Thongchai Winitchakul
[ Co-researcher ] Imaizumi Shinya
[ Co-researcher ] Somchai Preechasilapakul (Chiang Mai University)
  • The Developing Economies (DE)
  • Seminar