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Thailand's Criminal Law System Is Not Adversarial

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the Criminal Law system here in Thailand; the Criminal Jurisprudence system, the Judicial system to one degree or another. 

Basically the reason for the video is to discuss the fact I was talking with a friend actually the other day and we were kind of comparing the Common Law system to both the Civil Law system and specifically the Thai Civil law system. I repeatedly had to keep telling this person, I said "Look that isn't really practically how things work in Thailand." Thailand's Criminal Law system and their legal system in a very general sense, it is not designed to be adversarial. What I mean by adversarial for example in the American Common Law system, the thinking is that the truth comes out when there is kind of a battle over it, where both sides are arguing and they are in an adversarial posture, they are going to argue in such a way that it is going to ultimately cause the truth to come out. That is certainly one paradigm to take with respect to the finding of fact and the conclusions of laws.

Thailand takes, and many Civil Law jurisdictions do as well, takes an inquisitorial approach. I would go a step further and say just from my observation again I am not a Thai Attorney, I am an American Attorney. I have Thai nationality. The Thai Attorneys in our office are the ones that practice Thai Law and deal with the Courts but oftentimes I am kind of around in a tertiary capacity and I sort of observe as an outside observer and one thing I have noticed is even on top of it not being overtly adversarial, it is really not adversarial because Thailand has a very non-confrontational attitude in many things. It manifests itself even in the legal system where it is not designed to create arguments. I think it is trying to create a sort of maybe you can call it thesis, antithesis and synthesis but they are definitely making findings of fact and conclusions of law but it is via a different methodology. It is not through necessarily like hardcore litigation and arguing, it is more from the standpoint of "this is this side of the story; this is that side of the story" and then the Judge has to weigh all this out and again apply the law to the fact. 

So in many ways it is a fundamentally different system than the Common Law system that most folks, especially in the Anglosphere are used to dealing with in their home jurisdictions.