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ResourcesThailand Criminal LawCriminal LitigationStatute of Limitations (Prescription) in Thailand After Judgement

Statute of Limitations (Prescription) in Thailand After Judgement

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing what we in the west or in the Common Law jurisdiction would call Statute of Limitations but in Thailand it is called Prescription.  

Now for those of you who are unaware, Thailand has a Civil Law system which is very dissimilar from the Common Law systems utilized by the so-called Anglo sphere throughout the world. The Common Law Systems basically all derived from what is called the common law which all emanated out of basically England, the United Kingdom and in many ways is very different, in terms of terminology it is different as noted in the title. Statute of Limitations is the term we generally use as a term of art to describe this concept. In Thailand the term Prescription is used to describe this concept of a period of time which elapses thereby precluding prosecution for a given case. 

Now Thailand utilizes a Civil Law System and there are many Civil Law Systems on the continent of Europe for example. Again Civil Law is rather different from the Common Law tradition but Thailand is even more unique because they have their own unique Thai twist with respect to the Civil Law as it is applied in Thailand. 

Another thing to take away from this is I am not a Thai Attorney. I am the Managing Director of the firm. I work with Thai Attorneys here and I went ahead and I have reviewed this and the content of this video.  This is for informational purposes only. I look at this is an exercise in comparative law to be able to explain at least to some extent how the Thai system is similar or in some cases dissimilar from in my case the American system but the broader Common Law system in general and just kind of how these differences operate on both a micro and macro level. 

If you go to our website, that is, and go to our resources section, there is a button there that says Thai Criminal Code and under that Section there is General Provisions title 1- Provisions applicable to general offenses Chapter 9 Prescription. So we are in Chapter 9 and specifically Section 98.

Now in this video, we are specifically talking about the Statue of Limitations or the Doctrine of Prescription as it applies subsequent to an adjudication in a Court. So in a prior video, we did a video on so-called Statute of Limitations or Prescription as it applies to cases that have yet to come to trial. In this circumstance we are describing cases that have yet to have a final judgment in them. 

So Section 98.  Quoting directly: "If any person convicted by final judgment has not yet undergone the punishment or has not completely undergone the punishment on account of having made an escape and such person is not brought to undergo the punishment till the following periods of time, reckoning from the day of the final judgment, (so that is important, the date of the final judgment is basically when the clock starts if you will) or the day on which the offender has made an escape, (again the clock starts), as the case may be, the execution of punishments shall be precluded by Prescription and the punishment shall not be inflicted upon such person, subsection 1, after 20 years in cases of sentence of death, imprisonment of life or imprisonment for 20 years, 15 years in a sentence of imprisonment of over 7 years but not up to 20 years, after 10 years in case of a sentence to imprisonment of over 1 year up to 7 years and finally after 5 years in case of a sentence of imprisonment of 1 year downwards or any other punishment. 

So there is this notion of Prescription. I kind of liken it a little bit to the notion of sort of a stopple.  Basically the Court of saying, "no you cannot enforce this against this person” but basically after the final judgment or upon the escape if you will, the clock starts running and there are certain periods of time at which if they have elapsed, then the system here will be precluded from applying that punishment via the Doctrine of Prescription.