INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN CRIMINAL PROSECUTION : A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THAI LAW IN THE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS CONTEXT

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ชุมพล ชินกร

Abstract

Thai law for extradition in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries without relevant treaties was studied. A condition exists for nation requesting extradition to present a certificate of interest in the principle of reciprocity. Extradition proceedings in Thailand are governed by the Extradition Act of 2551 (2008), but are also dependant upon provisions of international treaties. In the event that no treaty is applicable, Thai domestic law applies. Problems may occur in extradition under Thai law to countries with national legislation prohibiting the drafting of such certificates, affecting the power to prosecute after extradition has been denied. An international comparative study of laws in ASEAN countries revealed that current conditions impede cooperation with nations where a Common Law system is in effect, such as Brunei and Singapore; these countries cannot prosecute all extraditable offenses. And cases without a direct relationship with Thai citizens cannot be prosecuted under Thai law. Therefore, in the absence of a definitive Asean extradition treaty, power should be granted to prosecute defendants whose extradition has been denied, to comply with the principle of aut dedere aut judicare (either extradite or prosecute), referring to the legal obligation of states under public international law to prosecute persons who commit serious international crimes where no other state has requested extradition. This measure would facilitate crime suppression within the ASEAN community.

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