Constitutional Convention in Thailand

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Pawarit Lertdhamtewe


This article considers constitutional conventions in Thailand. It argues that the Thai constitutional convention touches a number of issues concerning the monarch’s reserve powers, including the following: (1) It is concerned with hereditary monarchy which concerns Order of Succession under the Palace Law of Succession 1924. (2) The reserve power exercised by the King to nominate Prime Minister in certain exceptional circumstances. (3) The King’s Royal Assent to formally approve an act of parliament; and it is to be countersigned. (4) The illegal and overt seizure of a state by the military, often known as “CoupD’états”, which involves in regime change, economic decline, and abolition of the Thai constitutions. This article argues that while the Supreme Court of Thailand (Dika Court) provided a precedent that Coupcan be considered to be sovereign of the country (1662/2505), it cannot change the fact that the actual power still belonged to the King. (5) While the monarch grants the royal assent to all legislation, it is a convention that the monarch has the power to withhold royal assent, as last exercised in 2546.(6) A pardon, which was the King’s decision to allow a person who has been convicted of a crime to be free and absolved of that conviction, as if never convicted; it is later stipulated in the Constitutions.


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Author Biography

Pawarit Lertdhamtewe, Faculty of Law, Ramkhamhaeng University

Pawarit Lertdhamtewe holds Ph.D. degree from the University of London where he was a Herchel Smith Scholar. He is currently a director of LL.M. program at Bangkok University, Thailand. He has been commissioned by a number of international organizations and Thai public institutions, such as Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva, Office of the Constitutional Court of Thailand, as well as the Ministry of Justice.