The History of Political Influences on Thai Law Enforcement
Thailand has a rich history, and part of that history has been the political influences on law enforcement. From the ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya to the modern-day 21st century Thailand, the governing administration has always had an impact on law enforcement, leading to the rise of corruption in recent years.
In this article, we will delve deeper into the political influences on Thai law enforcement. As an expat in Thailand, it’s essential to understand the history of the country, including its governance and law enforcement, to avoid any legal issues that may arise as a result of the political climate.
The Ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya
The Kingdom of Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 and ruled for over 400 years. During its long history, the kingdom faced multiple challenges, including political interference in its law enforcement. One of the key political figures that influenced law enforcement during the Ayutthaya Kingdom was the monarch. The King of Ayutthaya was an absolute ruler, and his power extended over the kingdom’s administrative, legislative, and judicial branches of government.
As power was centralized in the monarch, the justice system was also centralized. The king was the final arbiter of law, and judges were essentially advisers. Although the king’s involvement played a significant role in the law enforcement system, it brought stability and order to the kingdom.
The Rattanakosin Period
The Rattanakosin Period marked the beginning of Thailand’s modernization as a nation, with the introduction of new laws and systems. During the period, the governing administration played a more significant role in law enforcement than the monarch. European-style police forces were introduced, and a separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches was established.
However, this new system was still heavily influenced by politics. The government used law enforcement as a tool to enforce their policies, leading to the rise of corruption in the system. This corruption marked the beginning of the current political influences affecting Thai law enforcement today.
Recent Political Influences
In modern-day Thailand, political influences on law enforcement remain a challenge. Corruption has become rampant in the system, and law enforcement agencies are not self-governing. Political interference has led to the protection of certain individuals, while some areas of law enforcement have been neglected entirely. This environment has resulted in mistrust between law enforcement agencies and the public, leading to a loss of confidence in the system.
Political influences on Thai law enforcement can range from large-scale political events, such as the 2010 Red Shirt protests, to small-scale events that go unnoticed. As an expat in Thailand, understanding these influences is crucial to avoid getting into legal trouble. And for us, we avoid to put names on scandals because it is a delicate subject.
Corruption in Law Enforcement
Corruption in Thai law enforcement has become a deeply ingrained problem that has had far-reaching effects on the country’s justice system. Despite efforts to curb it, corruption can be traced back to the influence of politics in law enforcement. This issue is not limited to the lower ranks but is evident in all levels of law enforcement, from the police patrolling the streets to the national policing agencies. The Royal Thai Police and Narcotics Suppression Bureau have also not been immune to the scourge, creating a systemic problem that has crippled the justice system. The consequences of corruption in law enforcement are dire, touching the lives of ordinary people who may end up behind bars due to influential individuals or groups who misuse their power. This situation has resulted in a loss of trust in law enforcement by the public and expats in Thailand, leading some to resort to vigilantism. The government must take urgent and decisive action to root out corruption in law enforcement and restore faith in the justice system.
The Way Forward
The Thai government has taken steps to address corruption in law enforcement. In 2018, the government introduced a new law, the Act on Prevention and Suppression of Corruption in State Agencies, aimed at combating corruption in all government agencies and departments. Additionally, measures have been put in place to separate the administrative and operational functions of law enforcement agencies.
However, the fight against corruption is ongoing, and it will take time to eradicate completely. As an expat in Thailand, it’s essential to stay informed on the latest developments, including any changes in laws or regulations, to avoid getting into legal trouble. We could think about the famous Red Bull heir, Joe Ferrari or how some political leaders, on both sides, are put aside through some laws related to defamation or others.
In conclusion, political influences have had a significant impact on Thai law enforcement throughout its history, leading to corruption, mistrust, and a loss of confidence in the system. Thailand has come a long way from the ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya, where the monarch was an absolute ruler, to the modern-day democratic system, with new laws and systems. However, political influences remain a challenge, and understanding their impact is crucial for expats in Thailand.