This book assesses the attempt to establish a modern system of democratic government in Thailand against the background of Thai politics and culture. The fact that since 1932, when it became a constitutional monarchy, Thailand has had 18 constitutions speaks of an unstable political system which has seen rapid and repeated fluctuations between military rule and elected government. The main focus of this study is a critical discussion of the institutional frameworks which have been established under recent constitutions. Individual chapters deal with: Thai history and context, including the role of the monarchy and the military, and of constitutional drafting processes; parliament and elections; the executive branch of government, including the role of ministers, the civil service, of a contracting state and of anti-corruption initiatives; the structure and challenges of local government, including discussion of the southern insurgency; the Constitutional Court and constitutional enforcement; the constitutional role of administrative law and of the administrative courts; the constitutional protection of human rights, with freedom of speech as a particular case study.
Andrew Harding is Professor of Asia-Pacific Law at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Peter Leyland is Professor of Public Law at London Metropolitan University.
1 Historical Analysis and Contemporary Iss ues in Thai Constitutionalism 2 The Na tional Assembly, Elections and the Political Proces 3 The Executive Branch of Government 4 Local Democracy, Southern Insurgency and Territorial Division of Power in Thailand 5 The Constitutional Court AND CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW 6 Administrative Justice 7 Human Rights 8 Conclusion: Reflections on the Thai Constitutional Landscape