The Amendments to the Municipal Court and Criminal Procedure Act and Juvenile and Family Court Act

As criminal cases in the jurisdiction of the Municipal Court and the Juvenile and Family Court, are continuously increasing, the Public Prosecutor who cannot initiate the case with the Court in time prescribed by laws may request the approval to initiate the case with the Attorney-General, only if it causes delayed proceedings and affects the justice and fairness of the citizen. To make such a convenient and prompt approval as well as to protect the right and liberty of the citizen, The National Legislative Assembly announced the amended Municipal Court and Criminal Procedure Act, Volume 7, B.E. 2558 (2015) and Juvenile and Family Court Act, Volume 2, B.E. 2558 (2015) (the “Amendments”).

The Amendments were published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette on 9 September 2015 and came into force the following day. The material change of such Act is to increase the number of persons that are authorized to approve overdue cases of the Public Prosecutor. The authorized persons prescribed by the Amendments are as follows:

  1. The Attorney-General;
  2. The Public Prosecutor who has the position not less than the Director General; and
  3. The Director General for Regional Public Prosecution authorized and appointed by the Attorney- General.

Furthermore, the Juvenile and Family Court Act, Volume 3, B.E. 2558 (2015) (the “Volume 3”) and the Juvenile and Family Court Act, Volume 4, B.E. 2559 (2016) (the “Volume 4”) were also published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette on 14 December 2015 and 29 January 2016, respectively, and came into force on the following day.  The material changes of both Volume 3 and 4 are summarized as follows:

Volume 3

  • The Appeal Court for Specialized Cases was established by the law on December 2015.  Therefore, any cases of Juvenile and Family Court that were to appeal with the Appeal Court of Juvenile and Family Division shall be appealed with the Appeal Court for the Specialized Case instead.
  • Prior to establishment of the Appeal Court for Specialized Cases, the provision of the previous law regarding the appeal shall be applied, i.e., the parties are still required to appeal to the Appeal Court as usual.

Volume 4

  • The ability for an associate judge to retire at the age of Seventy-Five (75) was added in Volume 4.
  • In the past, the associate judges must have been in the position for 3 years per time and not 2 times consecutively. Now, the condition requiring 2 consecutive terms was removed from volume 4. It means the associate judges can be in that position until retirement.

It seems that the Court procedure in Thailand is continuously developing for the protection of justice of the citizen. We shall monitor the development and change in Thailand.

Should you have any queries about these new act or any legal enquiries on Thai laws, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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