Thailand bounds into the information age

searchOur tour of the world’s public notice norms continues in the Southeast Asia region.  Xinxin Yang reports the following:

Thailand has 28.9 per 100 users in 2013, according to World Bank data[1].

“Thailand’s 1997 Official Information Act was the culmination of a political reform process that began in 1992.” [2] 

“In the past, all official information was considered confidential and not for disclosure except in exceptional circumstances. Now the pendulum has swung the other way and all official information, with minimal exceptions, is considered to be public information.”[3] 

According to the Information Act, any citizen can request official information by submitting a simple form. However, there are some barriers to implementation of the Information Act, and among them is the fact that members of disclosure tribunals serve on a voluntary basis. [4]

Thailand also has a Public Consultation Act that applies to all major state decisions in Thailand, including those in environment policy.[5]  More information about this law can be found in Thailand Law Forum. Pakorn Nilprapunt, Thailand’s Public Consultation Law: Opening the Door to Public Information Access and Participation. [6]

In Thailand, the practice of cultivating and acquiring unreclaimed land is called cap coong. To carry out cap coong, the farmer is obliged to ask the appropriate governmental office to inspect and survey the land in question, and to put up a public notice for 30 days. If no objection is raised, he will receive a license allowing him to occupy and cultivate the land (bai coong).[7]

Though foreigners can not own land, they can buy houses in Thailand. In the process, public notice is also required for 30 days. “The land office will issue 4 copies of a notification form for the sale of a structure (the public notice), to be put up at (1) the Or.Bor.Tor, (2) the District Office, (3) the Kamnan Office and (4) at the building itself for a 30-day public announcement of the sale (to see if anyone wishes to contest ownership).”

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[1] Internet Users per 100, http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.P2, accessed on July 7, 2014.

[2] Blanton Thomas, The World’s Right to Know, Foreign Policy, No. 131 , July-August 2002, p53

[3] Munger Frank, Constitutional Reform, Legal Consciousness, and Citizen Participation in Thailand, the Cornell International Law Journal, Vol.40, 2007. P 259

[4] Munger Frank, Constitutional Reform, Legal Consciousness, and Citizen Participation in Thailand, the Cornell International Law Journal, Vol.40, 2007. P 261

[5] Patcharee Siroros, Public Participation in Drafting the Public Consultation Act of Thailand, http://cleanairinitiative.org/portal/system/files/58044_resource_1.pdf, accessed July 1, 2014

[6] http://www.thailawforum.com/articles/pubconsult.html, accessed on July 2, 2014

[7] Toru Yano, Land Tenure in Thailand, Asian Survey, Vol.8, No.10, Japanese Scholarship on Southeast Asia: Selected Studies, October 1968, pp. 853-863, University of California Press. p.856

[1] Internet Users per 100, http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.P2, accessed on July 7, 2014.

[2] Blanton Thomas, The World’s Right to Know, Foreign Policy, No. 131 , July-August 2002, p53

[3] Munger Frank, Constitutional Reform, Legal Consciousness, and Citizen Participation in Thailand, the Cornell International Law Journal, Vol.40, 2007. P 259

[4] Munger Frank, Constitutional Reform, Legal Consciousness, and Citizen Participation in Thailand, the Cornell International Law Journal, Vol.40, 2007. P 261

[5] Patcharee Siroros, Public Participation in Drafting the Public Consultation Act of Thailand, http://cleanairinitiative.org/portal/system/files/58044_resource_1.pdf, accessed July 1, 2014

[6] http://www.thailawforum.com/articles/pubconsult.html, accessed on July 2, 2014

[7] Toru Yano, Land Tenure in Thailand, Asian Survey, Vol.8, No.10, Japanese Scholarship on Southeast Asia: Selected Studies, October 1968, pp. 853-863, University of California Press. p.856

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