The Royal judge-PPT

May 15, 2012

[FACT comments: Mebbe the Princess could do some good at home. She could be assigned all the L-M cases. Who could be a better judge?]

Royal law and lese majeste law

Political Prisoners in Thailand: May 10, 2012


It is sadly ironic that the Cornell University Law School reports that it will host a visit by alum Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol, eldest daughter of Prince Vajiralongkorn.

The visit is sadly ironic because it comes just two days after the death in custody of lese majeste victim Ampol Tangnopakul. The princess will provide a guest lecture at Cornell based in part on her exalted appointed position as “Ambassador and Alternative Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice…”.

Just seven years post-J.D., she is said to have “a wealth of practitioner’s experience to the policy-making process of the Commission, particularly in strengthening standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice…”. Like all other royals, she has been showered with awards at a remarkably early age, including by U.N. agencies that get never-ending award pressure from supplicant Thai officials.

While she is said to have a particular interest in the conditions of women prisoners, it seems that little has changed in Thai prisons. Claimed royal interest seems to be about things “international” and reputation burnishing rather than promoting much needed and thorough-going prison reform.

It remains clear that prison conditions in Thailand remain horrendous and that there are certain women prisoners who are singled out for especially horrid treatment and denied even their constitutional rights. All prisoners held on lese majeste charges are treated in unconscionable ways. And, as the Ampol case demonstrates, lese majeste is a crime that can be a death sentence.


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