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Researching Thai Law in English: Getting Started


In general, locating and then interpreting sources of Thai law can be challenging, particularly for English-speaking researchers.  Keep in mind that, when approaching a question related to Thai law (or foreign law generally), it is often advantageous to start with a secondary source.  There are several online guides in English that can serve as introductions to understanding and researching Thai law. These resources are listed at right.

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Thailand Law Forum

According to its website, the Thai Legal Forum was established in 1997 by Thai and American law professors "to provide an online English-language resource of Thailand law and academic articles concerning Thai law." The site's objectives include: "1) providing an unbiased and comprehensive base of information concerning Thailand and Southeast Asian law and society and 2) to promote better governance and social justice through the dissemination of information and encouragement of dialogue on important legal and social issues."  The site includes legal news and access to Thai laws in English, a legal blog, videos, and various law guides and summaries.  

Introductions to Thai Law and Researching Thai Law

There are several websites that provide introductions to Thai law and Thai legal research.  Note that a number of U.S. law libraries offer webliographies for Thailand.  Try Googling "legal research" and "Thailand" to locate these pages.  See also the "Databases" tab for information on several commercial databases that also provide introductions and descriptions of Thai law and legal resources.

Bangkok Post

The Bangkok Post, which dates back to the 1940s, is one of Thailand's several English-language newspapers. Below is an RSS feed of the newspaper's top stories. 

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Online Translators

English translations of Thai legal materials are often difficult to locate and can be unreliable.  If authoritative English versions are not available, look for "official" translations that are created by, or for, a government organization. 

Many online translators are available on the WWW, but these should be used with caution since web translators do not generally include specialized legal or commercial vocabulary.  Online translators, however, may be of some help in getting the general sense of a document or passage. Google Translate will translate from Thai to English.