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Restorative Justice: A paradigm shift in the Thai criminal justice system

Ua-Amoney, Jutharat
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) Paper presented at “New Frontiers in Restorative Justice: Advancing Theory and Practice”, Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University at Albany, New Zealand, 2-5 December.

Restorative justice has recently become popular as a social movement in Thailand. This social phenomenon has been relatively successful in North America, Europe, and Australia in terms of bringing crime victims and communities together and diverting less serious crimes and young offenders from the mainstream system. Thus, this study aims to find out how the global trend of restorative justice has emerged in Thailand and reformed the authoritarian regime of the Thai criminal justice system. This paper discusses the causes and consequences that combined to affect the rise of restorative justice in Thai society and changed the ideological view of the government as a result.

This research shows that restorative justice came to Thailand from both outside-in forces and inside-out forces. The former influence comes from the international or state system that defines United Nations activities, the movement of the global civil society in restorative justice and the adoption of the idea by the change agents in the Thai criminal justice system who attended the United Nations’ Congress and expert group meetings. Even more influential, the inside-out forces come from the declination of the retribution paradigm in the Thai criminal justice system and the powerful movement of the change agent in gradually extending this idea through various strategies. The result of these influences is that the Cabinet’s resolution of 10 February 2004 accepted this idea of restorative justice and the Ministry of Justice has begun to implement it in Thailand. Abstract courtesy of the Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University,


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