Fundamental rights in Thailand decline

An international think tank has downgraded Thailand’s rule of law ranking after the military assumed power in the 2014 coup.

World Justice Project (WJP), an international non-profit organization which conducts research on governance and rule of law worldwide, presented its annual findings showing that Thailand’s fundamental rights are spiralling downwards.

According to the 2015 report, at the regional level Thailand’s fundamental rights are ranked 11th out of 15 Asian-Pacific countries surveyed, whereas in 2014 Thailand occupied the 8th place in the region.  

Of the various indicators that go into the ranking, Thailand remarkably fares best in absence of corruption in terms of its global ranking (39th out of 102 countries) and in comparison with countries in the same upper middle income group (7th out of 31).  Figures for corruption in the executive, judiciary, police/military and legislature show that the judiciary has the poorest performance and the legislature the best.  This is ironic when current and former members of the judiciary have been heavily involved in drafting the next constitution which aims to severely curb the power of politicians.

In the overall ranking of 102 countries studied, Thailand stands at 56th place, according to the 2015 report.  In 2014, Thailand was in 47th place out of 99 countries surveyed.

In its report, WJP relies on over 100,000 household and 2,400 expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced in practical, everyday situations by ordinary people around the world.  The data for Thailand was drawn from respondents in Bangkok, Nonthaburi and Pak Kret.

Performance is assessed by using 44 indicators across eight categories, each of which is scored and ranked globally and against regional and income peers: Constraints on Government Powers, Absence of Corruption, Open Government, Fundamental Rights, Order and Security, Regulatory Enforcement, Civil Justice, and Criminal Justice.