Original language

Thai

Country
Thailand
Date of text
Type of court
National - higher court
Reference number
A. 4/2561
Tagging
Forests, Property, Damages, Administrative
Abstract

The plaintiffs were the ethnics minorities who lived in the forest area before the national park established brought the lawsuit against the forest rangers, who burned down their cottages intentionally force eviction, and demand for the compensation. The plaintiff claimed that they have their community right which was guaranteed under the Constitution B.E. 2550 (2007), at that time, and Thailand bound by the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Cabinet Resolution on 3 August B.E.2553 (2010) on the restoration of Karen traditional practice and lifestyle. Therefore, the government was bound to respect their rights and was responsible for the damages for this unlawful act. In addition, the plaintiffs requested to return to their original village called ‘the Heart of the Land’ (Jai Pandin) at Bang Kloi, Kaeng Krachan National Park, Phetchaburi Province.

The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the plaintiffs’ community was the traditional local community located in that area before. Although the forest rangers had authority under the National Park Act B.E.2504 (1961), the action was unreasonable when considering the circumstances and seriousness of the violation in this case. The forest rangers could exercise discretion not to take any violent action against the plaintiffs’ houses and property. This seriously undermined the essence of the right to life and property rights, which are the fundamental rights of persons under the Constitution. And this action violated the Cabinet Resolution on 3 August B.E.2553 (2010). The Court granted compensation for the damages. But, for the request of the plaintiffs to return to their original place at Jai Pandin, the Court dismissed this request because it has been established the national park and the plaintiffs did not have any document granted for their claim.