Insults, Threats, Defamation: Questions and Answers

We close the topic of defamation with our answers questions and conclusions. Comments to the laws are set out in Part One and Two of defamation articles.

Does the law protect foreigners or only Thai citizens have a chance to protect their rights?

Defamation laws work regardless of the nationality of both the perpetrator or the victim. Justice does not make a difference between a language that was used by the offender. In any case, all evidence must be translated into Thai before going to court.

Do Thais have any advantages over foreigners in defamation cases in practice?

Advantages will be only if the harm is done not to a private person, but to the state, public, economy. In this case, the crime is considered more serious, and the punishment is more severe.

What evidence of defamation can be presented in court?

Evidence in court may be documents, letters, oral evidence of witnesses. If the actions of the offender are covered by the Computer Crimes Law - publications on the website, blog, page or group in social networks in the form of print screens and their translations into Thai.

But even a child can fake print screens. How to find out which were sent by the offender?

The court accepts print-screenshots of the offender’s statements from a computer or telephone as evidence in most cases of defamation. If the origin of the print-screen is doubtful, the plaintiff must prove that the messages were sent by the offender. Otherwise, the court may refuse to accept the print screen as evidence.

Do statements of the offender need to be public? What if the insults were only in private conversation or in personal correspondence?

The essence of defamation is the actions that discredit the victim in the eyes of other people. There must be one or more third parties, otherwise it is not a defamation, but a personal insult. Personal insult in the presence of the victim or by publication is also punishable, but as a minor offense, by imprisonment for up to 1 month and / or a fine of up to 1,000 Baht.

And what if a person systematically sends me letters with insults and threats, I will spend money on a lawyer, and he will pay a fine only 1000 Baht??

Threat is also a petty criminal offense, the punishment is the same as with the insult. The exact sentence will depend on the nature of the insult or threat, the evidence presented and the circumstances of the case.

If several people have been defamed, can they file a class action against one violator?

Defamation, insult, slander, committed by the same person, but against several victims, cannot be combined into a single statement of claim. These violations are personal. Perhaps the methods of violation, the extent of damage to reputation - and other points that may affect the decision of the court are different.

If the offender insulted me privately and committed defamation, what article will the court be guided by?

Regarding the commission of acts that are simultaneously crimes under several articles of the Criminal Code, the court will make a decision on punishment based on the most serious crime. In this case, this is defamation.

If several people apply to the court for defamation with separate claims against the same offender, does the court decide on all claims together, or on each separately?

The court makes a separate decision on each claim, considering all circumstances: whether the offender has a criminal record or whether there is an unfinished judicial proceeding involving the offender. And, if such circumstances occur, it can tighten the sentence.

How subjective are courts to defamation cases?

Defamation processes can be more complicated than, for example, a process of violation of the terms of construction by the developer (if such claims can, in principle, be compared). In the latter, all the facts are obvious: the contract is signed and there is a fact of its violation. More evidence may be required to establish the fact and circumstances of defamation.

In this case, the parties have the right to prove their case by all legal methods. The court will be as objective as possible when considering all the evidence presented by each of the parties. If the party to the process considers that the court decision does not match the evidence provided, such party has the right to challenge the decision in the court of appeal.

Before filing a case, discuss all possible scenarios with an experienced lawyer. If the accused proves his case, you can become the accused - in the libel case.

Author: Aleksandra Agapitova

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