Royal Pardon is the granting of pardon to a person inflicted the punishment. There are 2 types of pardon, namely Individual and Collective Royal Pardon, of which the result may be either in the form of an unconditional release a commutation or reduction of punishment.
1. INDIVIDUAL ROYAL PARDON
Individual Royal Pardon is granted as a matter of routine procedure. After a case becomes final, convicted prisoners and relevant persons are entitled to submit petition to his Majesty the King praying for pardon.
- Persons entitled to petition for Royal Pardon include:
– Any convicted prisoners
– Relevant persons e.g. parents, children and spouse
– Diplomatic representatives (only in the case of foreign prisoners)
(Note: Lawyers are not regarded as interested persons)
- Prisoners sentenced to death wishing to petition for pardon are required to do so within 60 days since the date of hearing the judgment (in accordance with Thai Criminal Procedure Code section 262: when a case has become final, any person sentenced to death shall be executed by the authorities after the expiration of a period of sixty days from the date of hearing the judgement; provided that, in the case where there is a petition or a recommendation for pardon in accordance with Section 261, the execution shall be suspended until after the expiration of a period of sixty days from the date on which the State Councillor in charge of the Ministry of the Interior submitted the petition or recommendation to the King. But if the King rejects the petition, the execution may take place before the expiration of the said period).
- For prisoners imposed with sentence other than death, the petition can be submitted at once the case becomes final.
- Required Documents
– Petition letter signed by petitioners
– Relevant documentation e.g. certification as proof of decent behaviour, diligent progress in education and work, a bill of health confirming mental/ physical illness or disabilities (if applicable)
– Certified copy of court verdict (Prison official shall make a request of copy to the court; however, the request can also be done by relatives of prisoners if they wish.)
– Additional documents prepared by prison official e.g. report on prisoner’s background information obtained from further investigation and imprisonment warrant.
Prison officer shall forward document 1- 4 to the Department of Corrections who then shall submit the documents together with the opinion to the Ministry of Justice. Minister of Justice shall next propose the petition to his Majesty the King through The Secretariat of the Cabinet and The Office of His Majesty Principal Private Secretary. Once informed of the result of the petition the Department of Corrections shall notify the petitioner and take action accordingly.
2. COLLECTIVE ROYAL PARDON
Collective royal pardons are granted on special grounds on auspicious national events; for example, on the occasion of HM King birthday and the Long-Reign Celebration. All the procedure is taken by the authority, without requiring any actions of the prisoners. (According to section 261 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the cabinet may submit to his Majesty the King a recommendation for the granting of a pardon.)