Note concerning Thailand Supreme court opinions: Thailand is a civil law jurisdiction that also has elements of the common law system. Accordingly, the principle law sources are acts, statutes and regulations. However, published Supreme court decisions are an important part of the legal development of Thailand and are frequently used as a secondary authority. (Summaries sponsored by Chaninat & Leeds)
2551 Thailand Supreme
Court Opinion (No. 8371) 2008
Utaradit Province Prosecutor Plaintiff vs.
Mr. Prachup Nuanma and party Defendant
Civil Ownership (Section 1336)
Land Code (Section 2, 3(2))
Agricultural Land Reform Act (Section 26(4), 36 Bis.1st paragraph)
Forest Act (Section 11, 73 1st paragraph)
The Agricultural Land Reform Act Section 36 Bis. 1st paragraph prescribed that the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO) has ownership over all parcels of land or immovable property for the purpose of agricultural land reform, not for having land ownership like the general property owner who has the right to use and dispose the property as prescribed under the Civil and Commercial Code Section 1336. The Disputed land was formerly the nation preserved forest and is owned by the State. Though the land has been withdrawn from the preserved forest under the Agricultural Land Reform Act Section 26(4), the State is still be the owner of the land. Under Thailand land law, there are changes in land classification, objectives, exploitation and the organization for overseeing and exploiting the land. There is a change of organization from the Royal Forest Department to the ALRO. The ALRO holds ownership of the land for agricultural reform as prescribed in the Agricultural Land Reform Act Section 36 Bis. The disputed land is still belong to the State as prescribed by the Land Code Section 3(2), it is still be the land that no one can be owned. The ALRO issued ALR 4-01 Kor license to appropriate State’s land for the farmers. It regarded as the license permitting the farmer to exploit the land in the Land Reform Area for agriculture and there is no legal effect on the land status. Therefore, when S has got the ALR 4-01 Kor, he can think that he could own the land by implementing by the other laws as prescribed in the Land Code Section 3(2). No one could own the land by Land Laws. The land is still a forest as prescribed by the Forest Act. So, when the First Defendant cut down the Praduu Tree (Burmese Ebony Tree), it deems as committing an offense in making preserved wood without the authorization the official as prescribed in the Forest Code; since Praduu Tree is the Kor category preserved wood.