Corporate criminal liability and business crimes have become an important area of the law as a result of the economic climate; the recession has taken its toll on profits and, ultimately, business ethics. Regulations have been adopted to deal with this rise, and with the complexities of criminal enforcement against business entities and individuals. In order to keep up with changes and provide a clear guide to country-specific regulations, the International Comparative Guide series has published their third edition on business crime. Michael Ramirez and Amanda Davy, both in the Tilleke & Gibbins dispute resolution group, have both contributed to this year’s chapter on business crime in Thailand.
The chapter covers:
- General Criminal Law Enforcement: Which authorities can prosecute business crimes, the existence of enforcement agencies, and the crimes that they combat.
- Organization of the Courts: How the criminal courts are structured in Thailand, whether there are specialized criminal courts for particular crimes, and the absence of a right to a jury.
- Particular Statutes and Crimes: Statutes that are commonly used in Thailand to prosecute business crimes, the requisite mental state of the accused, and liability for inchoate crimes.
- Corporate Criminal Liability: Entities that are liable for criminal offenses and personal liability for managers, directors, and officers.
- Statutes of Limitations: How enforcement-limitations periods are calculated, when the periods begin running, ongoing conspiracies falling outside the limitation period, and whether limitations can be tolled.
- Initiation of Investigations: How investigations are initiated, the rules and guidelines governing the government’s initiation, and criminal authorities’ cooperation with foreign prosecutors.
- Procedures for Gathering Information from a Company: The powers that the government has to gather information when investigating business crimes, particularly in document gathering and questioning of individuals.
- Initiation of Prosecutions/Deferred Prosecution/Civil Dispositions: How criminal cases are initiated, using pretrial diversion or an agreement to defer prosecution, and the availability of civil penalties or remedies in a criminal disposition.
- Burden of Proof: Which parties have the burden of proof and in which circumstances, what the standard of proof is in Thailand, and who is the arbiter of fact.
- Conspiracy/Aiding and Abetting: The liability of a person who conspires with or assists another to commit a crime, and the nature and elements of the offense.
- Common Defenses: Defenses related to the requisite intent of the offense and the availability of ignorance of the law or the facts as a defense.
- Voluntary Disclosure Obligations: Whether a person aware of the crime has a duty to report it and whether they can be liable for not doing so.
- Cooperation Provisions/Leniency: The law on leniency in Thailand, the extent of cooperation and the steps an entity would take in seeking leniency, and the general allowance and favorable treatment received as a result.
- Plea Bargaining: Voluntarily declining to contest criminal charges, and rules and guidelines governing the government’s ability to plea bargain with a defendant.
- Elements of a Corporate Sentence: Rules or guidelines governing the court’s imposition of a sentence on the defendant.
- Appeals: The availability of appeals, by the defendant or government, to the guilty or non-guilty verdict and to a criminal sentence following a guilty verdict, the appellate court’s standard of review, and the powers it has to remedy any injustice by the trial court.
This article appeared in the 2013 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Business Crime, published by Global Legal Group Ltd., London. www.iclg.co.uk