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The Struggle for Freedom of Expression in Thailand: Media Moguls, the King, Citizen Politics and the Law

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Abstract:

This article examines the recent threats posed to free speech in Thailand. Both the 1997 and 2007 constitutions have included a strong commitment to protect freedom of communication and freedom of expression but there have been important developments which have undermined such provisions. On the one hand, Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra with extensive business interests in the media industry was able to dominate the broadcast media. On the other hand, the controversial lèse-majesté law has been used by factions associated with the monarchy to silence political opponents. This has included employing the far reaching powers which were granted under the Computer Crimes Act of 2007 in order to combat pornography and other forms of criminality to stifle political debate. The first part of this article provides a critical discussion of the law relating to media ownership and control in Thailand, while the second part discusses the application of the lèse-majesté law under current conditions.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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  • The only platform for focused, rigorous analysis of global developments in media law, this new peer-reviewed journal is:

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    It turns the spotlight on all those aspects of law which impinge on and shape modern media practices - from regulation and ownership, to libel law and constitutional aspects of broadcasting such as free speech and privacy, obscenity laws, copyright, piracy, and other aspects of IT law. The result is the first journal to take a serious view of law through the lens.

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