Domestic Case Law

Pollawat Suntornwuttigrai v. Toyota Leasing (Thailand), Co. Ltd. (No. 1372/2545) Supreme Court of Thailand (2002)

Gender-based violence in general

The plaintiff was working as an employee of the defendant and had the power to evaluate whether or not probation employees will be working full-time after the probation period. The plaintiff abused that power by asking his subordinate female employees out and if they did not comply the plaintiff would evaluate such female employees in a negative way. The plaintiff also abused its power by asking out applicants who apply for positions with the defendant during the period of time the defendant has to make decisions whether or not the applicants get the positions. The defendant therefore dismissed the plaintiff, which the plaintiff claimed was an unfair dismissal. The Court held that such actions of the plaintiff constitute sexual harassment. Not only do they contradict public morals and customs which are violations of the plaintiff’s obligations regarding the defendant’s rules and regulations, they were affecting the defendant’s personnel management and growth of business by reducing the morale of female employees who refused and were harassed by the plaintiff. The violations of the plaintiff’s obligations regarding the defendant’s rules and regulations were serious. The defendant had the right to dismiss the plaintiff without having to offer the plaintiff a severance pay according to section 119(4) of the Labor Protection Act, B.E. 2541, or pay in lieu of notice, according to section 583 of the Civil and Commercial Code.

Prosecutor of Pattani Province v. Rashane Noosuwan and party defendant (No. 1917/2550) Supreme Court of Thailand (2007)

Sexual violence and rape

The plaintiff claimed the co-defendants and a party of five, together, committed battery against the victim, who is a twenty-six year old female, forcefully performed public indecency by grabbing the victim’s breasts, forced the victim to put the defendants’ genitalia parts in her mouth and gang raped the victim alternately. The second defendant denied raping the victim, contending he only forced his genitalia part in the victim’s mouth and grabbed the victim’s breasts. The Supreme Court held that this is overall a crime of gang rape. For the second defendant to force his genitalia part inside the victim’s mouth and grab the victim’s breasts during the gang rape reflected that the second defendant was a principal of first degree in the gang rape. The second defendant did not have to participate in the rape itself.

Prosecutor of Nakorn Ratchasima Province v. Piman Pollachote (No. 2398/2553) Supreme Court of Thailand (2010)

Sexual violence and rape

On the night of the crime committed, several perpetrators had gang raped the victim, at which the defendant was present. The defendant later drove the victim from the scene of the crime, and raped the victim along the way. The issue presented in front of the Supreme Court was whether the defendant was liable for gang rape when the defendant merely knelt down and was unclothed beside the victim at the gang rape. The Supreme Court held that the circumstances of the case as presented shows that the defendant was ready to gang rape the victim if had the chance. The defendant therefore was considered a principal in first degree in the gang rape.

Prosecutor of Naan Province v. Kohn Rokprai (No. 16001/2553) Supreme Court of Thailand (2010)

Sexual violence and rape

The plaintiff claimed that on the night the crime took place, the victim went to sleep around 9PM in the same bug screen as the victim’s father, the victim’s mother and her sister. Around midnight, the victim felt someone had pressed her down, undressed her pants and forced an object into her genitalia. The victim tried to push the perpetrator away. The victim felt that the person on top of her was a male, but felt too scared to open her eyes. She was perpetrated for approximately twenty minutes. The issue in this case was whether or not the defendant’s action was rape. The Supreme Court held that the circumstances of the case showed that the victim did not give consent. She tried to resist, but failed. Because the defendant was the only male in the bug screen, the victim might have suspected the defendant to be the perpetrator and felt too scared to resist or let others know. The Supreme Court held that the defendant forced his genitalia into the victim’s genitalia without consent, and that such action of the defendant constituted rape, as prescribed by section 276 paragraph 1 of Criminal Code.

Kanitchon Anansirisub v. Caster Peak Holdings, Co. Ltd. (Public) and party defendants (No. 8379/2550) Supreme Court of Thailand (2007)

Sexual harassment

The plaintiff was an employee of the defendant, under the subordination of the second defendant. In September 1995, the second defendant and the plaintiff started a sexual relationship which the plaintiff could not avoid. Later, the second defendant engaged the plaintiff in other sexual activities on several occasions, which if the plaintiff refused, the plaintiff might face consequences at work. The plaintiff resigned from her job position on June 7, 2001. The plaintiff asked the Court to grant her the right to damages paid by the defendants from the sexual harassment action, which made it impossible for her to stay in the job position, which was a violation of section 16 of the Labor Protection Act, B.E. 2541. The Supreme Court held that if the second defendant’s action was a sexual harassment, not only was the action a breach of tort duty, it was also a breach of the employment contract as well. The plaintiff therefore had the right to both the remedy for the torts claim and damages from the breach of contract claim.

Porntip v. Panomprai Katesa Supreme Court of Thailand (2009)

Divorce and dissolution of marriage, Domestic and intimate partner violence

The Supreme Court ruled that a husband's adulterous behavior which caused his wife great mental pain and humiliation and led to a four-year-separation created appropriate grounds for the wife to file for divorce.

Public Prosecutor v. Mr. Eakkapong Supreme Court of Thailand (2006)

Sexual violence and rape

The accused took the underage victim from her parents. The Court determined that the offense of sexual assault and the offense of wrongfully taking the accused for the purpose of sexual assault are separate offenses.