Thai Tourist Court to deliver fast justice to foreign tourists

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BANGKOK, Thailand – Thailand may set up a Tourist Court to make fast delivery of justice to foreign tourists who would otherwise depart from this country before any lawsuits they have filed could be judged by an ordinary court.

According to Tourism & Sports Minister Somsak Purisrisak, the so-called Tourist Court will handle varied criminal and civil lawsuits lodged by foreign visitors against any accused persons in Thailand in relatively prompt fashion, compared to the existing courts of justice which may spend a longer period of time than the plaintiff tourists can wait.

“There are so many cases in which plaintiff tourists such as those who may have been robbed or physically assaulted have already departed from the country before they are eventually ruled in court. We’ve been concerned that such legal snags might inadvertently fail to serve justice or maintain the confidence of the tourists in the safety of their own lives and property while staying in our country,” Somsak said over the weekend.

The sought-after Tourist Court might not only work in the daytime but in the night to ensure that justice will be served before the foreign plaintiffs return home, commented the newly- appointed minister.

The government will discuss the idea with the judicial branch and, if it is finally approved, will see to it that legislation will be submitted to the legislative branch for the establishment of the Tourist Court in foreseeable future, he said.

Besides the criminal and civil courts of law, Thailand currently has such specific courts as the Labor Court, the Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court.

Meanwhile, he added that the police will be urged to speed up investigation into criminal and civil cases involving foreign tourists as plaintiffs and quickly forward the results of their probe to court.

“In order to achieve up to 2 trillion baht (690 billion U.S. dollars) in annual earnings from tourist industry, the crimes against the tourists must be effectually contained, if not reduced, ” he said.