This comparative study of confession law and exclusionary rule of both common law countries and civil law countries indicates that Thailand adopted inappropriate tools to combat the threat of police misconduct in criminal cases. After the reform of the Thai criminal justice system in 1997, Thailand adopted international standards followed by the adoption of a strict exclusionary rule into the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) in 2004 which excluded the admissibility of a defendants' confession made to the arresting police officer. This rule is applicable even if the defendant has been given a Miranda warning alike of his right to silence and his right to counsel. The reforms raise several new concerns in the Thai criminal justice process such as the possibility of higher crime rates, and a broader gap between the law in practice and the written law.
Based on this comparative study, a defendant's confession is widely accepted as the high probative value evidence, and necessary for the administration of criminal justice systems throughout the world. As a result, a confession is always admissible proof of a defendant's guilt, under the voluntariness doctrine when considered under the totality of circumstances standard. The empirical research also suggests that the personnel in the Thai criminal justice system do not agree with the strict exclusionary rule regarding confessions made to arresting officers and still use such confessions as if the law did not exist. This law is, then, ineffective in practice and its widespread violation may create more judicial disputes.
When all the undesirable implications and social costs of the exclusionary rule are considered, Thailand needs to study the actual causes of police misconduct and implement the right tools to enhance police performance, such as professional training, and reform of the police force in other dimensions. Finally, Thailand should adopt more flexible rules of evidence, and adopt the proposed model for confession admissibility standard revision as well as other tools to enhance police performance.
|Adviser||Thomas S. Ulen|
|School||UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN|
|Subjects||Law; International law|
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