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History of The Law Society of Thailand

Record of events 71 years the historical developments of the legal profession.

The first Lawyers Act was promulgated in 1914 during the reign of king Rama VI. The fundamental reasons for such promulgation stem from His Majesty’s express concern.

“By Royal Command of His Most Excellent Majesty Rama VI, It is hereby proclaimed that : whereas the law provides that a plaintiff and a defendant may appoint a lawyer to represent them in the Court of Justice, and whereas there are unqualified people under the guise of lawyers, and whereas current laws are not sufficient to prevail on such people, it is deemed that all those people engaging in the profession as lawyers should all possess proper qualifications, with good conduct and uniformity, This Act is therefore promulgated?.”

The Lawyers Act of B.E.2475 (A.D.1914) divided lawyers into two classes. A first- class lawyer must pass his Bar Examinations. A second-class lawyer must satisfactorily pass the examinations of the Director-General of the Court of Appeal. A first-class lawyer may practice throughout the Kingdom while the performance of a second-class lawyer is restricted to Bangkok and major cities in which his office is registered and in such other provinces as may be listed in his license.

“If he wishes to practice in other localities outside his jurisdiction, then a special permission will be required on each and every occasion.”

A.D.1934- The lawyers Act B.E.2475 was repealed and replaced with the lawyers Act B.E.2477 (A.D.1934).

A.D.1938 – The lawyers Act (No.2) B.E.2481 (A.D.1938) (amending the Lawyers Act. B.E.2477, Section 11 relating to the allegation concerning misconduct of lawyers).

A.D.1940 – The Lawyers Act (No.3) B.E.2483 (A.D.1940) (amending the calendar year, the former which states the end of the year as 31 March to 31 December to conform with international calendar year).

The Lawyers Acts A.D.1934,1938 and 1940 merely altered the details. The principle of qualifications of the first and second class lawyers under the Lawyers Act B.E. 2457 remained unchanged.

A.D.1965 – 1971 – The lawyers Act B.E.2508 (A.D.1965) repealed all previous three Lawyers Acts ,namely lawyer Act B.E.2477, B.E.2481 and B.E.2483. The draft of this Lawyers Act was proposed to the Constituent Assembly during the time which General Sarit Thanarat was Prime Minister and came into force during the time of Prime Minister Thanom Kittikachorn. In principle, the Act restricted the performance of the second-class lawyers and the rights of law graduates (LL.B) and thus provoked certain ill-feelings and oppositions. The Act took five years and eight months and five days to go through Parliament. It finally came into force during the time of Prime Minister Thanom Kittikachorn as the Lawyers Act (No.2) B.E.2514 by being published in the Government Gazette On 27 April B.E.2514 (A.D.1971).

FROM A.D.1914 – Until the promulgation of the present act. The performance of lawyers under the provisions of the aforesaid six Lawyers Acts was controlled by the Director-General of the Court of Appeal and the Bar Association, respectively, both in terms of registration for license and the control of professional ethics.

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