Transfer of Sentenced Persons

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Under the Legislation Procedure for Cooperation between States in the Execution of Penal Sentences Act B.E. 2527 foreign nationals convicted of a crime in Thailand, and Thai citizens or nationals convicted of a crime in a foreign country, may apply for a prisoner transfer to their home country if a treaty providing for such transfer is in force between Thailand and the foreign country involved. Nowadays, Thailand has 38 bilateral prisoner transfer treaties in force in France, Spain, Canada, the United States, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Austria, Israel, Poland, Denmark, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Norway, the Philippines, Estonia, Czech, Australia, Nigeria, Mali, the Netherlands, Laos, Swaziland, Cambodia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Belgium, Japan, Iran, Republic of Korea, China, India, Maldives, Peru and Sri Lanka.

The consent of the foreign government and the prisoner is required for each transfer. The decision to transfer a prisoner is a discretionary decision to be made by “The Committee for Consideration of the Transfer of Prisoners” consisting of the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Justice (Chairman), the Judge Advocate General, the Chief Justice of the Criminal Court, the Chief Justice of the Central Juvenile Court, the Attorney-General, the Director-General of the Royal Thai Police, the Director-General of the Department of Corrections, the Director-General of the Treaty and Legal Department, the Director of the Penology Division of the Department of Corrections and the Director of the Treaty Division of the Treaty and Legal Department.

A prisoner may apply for transfer to a country of which he is a citizen or national in accordance with the provisions of the governing treaty. However, a prisoner is not eligible for transfer until the judgment and sentence in his case is final; that is, when no appeals or collateral attacks are pending. In Thailand, a prisoner must served a minimum period of imprisonment and required to pay fines that imposed as part of the criminal sentence be paid prior to transfer. Depending on the provisions of the governing treaty, prisoners who are convicted of certain types of crimes (such as military offenses and political offenses) or who have less than a year of time remaining on their sentences are not eligible for transfer.