Sarah's thesis examines Thailand’s experience with rights recognition, litigation and adjudication. Focusing on the period between 1997 and 2014 when the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2540 (1997), Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand (Interim) B.E. 2549 (2006), and Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2550 (2007) were in force, it explores the manner in which rights were recognised in these constitutions, the manner in which they were claimed in courts, and the ways in which they were engaged by courts. In doing so, particular emphasis is placed on looking at relationships between the expectations of constitution drafters, as reflected in official constitution drafting records, and experiences under the constitutions.
Emphasis is also placed on identifying contexts in which rights concepts had more and less influence, and identifying factors which appear to have influenced this. Through this analysis, this thesis challenges representations in the existing literature on the significance of constitutional rights recognition, litigation and adjudication in Thailand, providing new perspective on the impacts of the 1997 reforms and the implications of encroachments on constitutional rights principle and recognition which occurred in the aftermath of the 2014 coup. It also contributes to global understandings of how rights recognition, litigation and adjudication occur in contexts different to those emphasised in the existing literature, providing opportunities for theories from that literature to be tested and refined against alternative experience.