Ethics of the Legal Profession of Thailand Professor

  • Vicha Mahakun Faculty of Law, Rangsit University Former National Anti-Corruption Commissioner of Thailand


This research aims to 1) study the development of ethical principles of lawyers in the legal profession making a comparison between those in Thailand and of foreign countries, 2) analyze the ethical problems faced by lawyers and the impact on Thai society at the present time, 3) analyze the mechanism used in controlling unethical behaviors of those in the legal profession, and 4) find solutions to the problems relating to ethical principles of those in the legal profession.

Mixed methods consisting of qualitative and quantitative research methodology are used in this study by means of collecting and analyzing the data and information received from the research subjects. Findings from the research reveal that the development of ethical principles can be divided into two major categories: (1) unwritten ones, namely norms, beliefs, traditions, customs, the Royal Order etc. and (2) written ones, namely code of law, rules, regulations, and circulating memorandums, etc.

In the beginning, Thailand adopted the concept of ethics in the legal profession from India, as appeared in the Indapas Principles and the Law of the Judicial Procedures. This was a combination of good norms and Buddhist beliefs with a policy of political administration. Later, all of these were included as part of the Law of the Three Seals. When Thailand began to trade with Western countries, her administrative system, legal system, and culture were reformed along Western lines.

This was done in order to defend the country from Western colonization. Moreover, Thailand had to modernize the country in line with the west. Since that time, Thailand has gradually developed her legal system following that of western countries. At present, the concept of ethics in the legal profession is a combination of East and West. This concept has been developed into rules, regulations, ideology, quality, and features. Each legal profession
has been regulated by law. The law determines the mechanism to investigate and dismiss a lawyer from their position in case of a failure to obey the law and to authorize the organizations or committee to control and/or investigate the person.

The Results of this comparative study concerning the concept, philosophy, and development of professional ethics between those of Thailand and Western countries reveal that the determination of the offence patterns and the judges’ professional ethics regulation as appears in the Law of the Three Seals regarding bribery misconduct, one of the most serious misconducts in the professional ethics of lawyers, are similar between those of Thailand and Western countries. It is recognized by both Eastern and Western countries that bribery is a significant motivation and influences biased decision making of those who practice law.


Download data is not yet available.


Allan, T.R.S. (2001). Constitutional Justice: A Liberal Theory of the Rule of Law. Great Britain, Oxford University.

American Bar Association (Center for Professional Responsibility). (2009). Model Rules of Professional Conduct. USA, ABA Publishing.

American Bar Association (Center for Professional Responsibility). (2008). Model Code of Judicial Conduct. USA, ABA Publishing.

Bolocam, Maya Goldstein. (2002). Professional Legal Ethics: A Comparative Perspective. Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI) ww. Abanet.

Bambrough, Renfold. (1963). The Philosophy of Aristotle. New York, New American Library

Doworkin. (1986). Law’s Empire. London

Hayden, Paul T. (2003). Ethical Lawyering: Legal and Professional Responsibilities in the Practice of Law. USA, American Casebook (Siries and Woot Group)

Hockett, Robert. (2009). Law. London, Elwin Street Limited.

House of Lords. (2007). Relations between the Executive, the Judiciary and Parliament. London, the Authority of the House of Lords.

Levin, Leslie (2004) “The Ethical World of Solo and Small Law Firm Practitioners” Houston Law Review 41:309-392

Levin, Leslie C & Mather, Lynn. (2012). Lawyers in Practice: Ethical Decision Making in Context. USA, The University & Chicago Press.

Massachusetts Report on Lawyer Regulation System, Sponsored by ABA standing Committee on professional Discipline.

Morris, Cearence. (1963). The Great Legal Philosophers. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press. Nelson Robert L. (2008). “Trends in the Legal Profession: Demographic, Economic and Early Careers”, September 2008.

Nicolson, Donald & Julian Well. (1999). Professional Legal Ethics. Great Britain, Oxford University press.

Rhode, Deborah L & Hazard, Geoffrey C. (2007). Professional Responsibility and Regulation. USA., Foundation Press.

Runer, Dagobert D. (1972). Dictionary of Philosophy. New Jersey, Sittlefield, Adams & co. Stuckey, Roy & Others.

(2007). Best Practices for Legal Education. USA, The University of South California. The Bungalore Principles of Judicial Conduct. (2002). The Hague, November 25-26, 2002
How to Cite
Mahakun, V. (2017). Ethics of the Legal Profession of Thailand Professor. Social Science Asia, 3(1), 1-16. Retrieved from
Invited Article