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Title
Constitutional Court Ruling No. 3/2552
Party
Thailand
Type of document
National - higher court
Data source
InforMEA
Court name
Constitutional Court
Seat of court
Bangkok
Reference number
Ruling No. 3/2552
ECOLEX Subject(s)
Abstract

The plaintiffs claimed that the waste disposal construction project at issue was a project which may seriously affect the quality of the environment and therefore was required to go through appropriate procedure under Article 56 second paragraph of the Constitution B.E. 2540, including conducting an EIA. However, the Administrative Court ruled that the project was not a project requiring an EIA under Article 46 of the Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (Environment Act B.E. 2535). The plaintiffs therefore made an appeal and requested the Supreme Administrative Court to refer to the Constitutional Court for a ruling on whether Article 46 of the Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (Environment Act B.E. 2535) was in contrary to Article 56 second paragraph of the Constitution B.E. 2540. (At the time of the Constitutional Court’s ruling, the Constitution B.E. 2540 was replaced by the Constitution B.E. 2550, the Court therefore made a ruling based on Article 67 second paragraph of the Constitution B.E. 2550).

The Constitutional Court ruled that Article 46 of the Environment Act B.E. 2535 allowed for specifications of requirements for EIAs which were legal measures to protect the interests of the state and communities in the enhancement and conservation of the environment and was therefore in compliance with Article 67 second paragraph of the Constitution B.E. 2550.

The Court noted that nevertheless because it was the spirit of the Constitution B.E. 2550 that rights and freedom enshrined under this Constitution be immediately effective without requiring awaiting imposition of implementing legislation, the implementation of Article 46 of the Environment Act B.E. 2535 must be in accordance with Article 67 second paragraph of the Constitution B.E. 2550. Therefore, if a project or activity, whether requiring EIA under Article 46 of the Environment Act B.E. 2535 or not, may seriously affect the community in the quality of environment, natural resource, and health, a person or community has the right under Article 67 third paragraph to request the Administrative Court to order that appropriate procedure under Article 67 be taken.