Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, With the Annual Message of the President Transmitted to Congress December 8, 1908
File No. 5359/7–8.
Minister King to the Secretary of State.
Bangkok, January 8, 1908.
Sir: I have the honor of inclosing a copy in the English language of the “Rules for international courts as established by the treaty between Siam and France, dated the 23d March, 1907.”
These rules will probably largely enter into whatever treaty negotiations may pass between Great Britain and Siam, and as such are apt to prove of interest to the department in the event of anything growing out of such negotiations pertaining to the relations between America and Siam.
I have, etc.,
Rules for international courts as established by the treaty between Siam and France, dated the 23d March, 1907.
- Article 1. Throughout the Kingdom of
Siam all actions, whether civil or criminal, in which French
Asiatic subjects or protégés as mentioned in article 5,
paragraph 2, of the treaty of 23d March, 1907, and Clause III of
the protocol of jurisdiction of the same date are concerned
shall be tried:
- In the first instance by the international courts.
- On appeal by the court of appeal at Bangkok.
- On further appeal by the supreme or dika court.
- Art. 2. The sitting of these various courts shall be public whether the cause under consideration be civil or criminal.
- Art. 3. Provided always, that if the publicity of any cause or matter would appear to be harmful to the public welfare or morality the court may of its own accord or at the request of the parties or any one of them make an order at any stage of the proceedings that further proceedings shall take place in private.
- Art. 4. Judgments shall in any event be pronounced publicly in open court. The reasons for the decision shall be stated therein.
- Art. 5. Pursuant to the provisions
of Section II of the protocol of jurisdiction of the 23d March,
1907, the jurisdiction of the courts mentioned in article 1
- In civil matters: To all civil and commercial matters to which French Asiatic subjects or protégés shall be parties.
- In penal matters. To breaches of law of every kind whatever committed by French Asiatic subjects or protégés or to their injury.
- Art. 6. Pursuant to the provisions
of article 5 the jurisdiction of the courts mentioned in article
1 and the special rules governing them shall extend to:
- All persons under the jurisdiction of the Siamese courts who are parties to or interveners in any civil or commercial action to which French Asiatic subjects or protégés are parties.
- All persons under the jurisdiction of the Siamese courts who are implicated in offenses committed by French Asiatic subjects or protégés or to their injury.
- Art. 7. The plea of want of jurisdiction based on the above rules must be made before any defense on the main issue is offered.
- Thus it can not be made for the first time either on appeal or further appeal.
- Whenever an objection to the jurisdiction is made the court shall decide on it by interlocutory order stating the grounds of the decision of the court.
- Art. 8. French Asiatic subjects or protégés are obliged to comply with summonses and subpoenas addressed to them by the ordinary competent Siamese authorities as well as by international courts.
- In the event of a summons or subpoena not being complied with the court or authority issuing the summons or subpoena may bring the person summoned or subpoenaed before it, but no punishment prescribed by law shall be inflicted unless by an international court.
- Art. 9. A French Asiatic subject or protégé who is confined in gaol or under arrest, whether after sentence has been passed on him or otherwise, shall at any time have the right to correspond with the French consul or vice consul of the district, and no correspondence of his addressed to the French representative shall be opened by the Siamese authorities.
- Art. 10. The French consul or vice shall at any reasonable time have the right to enter Siamese prisons in which French Asiatic subjects or protégés convicted or otherwise are confined and to converse with them privately without witnesses.
organization and powers of international courts.
- Art. 11. The following are
recognized as international courts:
- In Bangkok: The court now known as the Court of Foreign Causes, hereafter to be called the Bangkok International Court, and also the court now known as Borispah Court I, which shall be a branch of the Bangkok International Court.
- In Chantaboon, Korat, Ubon, and Chiengmai: The monthon courts sitting in these towns.
- In Nan: The Muang Court of Nan.
- Art. 12. The Borisaph Court I, sitting as an international court, shall have the same jurisdiction as the three Siamese courts called Borispah Court I, Borispah Court II, and Borispah Court III.
- The International Court of Chantaboon shall have jurisdiction over the monthon of Chantaboon.
- The International Court of Korat shall have jurisdiction over the monthon of Korat.
- The International Court of Ubon shall have jurisdiction over the monthons of Isarn and Udon.
- The International Court of Chiengmai shall have jurisdiction over the monthon of Payab, with the exception of the muangs of Nan and Preh.
- The International Court of Nan shall have jurisdiction over the muangs of Nan and Preh.
- The International Court of Bangkok shall have jurisdiction over the monthon of Bangkok and those parts of the Kingdom not specifically mentioned above.
- Art. 13. Within the limits of their
respective jurisdictions international courts have jurisdiction
- The Borispah Court I has jurisdiction over all civil actions of whatever nature where the property or matter in dispute is of a value not exceeding 160 ticals and over all criminal actions involving not more than six months’ imprisonment for the offender.
- The International Courts of Chantaboon, Korat, Ubon, Chiengmai, and Nan have jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases.
- The Bangkok International Court has in the monthon of Bangkok jurisdiction over all civil and criminal actions exceeding the jurisdiction of the Borispah Court I and in other parts of the Kingdom to which its jurisdiction extends full jurisdiction over all civil and criminal actions.
- Art. 14. Subject to the provisions of the present rules, the ordinary rules for procedure, bail, and fees in use in the Siamese courts shall be applied in international, courts. The fees shall be paid according to the rules of the court where the case is entered.
- Art. 15. In every case falling within the jurisdiction of an international court the French consul shall have the right of being present at the trial or of being represented by an European official of the consulate duly authorized and of making all observations which may appear to him to be required in the interests of justice.
- Art. 16. In any case in which the defendant is a French Asiatic subject or protégé the French consul may at any time during the proceedings, if he thinks fit and upon a written requisition, claim to hear the case. The case shall then be transferred to the French consular court, which from this moment shall alone be competent and to which the Siamese authorities are bound to give their assistance and good offices.
- Art. 17. Transfer, as mentioned in the preceding article, may only be exercised in the court of first instance and before judgment. It may be exercised as a matter of right, provided these conditions and those of article 16 are satisfied.
- Nevertheless this right shall cease to be exercised in all matters which shall be the subject of codes of laws regularly promulgated as soon as the communication of such codes or laws shall have been made to the Legation of France and they have been put into force.
- Art. 18. Before coming to a final decision in cases pending before them international courts shall bring their intended decision to the notice of the French consul.
- Art. 19. When a judgment has been agreed upon or read by an international court in the presence of the French consul, he shall indorse the original judgment as evidence that he was present.
cases arising in the muang in which an international court sits.
- Art. 20. Civil or commercial claims shall be entered and notified to the opposite party in the usual way.
- International courts shall notify the consul of their district of all claims and defenses entered with them and the date of the hearing of the case.
- Art. 21. In criminal matters
offenses may be prosecuted:
- By the injured party or by any person deriving from him a legal right to prosecute.
- By the representative of the Crown.
- By the consul resident in the district of the court.
- Art. 22. In prosecutions before the Borispah Court I notice of the nature of the offense, the names and nationalities of the parties, and the date of hearing shall be given to the consul either by the police or by the court.
- Art. 23. In prosecutions before other international courts a similar notice shall be given to the consul by the court.
- Art. 24. The consul shall be informed without delay whenever a warrant for the-arrest of or a search warrant affecting a French Asiatic subject or protégé is granted by an international court.
- Art. 25. The hearing and judgment of a case shall take place in the presence of the consul, or in his absence, provided he has been duly notified as mentioned in articles 20, 22, and 23 and does not attend.
- Art. 26. The consul may at any time inspect the files. Copies of the proceedings will be furnished to him by the court whenever desired.
cases arising outside the muang in which an international court sits.
- Art. 27. Cases which arise outside
the muang in which an international court sits may, at the
option of the claimant or of the Crown, be entered: [Page 718]
- Direct at the international court, or
- At the muang or monthon court in the jurisdiction of which the cases have arisen, having regard to the difference of the power of these courts as prescribed by Siamese procedure.
- Art. 28. When a case is entered
direct at an international court that court shall, in
conjunction with the consul (or in his absence, provided he has
been duly notified), decide according to the circumstances what
course shall be taken in each case; that is to say, the court
- Retain the case.
- Send the case to the muang or monthon court for trial only.
- Send the case to the muang or monthon court for trial and judgment.
- Art. 29. When an international court retains the case it shall be tried and adjusted as if it had arisen in the muang where the international court sits.
- Art. 30. When an international court sends a case to a muang or monthon court for trial only, the trial shall take place according to the ordinary rules of Siamese procedure as altered by these rules, and the consul may exercise in respect of the muang or monthon court all the powers which he possesses in the international court.
- When the trial has been completed, the file shall be returned to the international court, which shall notify the consul, and place the file at his disposal for a reasonable time before giving judgment.
- Judgment may be read at the option of the international court or by the muang or monthon court where the case was tried.
- Art. 31. When an international court sends a case to a muang or monthon court for trial and judgment that court may exercise all the powers of an international court.
- The muang and monthon court shall try the case and give judgment according to the ordinary rules of Siamese procedure as altered by these rules, and the consul may exercise in respect of the muang or monthon court all the powers which he possesses in the international court.
- Art. 32. When a civil or criminal
case is entered at a muang or monthon court as mentioned in
article 27, paragraph 2, the court shall proceed as follows:
- If a civil case, the court shall receive the claim, notify the defendant and receive the answer, and then send the whole file up to the international court of its district.
- If a criminal case, the court shall at once notify the international court of the names, occupations, and nationalities of the accused and of the injured party, the nature of the offense, and any other circumstances necessary to put the international court in possession of the facts.
- Whenever communication by post to the international court will take longer than 48 hours, the notification as above shall be telegraphed.
- Art. 33. The international court being then cognizant of the case shall, in conjunction with the consul or in his absence, provided he has been duly notified, decide what course it will adopt, that is, whether it will retain the case or return it for trial only or for trial and judgment, as mentioned in articles 28 to 31 above.
- Art. 34. Whenever an international court has sent a case to another court for trial or for trial and judgment, it may at any time make an order transferring further proceedings to itself, either at the request of the consul or of its own accord.
- Art. 35. The provisions of articles 21, 23, 24, 25, and 26 apply to muang and monthon courts when acting in matters within the jurisdiction of an international court.
- Art. 36. In any event, even in connection with cases arising in the muang in which an international court sits, international courts may by commission or otherwise require other Siamese courts to make inquiries, inspections, take answers to interrogatories, or to take any other steps which may be of use in the trial of the case or for the purpose of eliciting the truth.
the court of appeal.
- Art. 37. Judgments of international courts of first instance may be appealed against to the court of appeal at Bangkok.
- Interlocutory orders can only be appealed after judgment and together with an appeal from the judgment.
- Art. 38. Appeals shall be filed at the court which read the judgment.
- Art. 39. The petition on appeal shall be filed within the limits of time provided by Siamese procedure.
- Art. 40. The appellant shall, within the same limits of time, pay all fees dice and payable, otherwise the appeal shall be null and void.
- Art. 41. When an appeal is filed with an international court, the latter shall give the ordinary notice of appeal to the opposite party, and receive the reply. It shall then notify the consul, and shall place the file at the disposal of the consul, in order that the consul may take advantage of the power conferred on him by Clause V of the protocol of the 23d March, 1907, of giving a written opinion on the case. The international court shall annex any opinion to the file and send the whole to the court of appeal.
- Art. 42. When an appeal is filed with a muang or monthon court the latter shall give the ordinary notice of appeal to the opposite party, receive the reply, and send the file to the international court, which shall then proceed as mentioned in article 41.
- Art. 43. The judgment of appeal shall bear the signature of two European judges.
the supreme court of appeal.
- Art. 44. An appeal on a question of law may be made against judgments of the appeal court to the supreme, or dika, court.
- The grounds of this appeal may be want of jurisdiction or abuse of power, or in general for every violation of the law.
- Art. 45. The appeal to the dika court shall be filed before the court in which the judgment on appeal was read within the limits of time provided by Siamese procedure.
- Art. 46. The petition on dika shall set out the grounds of the dika, and all fees due and payable shall be paid therewith, otherwise the dika shall be null and void.
- Art. 47. The dika court may itself pronounce judgment on the merits of the case.