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Charter writers agree to spell out community rights

The Constitution Drafting Committee has agreed to spell out in the new draft communities’ right to sue state agencies and the requirement for environmental and health impact assessments for all large projects following numerous complaints.

The move came after people in the provinces, environmental activists and academics had criticised the omissions of community rights provisions present in Section of 67 of the 2007 charter.

Charter writers explained earlier they had taken a different approach to protecting the rights. Instead of putting them in the Rights and Liberties chapter like in the previous constitution, they included them by implication in the State Duties chapter. While they claimed the effects were the same, activists and communities were not comfortable with the change.

By Mongkol Bangprapa

Bangkok, Thailand, February 23, 2016

Bangkok Post

The Constitution Drafting Committee has agreed to spell out in the new draft communities’ right to sue state agencies and the requirement for environmental and health impact assessments for all large projects following numerous complaints.

The move came after people in the provinces, environmental activists and academics had criticised the omissions of community rights provisions present in Section of 67 of the 2007 charter.

Charter writers explained earlier they had taken a different approach to protecting the rights. Instead of putting them in the Rights and Liberties chapter like in the previous constitution, they included them by implication in the State Duties chapter. While they claimed the effects were the same, activists and communities were not comfortable with the change.

CDC spokesman Udom Rathamarit said on Monday the drafters had agreed to put back the omitted content in the chapter on rights and liberties of Thai people.

The first draft of the 270-section constitution omitted the applauded provisions of the 2007 charter, which requires that the state organise a public hearing to obtain opinions of community members, stakeholders and academics, and conduct environmental and health impact assessment (EIA and EHIA) study reports before carrying out any project which may affect communities.

Read more at Bangkok Post

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