Court allows suing in adulterous relationships, regardless of gender

Image: jcomp/Freepik

A landmark decision by Thailand’s Constitutional Court will soon allow wives to sue their husbands’ lovers, irrespective of their gender following a court ruling yesterday.

The ruling yesterday referenced Section 1523 of the Civil Code contravenes Section 27 of the constitution, which guarantees the rights and liberties of Thai citizens regardless of sex. This ruling mandates the enforcement of the decision within 360 days.

Section 1523 previously allowed husbands to sue their wives’ lovers and wives to sue other women who publicly displayed an adulterous relationship with their husbands. However, this provision did not account for male lovers.

Secretary-General of the Office of the Ombudsman, Keirov Kritteeranon stated that the Ombudsman had previously requested the court to assess the legality of Section 1523 which only permitted wives to sue female lovers, creating a gender-based discrepancy in the law.

“Husbands can currently sue their wives’ lovers regardless of their sex, and there is no requirement for any public display of an adulterous relationship.”

The Constitutional Court’s ruling aims to rectify this imbalance, ensuring that the law treats both spouses and their lovers equally, regardless of gender. The change underscores the significance of equal rights and liberties for all Thai citizens, as enshrined in the constitution.

The enforcement of this ruling within the stipulated 360-day period will mark a significant shift in the legal landscape regarding adultery cases in Thailand. The decision highlights a progressive move towards gender equality in the country’s legal system.

In separate news, Thailand is set to become the first nation in Southeast Asia to legalise same-sex marriage following the Senate’s approval of a marriage equality bill today. This monumental milestone was passed with an overwhelming majority, with 130 senators in favour and only four against.

The bill now awaits the king’s endorsement before it can become law. Once approved, the law will come into effect 120 days after its publication in the Royal Gazette. This makes Thailand the third Asian region to embrace marriage equality, following Taiwan in 2019 and Nepal in 2023.

Thailand News

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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