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New law issued to regulate Royal family assets

politics July 17, 2017 11:41

By The Nation

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A new legislation has been issued to replace the existing laws regulating assets belonging to the Royal family.

It is called the Royal Assets Structuring Act of BE 2560 (2017), which in effect repeals the three relevant laws of 1936, 1941 and 1948.

The 12-article new law was published in the Royal Gazette on Sunday and became effective from Monday. It was approved by the National Legislative Assembly.

According to the new law, “royal assets” refer to assets belonging to the King before his ascension to the throne, those given to him by the state, and those he earns personally, as well as financial returns from those assets. Any act to revoke royal assets is not permissible under this law, without royal permission.

Article 6 of the law stipulates that management of royal assets is at the King’s pleasure. He may assign the Crown Property Bureau, any individual or agency to manage the royal assets. 

The Crown Property Bureau is considered a legal entity under this legislation. The King is empowered to appoint members of a committee to run the bureau and may dismiss any of them at his pleasure.

A remark at the end of its announcement stated that this new law was issued because the King needs to spend royal assets in performing his duties and therefore he should be allowed to have the assets managed at his pleasure “so that the assets are made use of in a proper manner”.

In early May, a new law was issued to transfer five state agencies overseeing royal affairs and security to work directly under His Majesty the King. They are the Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary, the Royal Household Bureau, the Royal Aide-de-Camp Department, the Royal Security Command and the Royal Court Police. Previously, those agencies were under control of the government, the military and the police. 

In the same month, a new royal decree was issued to outline the organisation and personnel administration of the agencies that work directly under the King. There are three main agencies involved – the Privy Council, the Royal Household Bureau, and the Royal Security Command. 

Under the royal decree, privy councillors, civilians and military and police officers working in those agencies are considered officials under the King’s custody - not civil servants or state officials. The King may give military or police ranks to or remove ranks from any officials under his custody at his pleasure.