More on tainted judge

20 07 2013

At The Nation there’s more on retiring royalist judge and Constitutional Court President Wasan Soypisudh. It adds a little background to our earlier post and confirms Wasan’s role as a political judge.

The Nation refers to the politically tainted Wasan as “colourful, courageous and controversial.” The Nation would use such terms for a man who has done more than most to further undermine what was already a judiciary for the rich and powerful.

Wasan is described as “a brilliant law student at Thammasat University” who “embarked on his career in the judiciary, holding numerous positions…”.

Wasan’s connections with the Democrat Party are long. The report states:

When he had newly graduated, a senior person took him to see the former PM and ex-Democrat Party boss Seni Pramoj, and he became an intern at Seni’s law firm.

Wasan’s last position, before jumping into the Constitutional Court in May 2008, was as “president of the Supreme Court’s labour division, from which he retired at the age of 60.” Of course, the labor court is one of the least active courts in Thailand and is usually no more than a rubber stamp for employers and the state.

As a Supreme Court judge, it was Wasan “who handed down a two-year imprisonment term on former PM Thaksin Shinawatra for assisting his wife in the Ratchada land purchase deal.”

More recently, Wasan has opposed allowing parliament its constitutional right to rewrite the 2007 charter without a referendum. He asserted that changing the constitution can amount to a threat to the political system.

Wasan also played a role in stripping red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan of his parliamentary election victory by ruling that his incarceration on bogus charges meant he was ineligible.

The Nation’s final sentence confused us:

Wasan’s resignation will not affect the composition of the court as there are still eight judges left and future rulings will likely remain the same.

We assume that this means the Constitutional Court will remain a conservative and politicized court.


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