Updated: Kangaroo court in action again

9 01 2014

Military coup or judicial coup? Take your pick, for the anti-democracy, royalist lot have all the ducks neatly in a row. The latest duck to fall into line is the Constitutional Court.

At The Nation, as expected, it is reported that this court has ruled “that the passing of the bill to amend Article 190 of the charter is unconstitutional as it will destroy the checks and balance mechanism of Parliament, harm public interest, as well as unfairly strengthen the executive branch.”

KangarooCourtThis is kangaroo poo and piled on thick when the court also states that the parliament’s “deliberation process was hasty and cut short, making it unconstitutional.”

According to The Nation’s report, Article 190 “requires all treaties and contracts signed with other countries, which could have a serious socio-economic impact, to be approved by Parliament.” This is not entirely accurate. The constitution actually states:

Section 190. The King has the prerogative to conclude a peace treaty, armistice and other treaties with other countries or international organisations.

A treaty which provides for a change in the Thai territories or the Thai external territories that Thailand has sovereign right or jurisdiction over such territories under any treaty or an international law or requires the enactment of an Act for its implementation or affects immensely to economic or social security of the country or results in the binding of trade, investment budget of the country significantly must be approved by the National Assembly. In such case, the National Assembly must complete its consideration within sixty days as from the date of receipt of such matter.

In changing that section, the government was following the letter of the constitution, but the kangaroo court considers this unconstitutional. In essence, in its last two rulings, the Constitutional Court has effectively ruled that changing the constitution is unconstitutional, ignoring and thereby freezing Article 291 on parliamentary amendment.

In any normal legal system, the court’s comment that this change to Article 190 “was tantamount to an attempt to overthrow the current political system,” would be laughable and treated with derision. But this is Thailand and the politicized court is hard at work, making stuff up as they go along, so long as it suits their political allies in the anti-democracy movement.

Update: The courts continue to protect anti-democracy protesters. The Bangkok Post reports:

The Criminal Court has dismissed a Department of Special Investigation request for warrants for the arrest of 35 protest leaders over their roles in leading the protest movement, saying a second set of summonses should be issued first.

The DSI on Thursday sought court approval for warrants to arrest 35 protest leaders after they failed to report to the DSI headquarters on Chaeng Watthana Rd by the Jan 3 deadline to acknowledge charges of insurrection, rebellion, illegal assembly and other related charges in violation of Sections 133, 116, 215 and 216 of the Criminal Code.

The judge said some of the accused had received summonses and their lawyers had submitted formal requests to the DSI stating that their clients had acknowledged the charges against them and would testify before the DSI. This showed they had no intention to reject the summonses.

For the other accused, there was no clear evidence whether police investigators had illegally sent summonses to them. As a result, there are no reasonable grounds at this stage to issue arrest warrants and the investigators should apply for summonses for the 35 protest leaders with the court again, the judge added.

Pol Maj Yutthana Praedum, a DSI expert on special cases, said he would ask the court to issue another set of summonses on Friday or Monday.

He said the summonses had been mailed to the addresses that were shown on the accused’s civil registration but all of them were at the protest sites and claimed they had not received the court documents.



2 responses

16 01 2015
Preparing the anti-democrats | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] Court over recent years. Rather we just point to a few earlier accounts of these actions: here, here, here, here and […]

16 01 2015
Preparing the anti-democrats | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Court over recent years. Rather we just point to a few earlier accounts of these actions: here, here, here, here and […]

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