Press Release from Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand
Foreign Minister, Mr.Tej Bunnag, answers Parliamentarian's query on Thai Judicial System
August 14th, 2008, 6:16 pm
On 14 August 2008, Mr. Tej Bunnag, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, in response to a query posed during question tune in the House of Representatives regarding the impact of'the former prime minister's statement," read to the House a statement on Thailand's judicial system as follows:
• Thailand's judicial system is one of the three main "pillars" of Thailand's democratic society, performing a check-and-balance role alongside the democratically-elected executive and legislative branches.
• Thailand has a strong and rich legal tradition going back hundreds of years. It has undergone continuous development, evolving from common law into the internationally-accepted civil law serving modern Thailand.
• In Thailand's history, while political circumstances and events may have at times affected the functions of T'hailand's executive and legislative "pillars" of governance, the third 'pillar", the judiciary, has remained unaffected by the political changes. In fact, the Thai judiciary has always been a stable and steadfast fixture that is universally accepted by all sectors of Thai society.
• The Thai judicial system's internal meticulous and democratic selection process for judges has garnered widespread acceptance and respect from Thai society for its professionalism, high ethical standards and independence from outside interference. For these reasons, the Thai public has always had strong faith in the integrity and impartiality of the Thai judiciary and knows that it can be counted upon.
• The Thai judicial system undergoes continuous development to keep pace with societal changes. Additional judicial organs have been created to complement the existing Court of Justice system, including the Administrative Court, the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions. The creation of these organs were stipulated in the 1997 Constitution and reaffirmed in the 2007 Constitution. These new organs have co-existed alongside the executive and legislative branches of government over the past 10 years without any questions or objections.
• While the courts are required to adjudicate their cases and administer justice according to the Constitution, the law and "in the name of the King," the judges are appointed "by Royal Command" and the Constitution stipulates that judges must present their oath of office to His Majesty the King before assuming office, these are symbolic functions. The appointments of judges are in accordance with the Thai judicial system's own selection process. The role of the Thai monarchy in these instances is thus not dissimilar from the traditional duties performed by constitutional monarchies of other nations, such as the United Kingdom.
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