contempt of court
The police have summoned Anon Numpa, a human rights lawyer and pro-democracy activist, because of a Facebook post criticising a verdict. Anon Nampa (file photo) According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights,
The junta’s lawmakers have given the green light to a controversial bill which gives more power and protection to the Constitutional Court. The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on 23 November 2017 voted 188 in favour, none against and 5 abstentions, to pass the third reading of the draft Organic Law on the Procedures of the Constitutional Court, which was drafted by the Constitution Drafting Committee and submitted to the NLA in September.
A provincial court has handed a six-month suspended jail term to a prominent anti-junta activist while putting six other activists on probation for one year. On 2 November 2017, the Khon Kaen Provincial Court read the verdict for seven pro-democracy youth activists indicted for contempt of court for organising activities on 10 February 2017 in symbolic support of Jatupat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa, They aimed to draw attention to issues in Thailand’s justice system.
The security forces have sent a security officer to video-record the trial of activists charged with contempt of court despite the court’s prohibition.
The junta-appointed Constitution Drafting Committee (CDC) has protected the Constitutional Court against contempt under the organic law. Udom Ratamarit, spokesperson of the CDC, revealed that the CDC has submitted the draft organic law on the procedures of the Constitutional Court to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), Voice TV reports. He said the NLA will consider the bill on 28 September 2017.
The judicialisation of politics, or judicial activism, refers to circumstances where the judicial branch becomes an active player in politics, interfering in the affairs of the executive or legislative branches.
The Criminal Court has handed another jail term of two months to an embattled anti-junta politician accused of contempt of court, but suspended the sentence for two years. On 28 August 2017, the Criminal Court sentenced Watana Muangsook, a well-known politician from the Pheu Thai Party, to two months in prison and a fine of 500 baht.
The Administrative Court has sentenced an anti-corruption activist to 14 months imprisonment for contempt of court, but the jail term is suspended for three years. On 21 August 2017, the Supreme Administrative Court sentenced Srisuwan Janya, Secretary-General of a political group called the Association to Protect the Thai Constitution (APTC), to 14 months in prison and a fine of 700,000 baht.
The Criminal Court has handed a one year suspended jail term to a junta critic accused of contempt of court. On 21 August 2017, the Criminal Court sentenced Watana Muangsook, a well-known politician from the Pheu Thai Party, to one year in prison and a 500 baht fine for violating Articles 15, 30, and 31 of the Criminal Procedure Code, laws related to contempt of court. He was charged with broadcasting through Facebook live from the court premises about another case.
A provincial court has granted bail to a prominent anti-junta activist accused of contempt of court after he denied the charge. On 31 May 2017, the Provincial Court of Khon Kaen held a hearing for seven youth activists accused of contempt of court for organising activities on 10 February 2017 in symbolic support of Pai Dao Din that were designed to draw attention to issues in Thailand’s justice system.