Thai junta leader halts selection of law reform commissioners

The Thai junta leader has invoked his authority under the Interim Constitution to put on hold the process of selecting new members of a law reform agency, saying that the upcoming constitution is already meant to reform the country.

On Wednesday, 15 July 2015, the junta’s National Council of Peace and Order (NCPO) issued Order No. 20/2015 to stop the process of selecting new committee chairs of the Law Reform Commission of Thailand (LRCT), an independent state agency which promotes legal reforms.

According to the NCPO order, the current process of drafting a new constitution under the Constitutional Drafting Committee (CDC) already serves the reform agenda of the nation. Moreover, it states that the Interim Charter enacted after the 2014 coup d’état already includes mechanisms to reform the country's judiciary.

The term of the last LRCT committee members came to an end on 12 May 2015. There are currently 22 candidates up for selection on 19 July 2015.

With the junta’s order, the process is now halted. However, the order allows the current members of the LRCT to continue to provide support for the Council of State under the supervision of the Prime Minister in accordance to Article 12 of the Law Reform Commission Act.

The current LRCT committee members have been in office since 2010. Their tasks are to support the work of the Council of State, conduct legal studies, and make suggestions for legal improvements and reforms.

Since its establishment, the agency has been active in advocating the amendment of laws, such as the laws concerning family, surrogacy, and civil partnerships for LGBT people.

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