Nurak Marpraneet, former President of the Constitutional Court, has been appointed a member of the Privy Council.
The announcement of his appointment was published in the Royal Gazette on Monday (4 May).
After the 19 September 2006 coup, Nurak was appointed to the Constitutional Drafting Council and later to the Constitutional Court. He served as President of the Constitutional Court from 21 May 2014 to 31 March 2020.
According to iLaw, Nurak has been a Constitutional Court judge for 13 years, making him the longest serving Constitutional Court judge since the Court’s establishment. Under the 2007 Constitution, a Constitutional Court judge’s tenure is limited to one 9-year term. Nurak’s tenure was supposed to end in May 2017, but was extended by the Head of the NCPO Order 24/2560, until the 2017 Constitution and the organic laws came into effect.
However, a transitory provision in the 2017 Organic Law on Rules and Procedure of the Constitutional Court stated that judges whose tenure was previously extended are allowed to remain in their position until an elected parliament can start a selection process.
The selection process began in May 2019, and since new judges were yet to be announced, Nurak remained in his position along with four other judges whose tenure should have already ended.
iLaw also noted that, throughout Nurak’s tenure as a Constitutional Court judge, he has ruled to dissolve at least 29 political parties, including the Thai Rak Thai Party, the People’s Power Party, the Thai Raksa Chart Party, and the Future Forward Party.
He was also among the set of judges who ruled to drop charges against the Democrat Party in May 2007, during the same ruling which resulted in the dissolution of the Thai Rak Thai Party and three other parties. In November 2010, he was once again one of the Constitutional Court judges who ruled to drop charges against the Democrat Party in a case where the party face dissolution if found guilty.
Additionally, he has ruled to remove three prime ministers from office: Samak Sundaravej in September 2008, Somchai Wongsawat in December 2008, and Yingluck Shiniwatra in May 2014, as well as ruling to nullify the 2014 general election, which was obstructed by the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protests.