Ukrit hits at Constitutional Court

When the Constitutional Court has violated the rule of law, it should cease its duty, wrote Ukrit Mongkolnavin, chairman of the Independent National Rule of Law Commission (NRLC), in an open letter.

The letter said the court's rulings in several important cases have been heavily criticised.

In some, it overstepped its jurisdiction and prevented other organisations from exercising their sovereign powers, upsetting the balance and separation of powers and breaching the constitution, the former parliament president wrote.

Section 216 of the 2007 charter requires the court prescribe its procedure in an organic act while Section 300 requires it to do that within one year from the date the charter took effect.

But seven years on, the court has yet to complete that task.

Up until now, it has deliberated cases based on its own regulation on the procedure and decisions enforced in 2010.

The problem with that, Mr Ukrit wrote, is that the regulation was drafted and enforced unilaterally without the scrutiny or endorsement of parliament or other organs.

Since the constitution took effect, the court has deliberated 350 cases without underlying laws. Of the total, 92 are decisions and 258 orders.

The dereliction of this principle results in a distorted procedure, as well as the lack of clarity and clear jurisdiction.

One of its serious flaws is there is no clear time frame for the consideration of each type of cases, leaving it to the discretion of the judges and raising public doubt.

In making the decisions, it is not clear whether each judge follows Section 216, which requires him to prepare an opinion in delivering a decision on his part and make an oral statement to the meeting before passing a resolution.

Moreover, no deadline was set for the release of the resolutions and personal opinions of judges in the royal gazette.

As such, the full resolutions of some cases were published several months after the summarised resolution was announced.

The fact that the court did not abide by the constitution, pass resolutions without supporting laws and ignore due process or the procedure laid down in the charter means the legitimacy of these decisions is questionable and they could be nullified.

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