The Asian Human Rights Commission called the recent development in Thailand a loss to the Thai Judiciary as Thailand’s senior judges participated in a farce [proceeding] that was not of their making. They claim that the judgement has been made well before the 19 September 2006 coup. It has warned that it has tarnished Thailand’s judicial institutions, with far-reaching consequences.
The Hong Kong-based group explained that the judiciary was trying to uphold a democratically established rule based on the authority they’ve received from unelected and antidemocratic military regime. It contend that it should have not taken the case in the first place.
The regional non-governmental organization has likened the case to the United States Supreme Court’s action to decide on the legal winner of the US 2001 Presidential election. The US court, then, was aware that they should have not taken the case as it has put the integrity of the impartiality of the judiciary to test.
The AHRC quoted the US Supreme court decision:
The endorsement of that position by the majority of this Court can only lend credence to the most cynical appraisal of the work of judges throughout the land. It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today’s decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.
The AHRC said that the current development is very clear with Thailand today as the judiciary seemed to be wielding a Damocles’ sword and unwittingly justifying an unjustified regime.
By appointing a new tribunal in the stead of the Constitutional Court and setting it upon the former ruling party, the coup group cynically called upon the tribunal members not only to endorse the army’s displacement of the preceding political order, but also its attack on a nascent legal order that may in time have posed a threat to its interests. By complying, the judges have wounded their own authority and greatly risked lasting damage to public confidence in their integrity. Whether or not time will one day heal the wounds in Thailand remains to be seen, but as in the United States seven years earlier today the identity of the real loser is perfectly clear.
Related link: Full statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission