By KESINEE TAENGKHIEO
The National Legislative Assembly earlier this month voted in the draft legislation to add bailiffs to the court system, Courts of Justice spokesman Suriyan Hongwilai said.
The NLA will send the bill to the Cabinet to seek royal endorsement, with the law going into effect 90 days after it is published in the Royal Gazette.
In the first year, Bt22.18 million will be earmarked to hire 40 bailiffs in the first three years of implementation, who will be answerable directly to the court, Suriyan said.
A source at the Courts of Justice Office said the allotted 109 positions will be filled by the fifth year, and a budget of Bt316.98 million will be required for the entire five-year period. The draft was proposed with the aim of boosting the effectiveness of justice procedures and curbing delays due to situations that affect the ability of judges to proceed with cases, such as defendants jumping bail or failing to adhere to court orders, he noted.
The law will also result in an upgrade of the Courts of Justice’s security office – which has been providing protection at courtrooms and premises – by granting it additional authority to employ court marshals or bailiffs to arrest fugitives and guard judges.
To be eligible for the new positions, applicants must be Thai nationals, over the age of 20 and not political officials, Suriyan said, adding that his office was preparing the funds, manpower and supplies to implement the law quickly once it is passed.
The draft legislation comprises 11 Articles, listing duties; providing security to personnel and court property; preventing and suppressing wrongdoings at court; tracking down bail jumpers and presenting them in court; proceeding in line with court-issued arrest warrants with backup from police and administrative officials.