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Constitutional judges ‘want to quit’ despite new law

Nov 27. 2017
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By The Nation

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Most of the five constitutional judge whose terms have expired want to quite even though they are allowed by the new organic bill to temporarily stay in office, Supoj Kaimook, a former Constitutional Court judge and writer of the bill, said on the weekend.

Supoj said he was close to the five judges and had learned that only a minority wanted to stay.

The development came after the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Thursday passed the organic bill governing the Constitutional Court, which contained a number of controversial clauses. 

Among them was an extension of the term of service for judges. 

The NLA vetting committee revised the bill to allow judges to remain in office until their successors are selected, which could take at least a year, regardless of their expired terms and qualifications.

Supoj, who vigorously opposed the clause during the deliberations on Thursday, said it violated the new Constitution.

“Unless it is revised, it could affect the court’s essence,” he said. 

“For instance, if a petition in regards to the issue is launched for the court to consider whether or not the clause is constitutional, then will it accept the case? How will it decide?” the former judge asked.

Such a scenario could be viewed as a conflict of interest, he said, while questioning why the NLA thought the five judges wanted to remain in their positions.

After the Constitution Drafting Commission receives the bill next week, it will discuss opposition to the bill and seek to establish a joint committee to review the law, Supoj said.

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