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THAILAND'S LEGAL SYSTEM: REQUIREMENTS, PRACTICE, AND ETHICAL CONDUCT
By Charunun Sathitsuksomboon
B. Judges: Membership, Requirements and Regulations
The present Thai Constitution requires that case hearings shall be conducted by a full quorum of judges as prescribed under the applicable laws. Thai judges are governed by the Regulation of the Judicial Service Act B.E. 2543 (AD 2000). The Judicial Service Commission is the governing body responsible for the appointment, promotion, transfer, and removal of judges, and has disciplinary power over them.
Generally, there are three kinds of examination for a candidate who wants to be a judge-trainee: an open examination, a knowledge test, and a special selection exam. To apply for examination, a candidate must meet the following qualifications:
(a) holds Thai nationality. (b) be not less than 25 years of age. (c) upholds the democratic regime according to the Constitution with good faith. (d) be an ordinary member of the Thai Bar Association. (e) not having ignominious or immoral conduct. (f) not being insolvent. (g) not being under suspension or having temporarily resigned pursuant to the Regulation of the Judicial Service Act or other laws. (h) not having been expelled, dismissed or removed from official service, any state agency or state enterprise. (i) not being imprisoned by a final judgement, except for an offence committed through negligence or as a result of a petty offense. (j) not being incompetent or a quasi-incompetent person, or a person of unsound mind or mental disorder or having a body or mental condition inappropriate for being a judge, or having a disease, as prescribed by the Regulation of the Judicial Service Commission. (k) having passed physical and mental examinations by a committee of doctors, consisting of not less than three; the report of such committee shall be approved by the Judicial Service Commission.(15)
In addition, each candidate for an open examination shall obtain education and work experience as follows:
(1) having a Bachelor's Degree in law (LL.B.), or having a law degree or certificate from a foreign country, not lower than Bachelor's Degree (compared and approved by the Judicial Service Commission). (2) passing the Institute of Legal Education of Thai Bar Association examination. (3) having not less than two years experience as registrar, deputy registrar, official receiver, executing officer, probation officer, public prosecutor, officer of the Judge Advocate General Department, lawyer, or other legal profession prescribed by the Judicial Service Commission.(16)
(14) Under Section 36 of the Regulation of the Judicial Service Act B.E. 2543 (AD 2000), the Judicial Service Commission shall consist of: (1) the President of the Supreme Court, as chairman; (2) 12 qualified members of all levels of Courts, four persons from each level (i.e., the Supreme Court, the Appeal Court and the Court of First Instance); and (3) 2 qualified members who are not and were not judicial officials and who are elected by the Senate.
(15) Section 26 of the Regulation of the Judicial Service Act B.E. 2543 (AD 2000).
(16) Section 27 of the Regulation of the Judicial Service Act B.E. 2543 (AD 2000).