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THAILAND'S LEGAL SYSTEM: REQUIREMENTS, PRACTICE, AND ETHICAL CONDUCT
By Charunun Sathitsuksomboon
Once candidates are recruited, they are required to undergo training as judge-trainees for at least one year. After completion of training and if results are satisfactory, a judge-trainee will be approved by the Judicial Service Commission, and tendered to the King for royal appointment to be a judge attach to the court.(19)
The ways in which a judge can be terminated are as follows:
(1) death. (2) resignation. (3) vacating the office under law on government pension fund. (4) transfer to serve in a position as a government official, and not in a judicial position. (5) resignation for military service. (6) being formally instructed to resign. (7) being expelled, dismissed, or removed from office. (8) the Senate passes a resolution for removal from office.(20)
C. Public Prosecutors: Membership, Requirements and Regulations
A public prosecutor is an official under the Office of the Attorney-General and is governed by the Regulation of Public Prosecutor Officers Act B.E. 2521 (A.D. 1978). The Office of the Attorney-General, formerly called the Public Prosecutor Department, was separated from the Ministry of Interior and became a state agency under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister in 1991 to make the Office free from outside influence and interference. The public prosecutor is responsible for bringing criminal prosecution on behalf of the government and represents the government in civil cases where the government is a party to the proceedings. There are eight levels of positions, ranging from public prosecutor-trainee to Attorney-General. The Public Prosecutor Commission(21) is the governing body responsible for the appointment, promotion, transfer, and removal of public prosecutors and exercises disciplinary powers over them. Most of the qualifications required in order to become a public prosecutor, as well as the public prosecutor governing body, and the removal process of the public prosecutor are generally similar to those of judges.
(19) The Judicial System in Thailand: An Outlook for a New Century, page 50 of Chapter Four: Personnel in the Machinery of Justice. This book is a joint undertaking between the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court in Thailand and the Institute of Developing Economies (JETRO-IDE) of Japan.
(20) Section 32 of the Regulation of the Judicial Service Act B.E. 2543 (AD 2000).
(21) Under Section 15 of the Regulation of Public Prosecutor Officers Act B.E. 2521 (AD 1978), the Public Prosecutor Commission consists of the following persons:
(1) a president selected from a retired official, who has, in the past, served in a position not lower than Deputy Attorney General, or Attorney-General, or a qualified person in a field of laws, who is a retired official and has served, in the past, in a position not lower than Director or its equivalent. However, a person who will be selected as a president must have never been either a member or an official of a political party in the past 10 years, or political official, a member of the House of Representative or the Senate, or a lawyer; (2) the Attorney General, as a Vice-President; (3) a Deputy Attorney General, a Special Prosecutor in advisory division, a Special Prosecutor in litigious division, a Special Prosecutor in legal affairs division, as ex-officio member; (4) six qualified members elected by the public prosecutor being the official at the second level or more.