Constitutional Court and vote counting in Thailand

The sequel to my earlier article about Thailand’s judicial system is now up on the New Mandala blog. This one focuses exclusively on the Thai Constitutional Court. Much of this story is already familiar to anybody who watches Thailand. However, I tried to retell that story by focusing on vote counting within the court. Often, the foreign press, and even some academics, portray the bench as a monolith. Particularly after King Bhumibol’s speech to a group of judges in late April 2006, many observers have portrayed the Constitutional and Supreme Courts as agents of the monarchy. However, I note that, by and large, the vote was close and most judges voted the same way they had in the 2001 prosecution against Thaksin. There’s a lot I don’t know about the politics behind the bench, and a lot of research to be done, but I at least hope these articles force some readers to rethink the relationship between politics and courts in Thailand.

In other news, the Supreme Court turned down an appeal by Thaksin to review the February decision confiscating his assets.

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