Charter Court judge assures everyone of the court’s impartiality
The Constitutional Court will exercise caution and only when necessary will it hold an individual in contempt, said Constitution Court Judge Panya Udchachon today (Sunday).
He added that the decision to uphold a contempt of court charge must be endorsed by two-thirds of the nine-member Constitutional Court panel. There are also different degrees of punishment, which may be imposed on offenders, from a warning, imposing a fine to imprisonment.
Mr. Panya explained that, in the 20 years following the creation of the Constitutional Court, no one was held in contempt because there had been no criticism of the court’s rulings.
In recent years, however, he said the Constitutional Court has come under heavy criticism, particularly concerning its rulings resulting in the dissolution of political parties, adding that the court judges have faced intimidation and the court once came under grenade attack.
These incidents amount to obstruction of the court’s proceedings and in order to protect the court from these incidents, said Mr. Panya, a provision was added to the Constitutional Court Procedures Act making actions deemed hostile to or critical of the court a contempt of court.
The Constitutional Court has tried to educate the people, the Thai and foreign media about how the court works and how the court treats the cases arriving from the Election Commission and Parliament, said the Constitutional Court judge.
He assured that the Constitutional Court has always been impartial and treats all the cases under its consideration fairly.