One of the most significant acts by the military-backed regime put in place following the 2006 military coup was the dissolving of the Thai Rak Thai Party through the application of a “law” applied retrospectively.
That application of a junta decree indicated and demonstrated double standards in the judicial system and promoted the further politicization of the judiciary. Today, almost all arms of the judiciary are politicized and biased. In lese majeste cases, the law is not even considered important in gaining convictions.
We are not saying that the judicial system in Thailand was ever independent, unbiased and fair, but the deterioration under the influence of military regimes and their civilian clones has been precipitous.
Whatever one thinks of Thaksin Shinawatra, the Bangkok Post’s report that several court cases against the former prime minister “are expected to be resumed in absentia following a new organic law endorsed by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA)” is another example of the manipulation of the law and the politicization of the judicial system.
It is no surprise that the reduced puppet NLA “voted unanimously … to pass the controversial draft organic law on criminal procedures for holders of a political position.” (The NLA is reduced as several puppets resigned to prepare for the junta’s “election,” suggesting that the NLA has been tipped off on the date of the election, while the public is kept in the dark.)
While the change to the law to allow for trials in absentia may be considered a useful change, it is clear that this is “Thaksin’s Law,” meant to banish him from Thailand forever. (Of course, he is not the first “enemy” of the monarchy to be banished from Thailand for life.)
As the Post report notes: “Cases which have gone to the court before the enactment of this law will also be affected, meaning the law will be retroactive…. In general, rule of law forbids prosecutions under laws passed after the alleged crimes were committed.”
The anti-democrats will cheer this. Yet they are complicit in the undermining of the rule of law in Thailand.