About the legal system
People-friendly criminal courts
- Published: 16/08/2011 at 07:36 PM
- Online news:
The Thon Buri Criminal Court in Bangkok is trying hard to make itself a more pleasant place to be.
Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha presides over a justice administration exhibition at the Thon Buri Criminal Court in Bangkok (Photo TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD).
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JUSTICE: Criminal Court to put on friendly face by Lamphai Intathep
The Thon Buri Criminal Court has introduced a programme to make its judicial proceedings and administrative work friendly to all court visitors.
Officially inaugurated by Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha during her visit to the court yesterday, the programme has been on trial for three years in an official bid to make the court a more pleasant place to be.
Vacharin Patjekvinyusakul, head of the Thonburi Criminal Court, said the programme was aimed at changing the stereotypical image of courts as being grey and unwelcoming places and to eradicate the invisible wall of fear that keeps the people and the court apart.
"Many people do not know what to do when they want to contact the court. Some feel frightened and scared even though they have done nothing wrong. I would like to eradicate that feeling by making the court more easily accessible and friendly to visitors," he said.
For the past three years, court officials from security guards to judges have been taught to be more aware about treating visitors with human dignity and equality.
"Even though they are defendants or wrongdoers, their human dignity must be respected," he said.
A friendly atmosphere in the court has been created for all, including women, the elderly, children and the disabled, from the moment they step into the court compound.
The legal proceedings for certain types of court cases have been eased to make defendants feel less nervous.
In less serious court cases that can be settled through arbitration, the parties involved are allowed to sit on sofas to negotiate deals to make the atmosphere more informal, he said.
Special courtrooms have been built to prevent witnesses and suspects from meeting face-to-face.
Consultation clinics have also been introduced to provide suggestions and consultations about judicial proceedings and other social problems to all court visitors.
The service has received a good response. About 1,500 people visited the court to use the clinic service last year. This year almost 800 people have already sought advice from the court through the clinics.
"Normally, the court defendants often feel unhappy having to go through court trials. The friendly judicial process makes them feel better," he said.
The court chief said by introducing a more friendly service, the invisible wall that stood between the court and the people would eventually be broken down.
(Source: Bangkok Post, JUSTICE: Criminal Court to put on friendly face, 16/08/2011, Lamphai Intathep, link)
Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha - พระเจ้าหลานเธอ พระองค์เจ้าพัชรกิติยาภา "Princess Bajrakitiyabha, the Royal Granddaughter ... received her master's degree and doctoral degree at Cornell Law School in New York State and received her J.S.D. degree from there in 2005 ... runs the 'Kamlangjai' or 'Inspire' project to reach out to Thai women in incarceration including pregnant inmates and their babies, and intends to assure that female and pregnant inmates are given adequate assistance and prepare them to mingle with society after their releases.She is also working on the project called 'ELFI', which 'Enhancing lives of Female Inmates', which proposes new rules on the treatment of women prisoners," author of the J.S.D. thesis "Towards Equal Justice: Protection of the Rights of the Accused in the Thai Criminal Justice Process - A Comparison with France and the United States" (See Wikipedia)
preside over - to lead and be in charge of a meeting or an event
administration (noun) - the activities of organizing and supervising the way an organization works, management
administrative work - the work of organizing and supervising the activities of an organization
justice - when people are treated fairly and equally (See Wikipedia) ความยุติธรรม
justice administration - legal administration,
exhibition - a public show where art or other interesting things are shown, people can go and take a look at them นิทรรศการ, งานแสดง
justice administration exhibition - a public display or show in which people can learn about and get information about how the legal system works
criminal court - (See Wikipedia)
proceedings - an organized series of events at one place (example: The court proceedings were published in an official set of volumes)
judicial proceedings - the statements made during a "court trial" when legal action is taken against someone
security - the activity of making safe or protecting from harm
security guards - ยาม, คนเฝ้าสถานที่ หรือระวังเหตุการณ์ตามกำหนดเวลา
dignity - 1. being worthy of honor or respect; 2. sense of pride in oneself; self-respect
human dignity - the idea that all humans are worthy of honor and respect (See Wikipedia)
equality - the state of being equal, especially in having the same rights, status and opportunities ความเสมอภาค
court trial - the process of examining a case in a court of law and deciding whether someone is guilty (having committed a crime) or innocent (not having committed a crime) การพิจารณาคดี การไต่สวนคดี
settle court cases - when the two sides in a legal case decide to end the case without a "court trial" (by paying a some of money or with an apology, etc)
arbitration - the judging and settling of a dispute or disagreement by a neutral party (not involved in dispute)
negotiate - when people discuss a problem between two people or groups to try to solve the problem (example: in the negotiations each side made some compromises and they eventually reached an agreement)
defendant - a person that the government believes broke the law, a court trial will determine whether this is true (guilty or not guilty) and how they should be punished, if it is true
parties - people or companies involved in a business arrangement, deal, or a legal case
witnesses - a person who say an event, usually an accident or crime that they describe, an eyewitness
suspects - people that the police think might be guilty of a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
inaugurate - declaring an official opening or beginning of some building or institution
on trial - testing, usually over a limited period of time, to discover how effective or suitable something is การทดลอง, การทดสอบ
official - approved by the government or some authority ที่เป็นทางการ
bid - an attempt to do something ความพยายาม
stereotype (noun) - a fixed general idea or opinion that people have about a group of people (not completely true, false in many cases)
image - the picture of something that people have in their mind, what people think about something ภาพลักษณ์
stereotypical image of courts - a fixed idea that people have about courts (not true in all cases)
unwelcoming places - a place that it does not feel nice to go to
eradicate - to get rid of completely or destroy something bad กำจัดจนหมดสิ้น
eradicate that feeling - end that feeling that people have
invisible - unable to be seen มองไม่เห็น
eradicate the invisible wall of fear - end the fear (which is like an "invisible wall" = a metaphor)
metaphor - an imaginative way of descibing something by mentioning something that is the same in some way (here: fear = invisible wall)
contact - having communication with someone or something like a "court" ติดต่อ สัมผัส การพบปะ
contact the court - having communication with the court (going there for a "court trial" or to do some other piece of business)
accessible - can be used by
easily accessible - easily used
aware - knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing ทราบ
respected - admired by many people for your qualities or achievements ที่เคารพ
atmosphere - the mood or feeling that exists in a place บรรยากาศ
friendly atmosphere - a friendly feeling or mood in a place
elderly - older people, over age 65 สูงวัย, อาวุโส, อายุมาก
moment - a particular time or occasion; a very short period of time ชั่วขณะ, โอกาสสำคัญ
compound - an area in which a group of buildings stands บริเวณ; บริเวณบ้าน
nervous - being worried or afraid in actions and behavior
informal - not official, relaxed
meet face-to-face - when people can see each other (both people in the same room, for example; chatting over the internet or sending email is not face-to-face)
clinics - places where people go to receive some kind of help (usually medical help, but here: legal clinic)
provide - to give someone something that they want or need
process - a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
eventually - at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
About the author
- Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Assistent Manager Educational services