Amnesty bill: Court will axe it, expert says

Amnesty bill: Court will axe it, expert says

Experts predict protests won't change course of amnesty bill but bill will fail when challenged in court.

"The original copy of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, Buddhist Era 2550 (2007), to which His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej affixed his signature and his Regnal Seal (the Seal of the Garuda) and to which the three Great Seals (from left to right: the Seal of the Great Mandate, the Seal of the Celestial Elephant, and the Seal of the Phoenix Castle) were also affixed. The Constitution was written on traditional Thai book with golden front and back covers and is placed in safekeeping at the National Assembly of Thailand along with the copies of the other constitutions." (Source: Wikipedia)


Court will axe charter bill, scholar says

Section 309 'will cause govt most problems'


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As critics of the amnesty bill are stepping up pressure on the government and the Pheu Thai Party to abort it, academics are confident it will be axed by the Constitution Court.

"The law and the process are in violation of the constitution," said Prinya Thaewanarumitkul, vice-rector of Thammasat University.

The Democrat Party has vowed to launch a legal challenge to the amnesty legislation once it passes the parliamentary process.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra cannot forward it to His Majesty the King for royal endorsement until the court gives a verdict, he said.

Mr Prinya pointed to attempts to nullify Section 309 of the charter as the issue which was likely to cause problems for the government, as the court's judges were unlikely to accept it. "The section is recognised by the constitution as the supreme law and any attempts to nullify it will contravene the charter," he said.

The section states that all acts undertaken in the 2006 charter "shall be deemed constitutional under this constitution". It apparently refers to the cases handled by the Assets Scrutiny Committee (ASC) set up by the coup-makers to probe irregularities in the then government led by Thaksin Shinawatra.

The amnesty bill, which was approved by the House on Friday and is expected to be tabled for senators to debate some time before Nov 11, seeks a blanket amnesty.

It would cover all actions from 2004 including those taken by the ASC and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), which took over legal cases from the ASC after it was scrapped.

The process is a problem as the bill's intention was distorted from the original objective of giving amnesty only to protesters and the public who took part in the political unrest, Mr Prinya said.

A House committee vetting the bill expanded the coverage of the amnesty to include politicians, protest leaders and officials responsible for the protests after the coup. The bill was then returned to the floor on Thursday for the second and third readings.

Mr Prinya said that in his view, the two issues have sufficient grounds for the court to rule against it becoming law.

Seree Suwannapanon, a former senator who wrote the charter, pointed to the attempt to overrule Section 309 as the main issue for the court.

All cases decided by the ASC and NACC are legally recognised by the charter and the bill's intention to scrap it violates the constitution, he said on Facebook yesterday.

If the bill becomes law, Thailand's credibility in the eyes of the international community on attempts to crack down on corruption will be shattered, he added.

The cases having been finalised include a conviction for abuse of authority against Thaksin in relation to the Ratchadaphisek land deal in 2008, and the state's decision to seize 46 billion baht of his assets in 2010 after he sold his stake in Shin Corp to Temasek Holdings of Singapore.

"The controversy over the amnesty bill will eventually end in the court", Mr Prinya said, adding the protests against the bill now could not change the course of the bill.

Government chief whip Ammuay Klangpa has defended the bill, saying on Saturday that reconciliation will not be achieved unless all people are granted an amnesty and all cases are abolished.

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  • abolish: to officially get rid of a law, system, practice, etc. - ยกเลิก
  • abort: to stop before finishing - ยกเลิก
  • abuse: the use of something in a bad, dishonest, or harmful way - การใช้ในทางที่ผิด
  • academic: someone who teaches at a college, or who studies as part of their job - นักวิชาการ
  • affix: to fasten something to something else - ผูก, ติด, ประทับ
  • amnesty: a situation in which a government agrees not to punish people who have committed a crime - การนิรโทษกรรม
  • apparently: based only on what you have heard or think, not on what you are certain is true; seemingly - ตามที่ได้รู้มา
  • asset: something owned by a person, company etc., particularly money and property - ทรัพย์สิน
  • Assets Scrutiny Committee: a committee set up after the 2007 coup to investigate wealth obtained illegally by politicians - คตส. (คณะกรรมการตรวจสอบการกระทำที่ก่อให้เกิดความเสียหายต่อรัฐ )
  • attempt (noun): when a person tries to do something or achieve some goal, makes an effort to do it - ความพยายาม
  • authority: power - อำนาจ
  • axe (verb): to stop something or get rid of something or someone - ยกเลิก
  • case: a matter that is being officially investigated or heard by a court - คดี
  • celestial: of or from the sky or outside this world - เกี่ยวกับ สวรรค์,ท้องฟ้า
  • challenge: questioning whether something is true, accurate, or legal - การคัดค้าน
  • charter: a constitution - รัฐธรรมนูญ
  • community: a group of people who share the same job, interests, religion, etc - สังคม
  • confident: certain; having trust in people, plans, or the future - มั่นใจ
  • constitution: the set of laws and basic principles that a country in governed by - รัฐธรรมนูญ
  • Constitution Court: the court that decides whether or not laws follow the constitution - ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ
  • constitutional: correct or allowed according to the constitution - ถูกต้องหรืออยู่ในขอบข่ายที่ระบุไว้ในรัฐธรรมนูญ
  • contravene: to do something that is not allowed by a rule, law, or agreement - ฝ่าฝืน
  • controversy: a disagreement that a lot of people have strong feelings about - ความขัดแย้ง
  • conviction: when someone is officially found to be guilty of a particular crime - การพิสูจน์ว่ากระทำผิด
  • course: the way something develops or should develop - เส้นทาง, แนวทาง
  • court: the place where legal trials take place and where crimes, etc. are judged - ศาล
  • crack down on: to start dealing with someone or something much more strictly - จัดการ, ลงมือปราบปราม
  • credibility: the degree to which something can be believed or trusted - ความน่าเชื่อถือ,ความน่าไว้วางใจ
  • critic: a person who expresses disapproval of somebody/something and talks about their bad qualities, especially publicly - ผู้วิจารณ์, ผู้จับผิด, ผู้วิเคราะห์
  • deal (noun): a formal agreement, especially in business or politics - ข้อตกลง, การตกลงซื้อขาย, การซื้อขาย
  • debate: a discussion in which people or groups state different opinions about a subject - การอภิปราย, การโต้วาที, การถกเถียง
  • deemed: considered - เห็นว่า ถือว่า
  • distorted (verb): changed something such as information, colour, etc. so that it is no longer true or accurate - บิดเบือน
  • endorsement: official approval - การรับรอง การลงนามในเอกสาร
  • era: a period of time that has a particular quality or character - ยุค, สมัย
  • eventually: at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process - ในที่สุด
  • finalise: to complete the last part of a plan, trip, project, etc - ทำให้เสร็จสมบูรณ์
  • forward: to send onwards - ส่งต่อ
  • Garuda: a large mythical bird or bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology (Source: Wikipedia) - ครุฑ; พญานกที่เป็นพาหนะของพระนารายณ์
  • grant: to officially give something - ให้
  • grounds: reasons for saying or doing something - เหตุผล
  • House: House of Representatives - สภา
  • intention: a plan in your mind to do something - ความตั้งใจ เจตนา แผนการ
  • international: connected with or involving two or more countries - นานาชาติ, สากล, ระหว่างประเทศ
  • irregularity: a situation in which the rules, laws, or usual ways of doing things have not been followed - การปฏิบัติที่ไม่เป็นไปตามระเบียบปกติ
  • issue: a subject that people discuss or argue about - ประเด็น
  • judge: someone whose job is to make decisions in a court of law - ตุลาการ, ผู้พิพากษา
  • legal: relating to the law or lawyers - เกี่ยวกับกฎหมาย
  • legislation: a law or set of laws suggested by a government and made official by a parliament - กฎหมาย, การออกกฎหมาย
  • mandate: given the authority to do something; ordered to do something - มอบอำนาจ (ให้ทำบางสิ่ง), ให้อำนาจ, บังคับ
  • nullify: to make a legal agreement or decision have no legal force - ทำให้โมฆะ, ทำให้ไร้ผล
  • objective (noun): what you plan to achieve; goal; aim; purpose - เป้าหมาย
  • original: the first of something - เดิม, แบบฉบับ
  • overrule: to decide against a decision that has already been made - ส่งกลับ,ลบล้าง
  • pass a bill into law: to make a law proposed in a bill into a law -
  • pass a law (verb): when most of parliament votes for a proposed law (bill) and makes it into a law -
  • probe: an attempt to find out the truth about an issue, problem or accident, made by an official group (or by the media); an investigation - การตรวจสอบ  การสอบสวน
  • process: a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
  • protester: someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
  • reconciliation: a new and friendly relationship with someone who you argued with or fought with - การทำให้ปรองดองกันอีก, การสมานฉันท์
  • rector: the person in charge in some universities, schools, colleges and universities - อธิการบดี
  • rule: (of a court or other group with similar authority) to make and announce a decision - ตัดสิน, พิพากษา, ชี้ขาด
  • scholar: someone who studies a particular subject and knows a lot about it, especially a subject that is not scientific - นักวิชาการ
  • scrap: to get rid of; to stop using or accepting - เลิก, ทิ้ง
  • section: any of the parts into which something is divided - ส่วน
  • seize (verb): to take something using force - ยึด, จับกุม
  • shattered: badly damaged or destroyed - ที่เสียหายป่นปี้
  • signature (noun): a person's name written in a special way by the person - ลายมือชื่อ
  • stake: a share or a financial involvement in something such as a business - ส่วนได้เสีย
  • step up: to increase; to cause to get stronger - ทำให้เข้มข้นขึ้น
  • sufficient: enough - เพียงพอ
  • supreme: most important, or most powerful - สูงสุด
  • table: to suggest formally in a meeting - เสนอเรื่องเข้าที่ประชุม
  • table a bill (verb): to suggest formally in a meeting something you would like everyone to discuss -
  • traditional (adj): of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time - เป็นประเพณี, ตามธรรมเนียม, ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา
  • undertake: to do - เข้าทำ, ดำเนินการ
  • unrest: angry or violent behaviour by people who are protesting or fighting against something - สถานการณ์ที่ไม่สงบ
  • verdict (noun): a decision by a court of law - คำพิพากษา
  • violate: to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement - ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
  • violation: an action that is against a law, agreement, principle, etc. - การฝ่าฝืน
  • vow: to make a formal and serious promise to do something or to promise what you say is true - สาบาน, ปฏิญาณ
  • whip: an official in a political party or other organisation whose job is to make certain that other members go where they are needed, do what is required and, in the case of a political party, that they vote in the correct way - วิป
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