NLA passes stipends for judge meets
The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Thursday passed by an overwhelming majority a bill allowing court judges to receive meeting allowances totalling 207 million baht per year.
The bill will be royally endorsed before it is published in the Royal Gazette and takes effect. Currently, the allowances are being paid under another regulation.
The so-called "regulations on judicial civil service administration" draft bill sailed through its third and final reading with 145 votes in favour, none against and six abstentions.
Prior to the vote on the bill, none of the NLA members filed a motion to debate the content of the legislation to the floor or propose changes to the draft.
The highlight of the draft bill rests with the Judicial Administration Commission, which is permitted to disburse the meeting allowance payments to the judges who attend the plenary meetings of the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court.
The commission is also authorised under the law to issue new rules governing meeting allowance payments for the plenary meetings as well as the general meetings of the criminal divisions of the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court. According to the draft bill, the judge who presides as chairman of a meeting will receive 10,000 baht per meeting.
Each member of an executive panel who is required to be present at the meeting will receive 8,000 baht per meeting.
The secretary, assistant secretaries and all other attendees of the meeting will receive 6,000 baht each in meeting allowances. Each year, the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court normally host 24 meetings, or two a month.
In the first five years after the law takes effect, close to 1.1 billion baht in meeting allowances will be earmarked by the government.
The cited reason for holding the plenary meetings is to assure the public that the judges and civil servants can effectively deliberate matters for the sake of ensuring justice.