New Supreme Court chief wants to relax bail rules

New Supreme Court chief wants to relax bail rules

New Supreme Court president Salaiket Watanaphan plans to better protect the basic rights of defendants by relaxing the criteria for their temporary release, including considering bail requests on public holidays.

The move is part of fresh attempts to ensure suspects have “equality, convenience and speed” when their bail requests are being handled, Mr Salaiket said.

He believes it is possible to have judges consider releasing more suspects, provided they carefully balance their decisions on human rights issues against the safety of victims and plaintiffs, as well as peace and order in society.

“The idea is we don’t want to see defendants enduring unnecessary detention,” Mr Salaiket said.

One way to deal with this concern is to allow judges to consider bail requests on public holidays so that suspects are not required to stay in custody while waiting for a court to process their petitions during official hours.

Mr Salaiket, who was appointed by the Judicial Commission to the top job on Oct 1, is due to outline what he intends to do as the new Supreme Court president next week.

These policies will be partly based on opinions about court affairs given by judicial officials and the public.

The Office of the President of the Supreme Court conducted the survey earlier this month.

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