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The history of the first batch of the National Human Rights Commission, (24 June 2001 - 13  July 2009)

          The national human rights Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand. B.E. 2540 (1997) which was effective on 11 October 1997. In section 6, about the Parliament in part 8, the National Human Rights Commission consists of a Chairperson and 10 commissioners who were appointed by the King, with the advice of the Senate for a six year term and shall serve for only one term. In section 200, about the authority of the NHRC from the temporary provisions of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E.2540 and in Section 334, to set up a committee of the National Human Rights Commission within 2 years. Then the act was issued to be the National Human Rights Act B.E.2542 (1999) which is effective on 25 November 1999.

The National Human Rights Commission is an independent organization, under the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2540. It occurs from the driving force and the demands of the people to have an independent mechanism to promote and protect the rights and liberties of the people, according to the guarantee of the right to freedom in this constitution. It was the process of drafting legislation to establish the National Human Rights Commission after the promulgation of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand BE 2540. It is a good example of legislation that affects to the people. The Cabinet has scheduled to have the public hearings across the country, while the public sector also organized the active participation activities of exchanging lessons of the human rights commission of other countries. As a result, a revision of this draft law is better than the original draft in several aspects.

    The first batch of the National Human Rights Commission was appointed by the king for a six year term, from 13 July 2001 to 12 July 2007.

    During the term of duty, there was a coup d'etat on 19 September 2006 by the Democratic Reform Council under the King as head of state. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2540 was abolished but the first batch of the National Human Rights Commission was still on duty, according to the National Human Rights Commission Act B.E.2542. (2009)

    In addition, there were the terminations of duty of two commissioners before the end of the term. They are Khunying (Lady) Chantanee Santabutr on 20 November 2006 and Mr. Jaran Dithaapichai on 26 February 2007. While the Chairperson and eight commissioners remained on duty till the end of the term on 12 July 2007, and have continued working to wait for the new batch of the National Human Rights Commission. During the performance of the duties, Mr. Wasan Phanit, Human Rights Commissioner, has requested the termination of duties on 12 March 2008. The remaining Commissioners were on duty until 24 June 2009, as the second batch of the National Human Rights commission was appointed on 25 June 2009

The history of the second batch of the National Human Rights Commission. (25 June 2009 - 19 November 2015)

    The second batch of the National Human Rights Commission was appointed in accordance with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2550 which was effective on 25 June 2009. In section 256, the National Human Rights Commission consists of the Chairperson and six members appointed by the King with the advice of the Senate. The members of the National Human Rights Commission shall hold office for a term of six years and shall serve for only one term. The second batch of the National Human Rights Commission was appointed on 25 June 2009 and ended the term on 24 June 2015.

    In section 256, section 257 and other related section about the National Human Rights Commission in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2550 are different from the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2540 as follow:

    1. The constitutional organs in the constitution B.E.2550 have been divided into 2 parts:
    - The first part is the Constitutional Independent Organs which are the Election Commission, Ombudsmen, National Counter Corruption Commission and State Audit Commission.
    -The other part is Other Constitutional Organs which are the Public Prosecutors, National Human Rights Commission and National Economic and Social Council, while the Constitution B.E.2540 did not explicitly defined as such.

    2. The composition of the National Human Rights Commission has decreased from a total of eleven persons to be just seven persons, consisting of a Chairperson and six members.

    3. The nomination process and selection of the National Human Rights Commission, There are seven persons in the Nomination Committee, consists of the Chairman of Supreme Court, Chairman of Constitutional Court, Chairman of Supreme Administrative Court, Chairman of the House of Representatives, the Leader of the opposition in the House of Representatives, a selected person by the Supreme Court Assembly and a selected person by the Supreme Administrative Court Assembly. They work on the nomination and selection of seven commissioners of the National Human Rights Commission. The resolution is the votes by the disclosure and a score of not less than two-thirds of the existing members

    It is clear that the nomination and selection process of the National Human Rights Commission in the constitution B.E. 2550 is different from the constitution B.E.2540. According to the procedure of the Nomination Committee which are the composition of the Nomination Committee, the Nomination and selection process including the number of the selected persons for nomination to the Senate. In the selection process of the Senate, it had been changed from the original method to have a resolution on election of the receive nominations from twenty two to eleven persons in the constitution B.E.2540, to be the approval of seven person who has been nominated by the Nominating Committee in the constitution B.E.2550.
      4. In addition, the termination of the National Human Rights Commission is by rotation and other reason, the Constitution B.E. 2550 has also defined additional termination of the National Human Rights Commission is at the age of seventy.

    5. There are 3 additional powers and duties in the Constitution B.E. 2540 as follows:
    5.1 to submit cases together with opinions to the Constitutional Court in the case where it agrees with a complaint addressed by a complainant that any provision of law affects human rights and begs a question of constitutionality, in accordance with the Organic Act on Procedure of the Constitutional Court;
    5.2 to submit cases together with opinions to the Administrative Court as the case may be where any provision of laws, rules, regulations or administrative acts is detrimental to human rights and begs the question of constitutionality or compliance with the law.
    5.3 to file a lawsuit to the Court of Justice on behalf of a complainant when a request is made by a complainant and it is deemed appropriate to find a solution for the problem of human rights violation in general.

    The Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2550 is the first Constitution to provide the authority of the National Human Rights Commission to submit cases together with opinions to the Constitutional Court and the Administrative Court. Including the filing of a lawsuit to the Court of Justice on behalf of a complainant according to the Act of procedure of the Constitutional Court, the Act on Establishment of Administrative Court and under the provisions of the law.

    During the performance of the duties of the second batch of the National Human Rights Commission, there were political conflicts and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), led by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, had controlled the authority in the country on 22 May 2014. It was announced on NCPO. No. 11/2557 to end the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E.2550, except category 2 about the independent organizations and other organizations remained on duty. The National Human Rights Commission continued to function further under the National Human Rights Commission Act B.E. 2542 until the new batch is being appointed on duty.

    Later it was announced by NCPO. No. 48/2557 dated 29 May 2014, regarding the nomination for the position vacancy. It stipulated that they need to recruit the incumbent such as the Constitutional Court or the National Human Rights Commission; they have to conduct recruitment on vacancy positions according to the criteria and procedures that have been performed in accordance with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2550. If there is no incumbent that requires in the nominating committee, the implementation of the Nomination Committee is based on the number of existing nomination.

    During such operations, two human rights Commissioners had terminated their duty. Gen. Wanchai Srinualnad, the commissioner, resigned from the performance of duties on 16 October 2015 and Prof. Amara Pongsapich, Chairperson, retired on the age of 70 on 3 November 2015. The rest of the commissioners were on duty until 19 November 2015 due to the appointment of the third batch of the National Human Rights Commission on 20 November 2015.

The history of the third batch of the National Human Rights Commission [Click Here!]

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