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NHRCT Work View : 277
Press Release regarding the status of the NHRCT and the working process under the 2017 Constitution and law after the resignation of the 2 Commissioners
Press Release regarding the status of the NHRCT and the working process
under the 2017 Constitution and law after the resignation of the 2 Commissioners
          On 31 July 2019 at 11.45 a.m. at the Office of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand, Mr. What Tingsmitr, Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT) and Mrs. Prakairatana Thonthiravong, Commissioner held a press conference after Mrs. Angkhana Neelapaijit and Mrs. Tuenjai Deetes, Commissioners submitted the resignation letters that to be effective on 31 July 2019 at 9.30 a.m.
          The NHRCT Chairperson stated that after receiving the resignation letters from the 2 Commissioners, he informed the Secretary-General of the NHRCT to cancel the weekly Commission meeting on human rights protection (considering cases of complaints) which would be held at 9.30 a.m. due to the fact that the presence of the total number of existing Commissioners was less than one-half and could not constitute a quorum. Later, the Office of the NHRCT invited Mr. Tingsmitr and Mrs. Thonthiravong to attend the meeting attended by the Office staff in order to explain the situation and clarify legal issues.
          Mr. Tingsmitr said that the NHRCT is an independent organization under the 2017 Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand, which is legally required to work and to execute its legal mandates collectively, similarly to other independent organizations under the Constitution. As Commissioners came from different backgrounds with different experiences, it is thus natural that they can have different views which is the beauty of democracy. However, when it comes to the decisions, members need to respect differences from his or her own, and more importantly, they need to abide by the governing law and a majority when voting required.           
          Mr. Tingsmitr accepted that in performing their duties, it is not easy as the NHRCT was strictly regulated under the 2017 Constitution with the drafters’ view to uphold the international human rights standards but somehow beyond what the national human rights institution should do. Mr. Tingsmitr said as the Chairperson, nevertheless, he has tried at best to coordinate among all commissioners to assist them to be able to perform their duties in accordance with the purposes stated in the 2017 Constitution in order to create well-being of the Thai people and to common interest of the country. Mr. Tingsmitr also gave details that various rules and regulations were later issued to comply with the 2017 Organic Act of the National Human Rights Commission, such as the 2018 NHRCT’s regulation on the rules and procedures to conduct examination of human rights violations.
          The NHRCT Chairperson further said that he respected the decision of the former Commissioners who resigned in this morning, and explained that the third batch of the NHRCT had been relinquished its duties since the Organic Act of the National Human Rights Commission was effective on 13 December 2017, and the then 6 Commissioners can continually perform duties until the newly Chairperson and Commissioners are appointed.
          As to the question whether the 3 remaining Commissioners are able to continue their duties, Mr. Tingsmitr said that Section 60 paragraph three indicates that in case the Commissioners in charge of the duty under the transitional provisions are less than half of those, the provisions of Section 22 shall be applied mutatis mutandis. Section 22 states that, in such circumstances, the President of the Supreme Court of Justice and the President of the Supreme Administrative Court shall jointly appoint qualified persons who do not have any characteristics prohibited by the law as many as 7 to temporality act as Commissioner(s) until the new Commission is appointed. The Chairperson said that today (on 31 July 2019) he would sign letters to request the President of the Supreme Court of Justice and the President of the Supreme Administrative Court to proceed as per law.
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01/08/2019

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