THERE IS ONLY a small chance that a joint committee will be set up to review a new law on procedures of criminal cases against politicians, a member of the vetting committee said yesterday.
Udom Rathamarit, a member of the Constitution Drafting Commission (CDC) who sat on the panel that vetted the bill which was passed by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) last week, said that he did not think the legislation was against the new Constitution.
He said the Courts of Justice could raise concerns with the CDC regarding the law.
The legislation was drafted by the CDC. It is among 10 organic laws needed to complement the new Constitution, which has been in effect since April 6.
Judges have expressed concerns over the clause that allows trials in the absence of fugitive defendants. Before the NLA voted 176-0 to pass the bill last Thursday, Atikom Intarabhuti, secretary-general of the Courts of Justice, who is a member of the committee vetting the draft law, said trials in absentia are against a universal principle and international practice.
Udom said that the Courts of Justice representative had raised the concern with the NLA during deliberation of the bill. “In the end, the majority of the NLA voted in support of the provision,” he said.
The relevant agencies allowed to oppose the bill – the CDC, Constitutional Court and National Anti-Corruption Commission – have no reservations with the newly passed bill, according to Udom. The Courts of Justice is not among those agencies.
A joint committee is formed when any of the relevant agencies disagree with the passed bill.
“I can’t answer now as to whether a joint committee will be set up. In my view, there is only a small chance of that,” Udom said.
Another member of the CDC, Atchaporn Charujinda said yesterday that as the Office of the Courts of Justice is not allowed to oppose the newly passed bill, the agency might seek a review through the CDC so that its request is forwarded to the NLA.