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Judicial Commission breaks with tradition over appointment of Supreme Court president


The Judicial Commission will consider the appointment of a new president of the Supreme Court again within a 15-day time frame, after it resolved on Monday not to appoint the most senior judge to the post on the grounds of “unsuitable” management skills.

The commission voted unanimously not to appoint Sirichai Wattanayothin, president of the Appeal Court – and the most senior judge – to replace Veerapol Tungsuwan, president of the Supreme Court, who retires this October, in a rare decision that runs counter to the official tradition of promoting the most senior judge to preside over the court.
Suebpong Sripongkul, spokesman of the Courts of Justice, said in a press release that the Judicial Commission’s sub-panel had scrutinised every aspect of Sirichai’s qualifications and submitted its opinion to the commission via the office’s secretary in line with the law concerning the appointment of judges.
The commission had considered the candidate’s qualification for the post, not only his seniority status but also his management skills, in line with the regulations, he said.
The commission had debated widely on the promotion before voting unanimously not to appoint Sirichai, citing unsuitable management skills, and despite his being the most senior judge, the spokesman added.
In line with the law on judges, the process now starts all over again, but it bars the same person from being nominated for the position again. 
The second-most-senior judge is the vice president of the Supreme Court, Cheep Jullamon.
The Judicial Commission is next scheduled to meet on July 11.

Published : July 04, 2017

By : The Nation