PM revokes Section 44 order on judges

PM revokes Section 44 order on judges

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has revoked an order setting out how new Constitutional Court judges are selected.

The revocation order was posted on the Royal Gazette website yesterday.

On April 5, Gen Prayut, in his capacity as National Council for Peace and Order chief, issued Order 23/2017 under Section 44 of the interim charter, which has been retained by Section 265 of the 2017 constitution, to pave the way for the selection of new Constitutional Court judges and members of the State Audit Commission (SAC).

The SAC operates under the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG).

The Section 44 order aimed to address concerns over the appointment of new judges and commission members in case the terms of several incumbents ended before new laws applying to fresh appointments could be enacted.

The order intended to “solve possible problems regarding continuity” in these two institutions.

But the new constitution has now come into force and stipulates a clear set of rules on the selection of Constitutional Court judges.

In light of this, the selection of judges as stipulated by Order 23/2017 shall be scrapped pending the enforcement of the constitution’s new organic law on the Constitutional Court, according to Gen Prayut’s Order 24/2017 issued yesterday.

If the term of any existing Constitutional Court judges expires, they will still be required to stay on in office until the organic law on the Constitutional Court is enacted, according to the new NCPO order.

Regarding the SAC and the Auditor-General, there are still some legalities that remain unclear about their tenures, the new order reads.

To clear these legal hurdles and ensure continuity in their work, Order 23/2017 which deals with the selection of the SAC members and the Auditor-General will remain unchanged, according to the new order.

As for new members of the SAC, Order 23/2017 says their selection must be wrapped up within 60 days. Like the judges, they will serve a single term of seven years.

The SAC will nominate a new auditor-general for consideration by the National Legislative Assembly, which will then seek royal endorsement. This is for a single term of six years, the order states.

Bills on how the Constitutional Court and OAG operate are now being drafted by the Constitution Drafting Committee.