are pivotal institutions in most countries. Increasingly,
courts have suffered from mission creep crossing the boundary
into political territory.
is true for courts in Thailand and many other countries
from the USA to Malaysia. Judges have been trained in
the law. Most judges have law degrees.
courts enter the political battleground questions arise
as to whether the judges remain impartial. And whatever
the ruling made by the judges, in the heat of political
turmoil the losing side is likely to claim unfairness.
a lawyer and law professor I have had close friends who
are judges. They have been trained as lawyers. In most
cases, the judges Iíve known are among the best and brightest
of the lawyers. Iíve observed first hand trials and hearing
held in a number of countries: USA, Canada, England, Burma,
Malaysia, and Thailand.
observations this week in Judging
the Judges: Distrust and the rise of Violence against
Courts are the context of what role judges
and courts are being called upon to play in a world of
growing political fragmentation, dissent, and unrest.
When a judicial system becomes Ďpoliticizedí what are
the implications for the rule of law? Where is the line
drawn between legislative decision-making and judicial
week, 4 of the protest sites in Bangkok, including the
one at Asoke and Sukhumvit Roads, have been closed and
the protesters have moved and set up camp at Lumpini Park.
The park is effectively closed to outsiders after reports
of intimidation by PDRC guards have circulated on social
is now moving freely in most places in Bangkok. Demonstrators
continue to press their demands by paying courtesy calls
on the US Embassy, and various businesses associated with
the Shinawatra family. Questions remain as to whether
PDRC leader Suthep and Prime Minister Yingluck will publicly
meet to debate or otherwise conduct an open face-to-face
negotiations. Meanwhile the respective role of the military,
the courts, and the independent agencies in the ongoing
drama is a cause of much speculation. This puzzle has
many pieces and assembling them into a coherent pattern
tests the skill of the best commentators.
no leads on the whereabouts of David Walker, a Canadian
writer and filmmaker went missing on 14th February in