More Assertive Judiciary
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More Assertive Judiciary

Baker and Pasuk in WSJ:
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On the face of it, a more assertive judiciary is a plus. A tradition of judicial passivity helps explain why politicians still often act as if they had total immunity…Already legal academics have charged that some recent verdicts show political bias and will create awkward precedents.
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/>Much of this judicial activity could be construed as politics by other means, with Mr. Thaksin as the target. The convicted ex-speaker, Yongyuth Tiyapairat, is a local ally of Mr. Thaksin’s. The foreign minister, Noppadon Pattama, used to be Mr. Thaksin’s lawyer. The businessman was a former heavyweight in Mr. Thaksin’s former party, Thai Rak Thai (which is now dissolved).
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/>Whatever verdict the judges hand down in Mr. Thaksin’s land case, it will not soothe the political divisions that underlie this tension between Mr. Thaksin and his detractors. If the Thaksins are acquitted, it will confirm for some that the rule of law is still subservient to money and power. If they are convicted, Mr. Thaksin’s rural supporters may think their favorite leader is being persecuted by old elites. Were Mr. Thaksin to contest elections again today, there is little doubt he would win another landslide victory.
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/>But it’s not all bad news. Thais have learned to wield their electoral power at the ballot box. The judiciary has been hurled into the political front line, and been forced to become more active. The military, bureaucracy and political classes will have to adjust to these changes. That process will be messy, and will take time. But in the long run, a more open and inclusive democracy with a firmer rule of law might prevail.

/>BP: The current cases are about taking out Thaksin, not establishing a rule of law. If it was about the rule of law and stamping out corruption, what has happened to the e-passport scandal? Just before the coup this:
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Auditors find irregularitiesin Bt7-bn bid
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/>Foreign Ministry asked to explain awarding of big contract to a firm called ‘incapable’
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/>The Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) has found irregularities in the Foreign Ministry’s tender for a Bt7-billion electronic passport project, a source said.
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/>”There is a pattern of irregularities. It seems unfair to award the project to an incapable company [consortium] and leave others disqualified with unfair practices. This has caused the country a huge revenue loss,” said an OAG source, who asked not to be named.

/>BP: Now, nothing. Why? Surakiart was in the firing line and he is no longer in the Thaksin regime camp so we can ignore it