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Ruling of the Civil Court on the Emergency Decree

February 22, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

Thailand’s Civil Court has ruled that the Yingluck Shinawatra caretaker government has the authority to enforce the emergency decree to maintain peace and order, but the Government has to refrain from use of violence on anti-government demonstrators or to break up a peaceful demonstration.

The court on 19 February 2014 also ruled that people has the right to a peaceful and constitutional assembly.

The Court’s ruling came after a member of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) – the core anti-government demonstrator group – filed a lawsuit against the authority of the caretaker government, which has imposed a state of emergency in Bangkok and parts of Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan for 60 days, effective on 22 January 2014.

The Court issued a set of nine orders, prohibiting the caretaker government from dispersing a peaceful demonstration, using force or weapon to break up a peaceful gathering, ordering a ban on a political gathering of more than five people, ordering a blockage of traffic lanes, removing barriers put up by the protesters to protect themselves.

It also ruled that the caretaker government cannot confiscate chemical substances used by the demonstrators for personal purposes, or stop the protesters from using traffic routes or from entering state premises.

The emergency decree currently covers Bangkok and some parts of nearby provinces (Nonthaburi and Samut Prakan) only and not any other destinations in Thailand. There is currently no curfew in place in Bangkok or any other parts of Thailand. Local residents and international visitors can continue to travel within Bangkok and other destinations in the country as usual.

Following the ruling of the Civil Court on the Emergency Decree, the Center for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) stated that it respects the Court’s ruling but has a different opinion. The Court’s ruling has limited the authority of the CMPO on nine points concerning the resolution of the situation. From now on, CMPO said, it will not be able to carry out operations to prevent election obstruction or the blockading of government agency premises by the PDRC.

Police Captain Chalerm Yubamrung, Minister of Labor and the Director of the CMPO, has issued a letter to the Court seeking instructions on certain points.

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