Supreme Court of Thailand

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King Rama V.

History

        The Supreme Court originates in the history and civilization of the Thai people. The Appeal (Dika) was the petition that people filed before the King to request his supreme prerogative to abolish any hardship. The appeal system changed from time to time depending upon the reign of the various Kings. During the reign of King Rama V, an official department for appeals was set up in the Palace.

        In 1891, King Rama V set up the Ministry of Justice and gathered all courts into the Ministry. The former appeal section was transformed into the Royal Appeal Court. People could still appeal the case directly to the King subsequent to Royal Appeal Court decisions.

       In 1898, King Rama V formed a commission to adjudicate Dika appeals. The decision made by such commission was first approved by the King prior to having binding force. The Judicator Act 1908 was enacted in the reign King Rama V. The Supreme Court became the highest court in the country by this Act. Cases, decided by this Court,were no longer appealed to the King.

อธิบดีศาลฎีกา พระองค์แรก

Prince Phichit Prichakon
The First President of the Supreme Court, 1885

Judiciary

        Under Section 3 of the Constitution of Thailand 2017, "The sovereign power belongs to the Thai people.The King as Head of the State shall exercise such power through the National Assembly, the Council of Minister, and the Courts in accordance with the Provisions of the Constitution." The Constition vested the judiciary power with the Court. Judges perform their duties in the name of the King and are assured of independence in adjudicating cases according to the law.

        The Courts of Justice are classified into three levels consisting of the Courts of First Instance, the Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court.The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in all civil and criminal cases in the entire Kingdom. Presently, the Supreme Court retains the important status as the highest court of justice in the country and the President of the Supreme Court is the head of the Judiciary. The role of the President of the Supreme Court, as provided by the current Constitution, has the ultimate authority over the Courts of Justice both, in court administration and judicial work, completely independent from other branches of government.