Constitutional Court of Thailand
The Constitutional Court (Thai: ศาลรัฐธรรมนูญ; rtgs: San Rattha Thammanun; Thai pronunciation: [sǎːn•rat•tʰà•tʰam•má•nuːn]) is an independent Thai court originally founded under the 1997 Constitution with jurisdiction over the constitutionality of parliamentary acts, royal decrees, draft legislation, as well as the appointment and removal of public officials and issues regarding political parties. The current court was established by the 2007 Constitution and is part of the judicial branch of the Thai national government.The court, along with the 1997 Constitution, was dissolved and replaced by a Constitutional Tribunal in 2006 following the coup d'État. While the Constitutional Court had 15 members, 7 from the judiciary and 8 selected by a special panel, the Constitution Tribunal had 9 members, all from the judiciary. A similar institution, consisting of 9 members, was again established by the 2007 Constitution.The Constitutional Court has provoked much public debate, both regarding the court's jurisdiction and composition as well as the initial selection of justices. A long-standing issue has been the degree of control exerted by the judiciary over the court.The decisions of the court are final and inappealable. The decisions also bind every state organ, including the National Assembly, the Council of Ministers and other courts.The various versions of the court have made several significant decisions. These included the 1999 decision that deputy minister of agriculture Newin Chidchop could retain his cabinet seat after being sentenced to imprisonment for defamation, the 2001 acquittal of Thaksin Shinawatra for filing an incomplete statement regarding his wealth, with the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the 2003 invalidation of Jaruvan Maintaka appointment as auditor-general, the 2007 dissolution of the Thai Rak Thai political party, and the 2014 removal of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office.