4. Judge


4.1 Types of Judge 

There are four types of judge in the current system, namely, a career judge, senior judge, associate judge , and Datoh Yutithum or Kadis. 

4.1.1 Career Judge 

Career judges are recruited by the Judicial Commission and are appointed by His Majesty the King.  Besides having certain qualifications such as being of Thai nationality, passing the examination of the Thai Bar Association to become a Barrister-at-law, and having not less than two years working experience in legal professions, a candidate must pass a high competitive examination given by the Judicial Commission.  Once the candidates are recruited, they have to be trained as judge - trainees for at least one year.  Those candidates who complete the training with satisfactory result will be approved by the Judicial Commission and tendered to His Majesty the King for royal appointment to be a judge.  A solemn declaration before His Majesty the King is also required before taking office as a judge.  

Under Thai Law, a judge may be vacated from the office by the following reasons: 

  • death; 

  • resignation; 

  • vacating from the office under the law on government pension fund; .

  • being transferred to serve in a position of a government official which is not judicial position; 

  • resignation for being in military service; being ordered by law to resign; 

  • being expelled, dismissed, or removed by law from the office; 

  • being removed from office by a resolution of the Senate. 

4.1.2 Senior Judge 

According to the Rules of Appointing and Holding Senior Judge Position Act, B.E. 2542 (1999), when judges reach sixty years of age, they can remain in office to perform duties, but merely in the Courts of First Instance, provided that they are approved by the Judicial Commission and are appointed by His Majesty the King. When they become sixty-five years old, and pass the assessment of fitness performance, they are able to remain their senior judges status until they reach seventy years of age. 

A senior judge cannot be appointed to hold an administrative position; namely, a Chief Justice, or even to perform duties in place of such person. Further, a senior judge is prohibited not only from being elected to be a Judicial Commissioner, but also to vote in electing such commissioner. 


4.1.3 Associate Judge 

Associate judges are laymen recruited separately to perform duties in the Juvenile and Family Courts, the Central Labour Court or the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court. The aim of having associate judges is to have an experienced person or an expert in a relevant field who can work closely with a career judge in adjudicating cases. Unlike a career judge, becoming an associate judge is not a permanent position. Each associate judge holds the office for a term of certain years depending on which specialized court he or she is working for. 


4.1.4 Datoh Yutithum or Kadis 

According to the Act on the Application of Islamic Law in the Territorial Jurisdictions of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala and Satun Provinces, B.E. 2489, the Islamic Law on Family and Succession except the provisions on prescription in respect of succession shall apply instead of the Civil and Commercial Code in giving a judgment in civil cases concerning family and succession of Muslims. In such case, career judges and Datoh Yutithum who is an expert in Islam will sit on the bench together to adjudicate the case to comply with the principle of Islam. Datoh Yutithum or Kadis must not be less than thirty years of age, know Thai language at the prescribed level , and have knowledge in Islam to enable him to apply the Islamic laws relating to family and succession. 



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