Washington International Law Journal


Since 2006, Thailand has witnessed an unprecedented surge of judicial activism from the Constitutional Court to scrutinize elected politicians in the name of the rule of law. Democracy, argued Constitutional Court judges, could only be consolidated if the rule of law was maintained. But examination of several high-profile constitutional cases suggested that the Constitutional Court was actually working on behalf of the powerful elite minority to obstruct the democratic process under the pretext of protecting the rule of law. This antagonistic position brewed resentment and violence which jeopardized the Constitutional Court’s legitimacy as a neutral political arbiter. The 2014 coup d’etat showed that once again the country has failed to consolidate its democratization. This failure suggests that the Constitutional Court’s notion of the rule of law might not be compatible with the notion of electoral democracy.

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