16 June 2022: In a joint letter, Lawyers for Lawyers and The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) expressed concerns about the disbarment proceedings against lawyer and human rights defender Mr. Anon Nampha.
Lawyers for Lawyers and the CCBE are concerned about the disbarment proceeding against Mr. Anon Nampha, a lawyer and human rights defender, that is taking place before the Investigative Committee that was established by the Committee on Professional Ethics of the Lawyers Council of Thailand during the Meeting No. 1/2564 on 13 January 2021.
We were informed that the proceeding against lawyer Anon Nampha is related to a complaint motion filed to the Lawyers Council of Thailand on 7 August 2020 by the Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, who alleged that lawyer Anon Nampha’s behaviour violated the Lawyers Council of Thailand’s disciplinary rules as his behaviour would “incite, intend to cause unrest, distort information and insult on the monarchy”. The alleged speech in question apparently called for reform of the constitution and the monarchy, during a peaceful protest at the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue on 3 August 2020.
According to our information, a first pre-hearing was postponed twice on 24 November 2021 and 3 March 2022, due to the fact that Mr. Nampha was held in detention pending trial. Therefore, the first pre-hearing was scheduled for 7 April 2022 where both parties appeared before the Investigative Committee to schedule witness examination dates. The Committee scheduled the complainer witness examinations on 2 and 20 June and the complained witness examination on 18 July, 1 and 22 August, and 5 September 2022. However, on 2 June, the complainer failed to attend the first hearing taken place at the LCT. The proceeding therefore was adjourned until 20 June. After the witness examinations are completed, the Committee will schedule the date to deliver the order.
According to the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, lawyers have a right to freedom of expression and assembly, in particular in matters concerning the administration of justice and the rule of law. Moreover, according to Basic Principles 27, 28 and 29, lawyers have a right to fair disciplinary proceedings before and impartial disciplinary committee in line with recognized standards and ethics of the legal profession.
In view of the above, we respectfully urge Your Excellency to do everything in your power to ensure that lawyer Anon Nampha is able to continue his legitimate activities as a lawyer without undue interference. In addition, we ask that you take all necessary measures to guarantee that all lawyers in Thailand are able to carry out their professional duties without fear of reprisal, hindrance, intimidation or harassment in order to preserve the independence and integrity of the administration of justice and the rule of law.