Administrative court indefinitely adjourn the judgement of exiled Thai academic Somsak’s case

On 4 March 2016, the Administrative Court made an order to indefinitely adjourn the delivery of the judgement in the case which Mr. Somsak Jeamteerasakul, a former lecturer at Thammasat University, filed a lawsuit against the University for his dismissal order. Before this adjournment was issued, on 1 March 2016, the judge-rapporteur made an opinion that the dismissal order from the university shall be revoked.

The Administrative Court sent a court notice to Ms. Pawinee Chumsri, the lawyer and appointee for Mr. Somsak Jeamteerasakul, to notify the order that the delivery of the judgement be adjourned from 8 March 2016 indefinitely, and that the Court shall appoint a day later.

For this case, Somsak filed a lawsuit against Thammasat University as the 1st defendant, and the Higher Education Institution Officials Commission as the 2nd defendant to revoke the dismissal order to end his civil service employment.

The Court tried the case for the first round on 1 March 2016. The judge-rapporteur made an opinion that Thammasat University shall revoke the order to dismiss Somsak Jeamteerasakul, the plaintiff. The judge-rapporteur saw that the plaintiff is at peril at life and liberty to the point of exile. When an order calling back to resume his duty as a lecturer was issued, the plaintiff had submitted a letter of resignation instantly. Although he did not submit in advance as indicated in the University’s announcement about the regulation and procedure of resignation, it is considered well-grounded.

Moreover, the Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts had approved that the plaintiff could go abroad for accumulating academic knowledge. The judge-rapporteur had an opinion that, pragmatically, the plaintiff went to further his knowledge. Thus it should not be deemed that the plaintiff intentionally neglected his official duties for 15 days consecutively while appearing to refrain to comply with the regulation. Therefore, the judge-rapporteur is of opinion that the order of Thammasat University No. 356/2558 order and No. 0592(3)1.9/6266 to dismiss Somsak were illegal and shall be revoked.

Ms. Pawinee Chumsri, the lawyer and the appointee for Somsak, said that the opinion of the judge-rapporteur is in accordance to the facts and principles of law which is beneficial to the plaintiff, although the opinion is not bounded with the decision of the judge-commissioner.

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