COUNCIL OF STATE ACT, B.E. 2522 (1979)


BHUMIBOL ADULYADEJ, REX.

Given on the 22nd Day of April B.E. 2522;

Being the 34th Year of the Present Reign.

 

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is graciously pleased to proclaim that :

Whereas it is expedient to revise the law on the council of State and the law on petitions;

Be it, therefore, enacted by the King, by and with the advice and consent of the National Legislative Assembly, acting as the National Assembly, as follows:

 

Section 1.

This Act is called the "Council of State Act, B.E. 2522 (1979)".

Section 2.

This Act shall come into force as from the day following the date of its publication in the Government Gazette.

Section 3.

The following Acts shall be repealed:

(1) Council of State Act, B.E. 2476;

(2) Council of State Act (No. 2), B.E. 2510;

(3) Petition Act, B.E. 2492;

(4) Petition Act (No. 2), B.E. 2516.

Section 4.

In this Act:

"State agency" means a Ministry, Sub-Ministry, Department provincial administration and local administration, and includes a State enterprise or any State undertaking which a Royal Decree has prescribed to be a State agency under this Act;

"State official" means a government official, officer, employee or any person working in a State agency;

"administrative unit of the Petition Council" means the Office of the Council of State under Section 62 or the Office of the Regional petition Committee under Section 67, as the case may be;

"petition commissioner" means the petition commissioner attached to a Petition Committee or the petition commissioner attached to a Regional Petition Committee, as the case may be.

Section 5.

The Prime Minister shall have charge and control of the execution of this Act and shall have the power to issue Ministerial Regulations for the execution of this Act.

Such Ministerial Regulations shall come into force upon their publication in the Government Gazette. PART 1 Council of State

 

CHAPTER 1

General Provisions

 

Section 6.

There shall be the Council of State with the Prime Minister as ex officio President.

The Council of State consists of two categories of councilors, that is, the law councilors who are appointed by the King under Section 11 and the petition councilors who are appointed by the King under Section 28.

The Presided of the Council of State shall have the power and duty to supervise the general affairs of the Council of State.

Section 7.

The Council of State has the following powers and duties:

(1) Law Councilors: 

(a) to draft laws, by-laws, rules, regulations or notifications upon direction of the Prime Minister or resolution of the Council of Ministers;

(b) to give legal advice to a State agency or State enterprise or upon direction of the Prime Minister or resolution of the Council of Ministers;

(c) to submit opinions or remarks to the Council of Ministers on the need for new legislation or the revision and amendment or the repeal of existing legislation.

(2) Petition Councilors: 

(a) to consider petitions under the provisions of this Act;

(b) to submit opinion to the Prime Minister in order that an order relating to local administration may be issued under Section 27;

(c) to consider appeals on points of law against decisions of Committees established under other laws subject to the Royal Decree allowing appeals against the decisions of such committees to the Petition Council;

(d) to report on the implementation of the order of the Prime Minister under this Act as well as to propose procedure for the Prime Minister to take in case the implementation thereof has been ineffective;

(e) to submit recommendations to the Council of Ministers in order for a resolution of the Council of Ministers to be passed prescribing rules on the performance of official duties under Section 51;

(f) to submit opinions and remarks under (1) (c);

(g) to carry out the duties of law councilors under Section 40; (h) to carry out duties as prescribed in the provisions of other laws.

Section 8.

Subject to Section 11 paragraph two and Section 28 paragraph two, no person may become a law councilor and petition councilor at the same time.

Section 9.

The Councilors of State shall receive remuneration as prescribed in the Royal Decree.

Section 10.

In the performance of duties, the petition councilors, regional petition councilors, petition commissioners and the official under Section 65, shall be officials under the Penal Code.

 

CHAPTER 2

Law Councilors

 

Section 11.

The King shall, upon the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, appoint law councilors.

The Secretary-General of the Council of State shall be ex officio law councilor.

Section 12.

The law councilors shall hold office for a term of three years from the date of appointment.

In case a law councilor is appointed during the term of law councilors already appointed, notwithstanding whether it is a new or an additional appointment, the appointee shall hold office for as long as the term of office of the law councilors already appointed shall remain.

An outgoing law councilor may be re-appointed.

Section 13.

A person who is eligible for appointment as law councilor shall be a person with knowledge and experience in law, political science economics, social science, or public administration and shall possess any one of the following qualifications:

(1) serving or having served in a position not lower than Director-General or its equivalent;

(2) serving or having served in a position not lower than a Supreme (Dika) Court Judge or its equivalent or a position not lower than a Supreme Military Court Judge;

(3) being or having been for not less than five years a law lecturer in a State educational institution at university level;

(4) having been a law councilor under the Council of State Act, B.E. 2476;

(5) possessing knowledge in the work of and having worked in legislative drafting for not less than ten years and possessing experience and ability which are useful to the work of the law councilors.

Section 14.

In addition to vacation office at the end of term, a law councilor vacates office upon:

(1) death;

(2) resignation;

(3) being imprisoned by a final judgment or a lawful order to a term of imprisonment except for an offence committed through negligence or a petty offence;

(4) being an incompetent or quasi-incompetent person;

(5) being a bankrupt.

Section 15.

In the performance of duties under this Act, the law councilors shall meet as a Committee, each of which shall consist of not less than three law councilors. In case of important matter, it shall be brought before the meeting of the Law Council which must consist of not less than one-half of the total number of the law councilors.

The meeting of the Law Council under paragraph one shall be in accordance with the rules prescribed by the President of the Council of State.

The decision of the mater under consideration shall be made by a majority of votes. Each law councilor shall have one vote; in case of an equality of votes, the Chairman of the meeting shall have an additional vote as casting vote.

Section 15 bis.

In considering a draft legislation, the law councilors shall also take into account the necessity, possibility and scope of such legislation, the consistency with the principles of law and provisions of the Constitution and other laws, the efficiency of administrative organization and machinery for law enforcement, the impact which may occur on the public administration, and the burden or inconvenience of the public or individual who will be subject to such legislation, and shall revise it so as to be appropriate. In the case where the law councilors are of the opinion that any draft legislation has problems in respect of the substance of the principles thereof or have an opinion contrary to inconsistent with that of the State agency or private individual having the duty to comply with the law, the law councilors may submit opinion requesting the revision of such principle before proceeding further or may revise it in accordance with the above mentioned criteria and report to the Council of Ministers for further consideration.

Section 16.

The President of the Council of State shall have the power to prescribe rules on the preparation of draft laws, by-laws, rules, regulations or notifications and rules on the giving of legal opinion by the law councilors subject to the approval of the Council of Ministers.

Section 17.

Any law councilor who has a private interest in the matter then being considered, shall not attend the meeting which is considering such matter.

The President of the Council of State shall have the power to prescribe rules prohibiting a law councilor who is engaging in the occupation or the profession which may conflict with the performance of duty as law councilor from attending the meeting of Law Committee temporarily for as long as he is engaging in such occupation or profession.

 

CHAPTER 2 BIS

Law Reform Commission

 

Section 17 bis.

There shall be a Commission called the "Law Reform Commission", consisting of not less than nine but not more than fifteen Law Reform Commissioners appointed by the President of the Council of State from law councilors under Section 11 and qualified members from universities or from State or private agencies. Among this number, there shall be a law councilor as Chairman and other law councilors of not less than one-half of the total number.

The Secretary-General of the Council of State shall be ex officio Law Reform Commissioner.

The Law Reform Commission shall have the powers and duties as provided in this Chapter.

The Secretary-General of the Council of State shall appoint officials of the Office of the Council of State as secretary and assistant secretary.

The President of the Council of State may, as he deems appropriate, appoint the Law Reform Commission in accordance with the branches of law.

The provisions on term of office under Section 12 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the qualified members.

Section 17 ter.

The Office of the Council of State shall have the duty to review, consider and examine all the existing laws. If it is of the opinion that any legislation or any matter has provisions imposing restriction on the liberty of person, property or occupation of the people without any reasonable cause or which unnecessarily causes a burden on the occupation or business of any person or which is inconsistent with the policy of the Government or with economic, social and political development or public administration, or is of the opinion that Thailand needs a new legislation for the more efficient protection of rights and liberties of the people, or for the purpose of economic, social and political development or public administration, the Office of the Council of State shall submit opinions to the Law Reform Commission for preparing a law reform program or project by specifying the scope of work, steps and procedure together with the operational expenditure estimates, and in case of necessity where a supplementary expenditure estimate is required, it shall be submitted to the Council of Ministers for further approval. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to the consideration of the draft legislation of Ministries, Sub-Ministries, and Departments which the Council of Ministers sends to the Council of State for consideration.

In submitting opinions to the Law Reform Commission, if the Law Reform Commission is appointed in accordance with the branches of law, the opinions shall be submitted to the Law Reform Commission in accordance with the branches of law.

Section 17 quarter.

When the Council of Ministers has already approved the law reform program or project under Section 17 ter, the Law Reform Commission shall proceed with the study and research and prepare a report together with a draft legislation concerned for submitting to the Council of Ministers for further consideration; provided that researchers may be appointed for preparing the report as entrusted. For this purpose, the Law Reform Commission shall have the power to prescribe remuneration or provide subsidies for the research work in accordance with the rules prescribed by the President of the Council of State.

In the case where there is a reasonable cause, the Law Reform Commission may request that the meeting of the Law Council be held to consider any matter.

Section 17 quinque.

For the purpose of proceeding under Section 17 ter or Section 17 quarter, the Office of the Council of State may provide for a conduct of research, seminar for receiving an opinion from any agency or person both in the Government sector and in the private sector, as appropriate to each case.

Section 17 sex.

The Law Reform Commission may, as it deems appropriate, appoint one or more sub-committee to carry out any act as entrusted by the Law Reform Commission.

Section 17 septem.

The Law Reform Commission and the sub-committees under Section 17 sex shall have the power to invite representatives of any agency and other persons both in the Government sector and in the private sector to give facts or opinions.

Section 17 octo.

The Law Reform Commission and the sub-committees under Section 17 sex shall receive the same remuneration as the Councilors of State.

 

CHAPTER 3

Petition Councilors

 

Title 1

Right to petition the Petition Council

Section 18.

Every person has the right to petition the Petition Council in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

The submission of petition under this Act shall not adversely affect the right to petition that such person may have under any other laws.

Members of the armed forces or the police force who wish to submit petition concerning the military service or the police service, shall comply with the laws, by-laws or regulations on such matters.

Section 19.

The matter upon bsp; which the Petition Council may consider shall have the following characteristics:

(1) it is a matter which the petitioner has suffered injury or damage or may suffer injury or damage which is unavoidable; and

(2) the injury or damage under (1) is the consequence of a State official: 

a. neglecting or failing to perform the duties as prescribed by law;

b. delaying the performance of duties for unreasonable period;

c. acting beyond the scope of his duties or in conflict with or contrary to the law;

d. failing to follow the steps or procedure prescribed by law for such matter; or

e. acting dishonestly or without justifiable reasons.

The application of the provisions in (2) (d) and (e) to any State agency shall be prescribed in the Ministerial Regulation.

Section 20.

The following petitions shall not be accepted for consideration:

(1) a petition of the nature which directly concerns the policy for which the Government is responsible to the National Assembly;

(2) a matter which the Council of Ministers or the Prime Minister in the capacity of the head of the Government has given the final decision;

(3) a matter which a court proceeding has been instituted or which the Court has given the final judgment;

(4) a matter for which all means of seeking redresses prescribed by law for the injury or damage caused have not been exhausted;

(5) a matter which the Petition Council has give its final decision, except the case which new evidence has been discovered as prescribed under Section 50;

(6) a matter which the petitioner has abandoned his petition under Section 46; (7) a matter which the prescription period has elapsed, subject to the conditions under Section 23.

Section 21.

The petition shall:

(1) contain name and address of the petitioner;

(2) specify cause leading to the submission of the petition together with the facts and circumstances concerning therewith;

(3) be written in a polite and courteous language;

(4) contain signature of the petitioner; if the petition is submitted on behalf of another person, then the instrument of authorization for such act shall also be attached.

Section 22.

The petition shall be submitted to the administrative unit of the Petition Council or may be submitted to any petition councilor or any regional petition councilor or the Provincial (Changwat) Governor, Head of District (Nai Amphoe), Head of Sub-District (Kamnan), Head of County (Phuyai Ban) or any official of the Petition Council under Section 65 for further submission to the administrative unit of the Petition Council. The further submission of the petition to the administrative unit of the Petition Council shall be in accordance with the rules prescribed by the Petition Council. A petition may be sent to the administrative unit of the Petition Council by registered post and, for the purpose of counting the prescription period under Section 23, the posting date of the petition shall be deemed to be the date the petition is submitted.

Any government office having received a petition may, if it is of the opinion that the petition is within the competence or the Petition Council, send such petition to the Petition Council for consideration.

Section 23.

The submission of a petition shall be made within ninety days from the date the petitioner knows or ought to know the cause leading to his petition, or from the date after on hundred and twenty days from the date the petitioner sent a letter requesting State officials to perform the duties as prescribed by law and not having received any explanation from such State officials or having received one but which is an unreasonable explanation, as the case may be.

The Petition Council may proceed to consider a petition which is submitted after the prescription period has expired, if the Petition Council is of the opinion that the case will be for the public benefit or raises an important issue which ought to be resolved, and submits its opinion to the Prime Minister in order that appropriate directive may be issued under this Act.

Section 24.

 If the Petition Council deems it proper for the purpose of consideration, it may be send a petition received by it to the competent Regional Petition Committee for consideration.

Section 25.

If the Petition Council considers that the petition submitted to it is not a petition which may be accepted for consideration, the administrative unit of the Petition Council shall notify the petitioner and may, for the purpose of the performance for official duty, pass on such petition to the government agency concerned for information.

Section 26.

When the Royal Decree granting the right to appeal against the decisions of committees established by law under Section 7 (2) (c) has been enacted, the person under Section 19 shall have the right to appeal against the decisions of such committees under this Act, notwithstanding that the law has prescribed the decisions of such committees to be final; however, the appeal must be file with the Petition Council within thirty days from the date he was notified of the decision of such committees.

The provisions of Section 21, Section 22, Section 25 and the provisions of Title 2 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the filing of appeal, the procedure and consideration of the Petition Council.

The decision of the Petition Council on the appeal in this case shall be final.

Section 27.

 A local administration may be prescribed in the Royal Decree may request the Petition Council to consider any matter for the purpose of submitting a report to the Prime Minister in order that an order be issued under Section 48. Such report of the Petition Council shall be submitted through the Minister of Interior who shall further submit it to the Prime Minister without delay.

The procedure for making the request and the procedure and the consideration of the Petition Council under paragraph one shall be in accordance with the rules prescribed by the Petition Council. Such rules shall come into force upon their publication in the Government Gazette.
Title 2

Appointment and Powers and Duties of the Petition Council

 

Section 28.

The King shall, upon the recommendation of the Council of Ministers and with the approval of the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively, appoint petition councilors. In case the National Assembly is unicameral, approval of such Assembly is required.

The Secretary-General of the Council of State shall be ex officio petition councilor.

Section 29.

The petition councilor shall hold office for a term of three years from the date of appointment, and an outgoing petition councilor may be re-appointed.

In the case where the petition councilors can not be appointed due to the prorogation of the National Assembly, the expiration of term or dissolution of the House of Representatives or other causes, the petition councilors whose term expire at such period shall continue to perform their duties until the new petition councilors are appointed.

In addition to vacating office under Section 31 paragraph two, Section 14 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the vacation of office of the petition councilors.

Section 30.

A person who is eligible for appointment as petition councilor shall be a person with knowledge and experience in law, political science, economics, social science, or public administration and shall possess any one of the following qualifications:

(1) having been a law councilor for not less than two years;

(2) having been a petition councilor under the Petition Act, B.E. 2492;

(3) serving or having served for not less than two years in a position not lower than Supreme (Dika) Court Judge or its equivalent or a position not lower than a Supreme Military Court Judge;

(4) serving or having served for not less than three years in a position not lower than a Director-General or its equivalent;

(5) being or having been for not less than six years a lecturer teaching Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, or other subject relating to public administration in a State educational institution at university level;

(6) having experience in public administration for not less than ten years; that is, in accordance with the rules prescribed in the Royal Decree.

Section 31.

The person who has been appointed a petition councilor shall not be a political official, person holding a political office, member of a local assembly, executive member or person responsible for the administration of a political party, or person engaging in occupation or profession which conflicts with his performance of duty of the petition councilor according to the rules to be prescribed by the Petition Council.

A petition councilor falling within the prohibitions specified in paragraph one shall vacate his office.

Section 32.

There shall be a meeting of the Petition Council to carry out the duties under Section 33, Section 34, and Section 51, and other duties deserving the consideration of the meeting of the Petition Council as ordered by the President of the Council of State.

At a meeting of the Petition Council, a petition councilor shall be elected the Chairman of the meeting.

The decision shall be made by a majority of votes. Each petition councilor shall have one vote; in case of an equality of votes, the Chairman of the meeting shall have an additional vote as casting vote.

Section 33.

Subject to the provisions of this Act, the President of the Council of State shall have the power to prescribe rules of the Petition Council on the submission of petitions and the consideration of petitions, and rules of the Petition Council on the performance of duties of the Petition Council and the Regional Petition Committee; that is, after consultation with the meeting of the Petition Council.

The rules under paragraph one in so far as they are concerned with the procedure on consideration of petitions, the sending of letters or documents of the Petition Council to outsiders, and the matters which prescribe the rights and duties of the petitioners, shall come into force upon their publication in the Government Gazette.

The President of the Council of State may delegate his power under paragraph one to the Secretary-General of the Council of State in writing.

Section 34.

In considering petitions, the petition councilors shall have freedom in expressing his opinion.

In considering petitions, the petition councilors shall meet as a Committee, each of which shall perform the duties in the name of the Petition Council, and each of which shall consist of a Chairman and at least four petition councilors.

The President of the Council of State shall appoint the Chairman of the Petition Committee in such number as he may deem appropriate and shall prescribe rules on the organization of Petition Committees. In prescribing such rules, the experience in various fields of each petition councilor in each Committee shall be taken into consideration.

In case of important legal matter of the consequence of a decision of the Petition Committee may affect the administration of public affairs thereby having adverse effect on the public or the government administrative system as a whole, the petition councilors in the Committee considering such petition or the Secretary-General of the Council of State may request that the meeting of the Petition Council be held to consider such matter.

Section 35.

The decision of the Petition Committee shall be in accordance with the opinion of the majority of the petition councilors in such Committee.

If any petition councilor has a dissenting opinion, he shall have the right to include his dissenting opinion in the decision of the Petition Committee.

In case of a decision of the meeting of the Petition Council or a decision on the appeal against the decision of committees established by other laws under Section 7 (2) (c), no dissenting opinion shall be permitted.

Section 36.

 In considering petitions, there shall be a petition commissioner who shall be responsible for the investigation of the facts in each case and who shall have the duties to summarize the facts, the provisions of laws concerned, and to submit his opinion on the case to the Petition Committee for consideration.

Section 37.

The Petition Committee shall have the following powers:

(1) to issue a letter of inquiry to a State agency or State official concerned requesting the State agency or State official to explain facts or opinion on the performance of official duties of the State agency or State official concerned;

(2) to require a State agency concerned to send materials, documents or other evidences relating to the case or to send a representative or State official attached to such State agency to furnish explanations or statements for the consideration of the Petition Council;

(3) to issue a written order requiring the petitioner to produce evidence for the consideration;

(4) to issue a written order requiring any person concerned with the petition to give his statements or produce evidences for consideration.

Section 38.

In considering petitions, if the Petition Committee has decided that:

(1) the petition under consideration is not within its competence under Section 19 or Section 20, the Secretary-General of the Council of State shall dispose of such petition. In case the petition councilors who are members of the Committee considering such petition or the Secretary-General of the Council of State is of the opinion that such petition contains problems which should be accepted for consideration, such petition may be submitted for consideration of the Petition Council;

(2) in case there are causes for suspicion that there is corruption or official misconduct or there is a prima facie case of a criminal offence or breach of discipline, the Petition Committee shall notify the Office of the Commission of Counter Corruption, inquiry official or the superior of the person under suspicion for further action, as the case may be.

Section 39.

 In addition to other specified duties, the President of the Council of State has the power to order any petition councilor to assist in the performance of official duties of a Regional Petition Committee for a temporary period, but such order shall have the prior consent of the petition councilor concerned.

Section 40.

For the purpose of performing the duties in connection with legislative drafting, the President of the Council of State may prescribe rules permitting a petition councilor to carry out the duties under Section 7 (1) in co-operation with the law councilors in any particular matter; provided that the number of the petition councilors in any meeting of the Law Committee shall not exceed one-third of the number of law councilors in such Law Committee.

Section 41.

The consideration the petition of the Petition Committee shall be normally conducted for consideration of petitions on official working days, except in case of emergency or necessity or for benefit of the people in the locality where large number of petitions have been submitted, the Chairman of the Petition Committee may order the consideration of those particular petitions to be conducted at any other place or days; that is, in accordance with the rules of the petition Council.

The President of the Council of State shall appoint the place for consideration of petitions and the official working days and publish them in the Government Gazette.

Section 42.

 Attendance at the consideration of petitions shall be in accordance with the rules of the Petition Council.

Section 43.

A petition councilor may be challenged in his participation in the consideration of any petition on the ground of his involvement in such petition.

The filing of challenge, the consideration of challenge and the issuance of the order replacing the petition councilor shall be in accordance with the rules of the Petition Council.

Any act done by such petition councilor prior to the order replacing the petition councilor shall be valid.

Section 44.

The consideration of petitions shall be completed without delay, but adequate opportunity shall be given to the petitioner, State official or State agency concerned to furnish explanation or evidence to substantiate such explanation.

Section 45.

While considering petitions, if the Petition Committee deems it appropriate to prescribe a temporary remedial measure or process for the petitioner pending the decision, regardless of whether or not there is a request from the petitioner, the Petition Committee shall send its opinion on the action to be taken and the reason therefor to the Secretary-General of the Council of State for further submission to the Prime Minister in the capacity of the head of the Government without delay. If the Prime Minister agrees with such submission, the Prime Minister may order such remedy in accordance with his authority under the law on State Administration and other laws as he may deem appropriate.

In case the Petition committee is of the opinion that such remedial measure or process is within the authority of the superior official or the person responsible for the government office or State enterprise of Provincial Governor, as the case may be, to issue directives under the law on State Administration or other laws, the Petition Committee may propose to the Secretary-General of the Council of State that such person be first notified for the purpose of ordering such remedy. In such case, if such person disagrees with the remedial measure or process proposed by the Petition Committee, he shall have the power to order whatever action he deems appropriate within the scope of law, and when he has made any order or in case he is of the opinion that no order ought to be made, he shall so notify the Petition Committee with reason within ten days from the date he has been notified by the Secretary-General of the Council of State.

Section 46.

If the petitioner, after having received a written notice from the Petition Committee requiring him to appear and give statements and other relevant evidence, fails to comply with the notice within the time prescribe by the Petition Committee without any justifiable reasons, the Petition Committee shall have the power to dispose of such petition from its petition list.

The petition which has been disposed of by the Petition Committee from its petition list under paragraph one may not be reviewed or resubmitted unless the petitioner can prove to the satisfaction of the Petition Committee that the non-compliance with the notice on his part was due to force majeure or there are justifiable reasons.

Section 47.

The decision of the Petition Committee shall contain the following:

(1) name of the petitioner;

(2) cause of the petition;

(3) factual details of the petition;

(4) reason for the decision;

(5) recommendation to the Prime Minister in the capacity of the head of the Government to issue order for the remedy under Section 48 which recommendation shall specify clearly as to what order the Prime Minister should issue in such case, with the reasons therefore;

(6) recommendation or other remark concerning the prescription of rules on the performance of official duties under Section 51, the enactment of new legislation or the revision and amendment or the repeal of existing legislation, if any.

The decision of the Petition Committee shall be singed by the petition councilors participating in the consideration of such petition.

Section 48.

When there is a recommendation of the Petition Committee under Section 47 (5), the Prime Minister in the capacity of the head of the Government has the power to issue any of the following orders:

(1) in case a State official neglects to perform his duty or unreasonably delays performing his duty, to order the head of the State agency concerned to take measure to ensure that the State officials under him perform the duty within the prescribed time; (

2) in case a State official acts beyond the scope of his duty or acts contrary to or inconsistent with the law or fails to act in accordance with the steps or procedure prescribed by law for such matter or acts dishonestly or without justifiable reason, to order the revocation of such act or to order the responsible official to revoke such act;

(3) in case of emergency and necessity, notwithstanding whether it is a case under (1) or (2), to issue a new order or an order rectifying the act of the State official.

In submitting the recommendation to the Prime Minister for the issuance of order under paragraph one, the Petition Committee shall clearly give the reason and evidence substantiating the recommendation. If it is the case for the Prime Minister to issue an order under paragraph one (2), it shall clearly state whether or not and to what extent or under what conditions such order will have retrospective effect. If it is the case for the Prime Minister to issue an order under paragraph one (3), it shall be clearly shown to the Prime Minister that the issuance of a new order or an order rectifying the act of the State official is urgent and necessary and shall include the effective date and conditions for such order. In addition, in the case for the Prime Minister to issue an order under paragraph one (3), the Petition Committee must also consider whether or not and to what extent the issuance of a new order or an order rectifying the act of the State official by the Prime Minister might affect the direct responsibility of the official concerned thereby affecting the State administration.

Section 49.

After the Petition Committee has reached a decision on a petition, the Secretary-General of the Council of State shall submit the decision to the Prime Minister as soon as possible, but not longer than seven days from the date of the decision.

After having received the decision of the Petition Committee, the Prime Minister shall issue the necessity order without delay. In case the Prime Minister disagrees with the decision, either in whole or in part, the Prime Minister shall have the power to issue an order he deems appropriate with the reasons therefor.

Section 50.

The petitioner may re-submit a petition which has been finally decided by the Petition Committee for review within five years from the date of the decision, if he can prove to the satisfaction of the Petition Committee that new evidence has been found which would alter the facts on which the Petition Committee had based its final decision.

Section 51.

Subject to the application of the law, the Petition Council shall have the power to recommend to the Council of Ministers for a resolution prescribing rules on the performance of official duties as follows:

(1) prescribing the steps and procedure which State officials must comply with before issuing an order, permit, preliminary decision or final decision under their statutory powers and duties;

(2) prescribing that the order, permit, preliminary decision or final decision of a State official in connection with the rights or duties of a person or which is important to the performance or official duties shall contain appropriate statement and reasons therefore;

(3) prescribing that any by-law, rule, regulation, notification or order which applies to the general public be published in the Government Gazette prior the its coming into force.

In submitting such recommendation, the Petition Council shall take into account the efficiency in the performance of official duties, the responsibility of officials who act on behalf of the State in providing public services for the benefits of the public as a whole, rights and duties of individual relation to the government authority and the understanding between members of the public and officials acting on behalf of the State.

 

Title 3

Appointment and Powers and Duties of the Regional Petition Committee

 

Section 52.

In any locality where the number of petitions submitted is considerable and it is appropriate to consider the petitions in that locality on a permanent basis, the Secretary-General of the Council of State may submit a recommendation to the President of the Council of State for the establishment of a Regional Petition Committee.

The establishment of a Regional Petition Committee in any locality and the area within its jurisdiction shall be prescribed in the Royal Decree.

The President of the Council of State shall appoint the regional petition councilors after consultation with the Petition Council.

The regional petition councilor shall hold office for a term of three years from the date of appointment and may be re-appointed.

 In addition to vacating office under Section 54 paragraph two, Section 14 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the vacation of office of the regional petition councilor and with respect to the person who has been appointed a regional petition councilor by virtue of his official position in the area within the jurisdiction of the Regional Petition Committee, such regional petition councilor shall vacate office upon the termination of his official position.

Section 53.

Any person who is eligible for appointment as regional petition councilor shall be a person with knowledge and experience in law, political science, economics, social science, or public administration and shall possess any one of the following qualifications:

(1) possessing any one of the qualifications under Section 30 (1), (2) or (4);

(2) having been a Mayor, local councilor, member of the local assembly or local administrator in the position specified in the Ministerial Regulation; that is, either one or several positions for a consecutive period totaling not less than four years;

(3) serving or having served in a position not lower than a Chief Judge of the Provincial Court or its equivalent or Military Court Judge;

(4) serving or having served as the petition commissioner attached to a Petition Committee;

(5) serving or having served as chief of a regional administrative unit in the position specified in the Ministerial Regulation for a period totaling not less than three years, or being or having been a local official in the position as specified in the Ministerial Regulation for a period totaling not less than five years;

(6) being or having been for not less than four years a lecturer teaching Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, or other subjects relating to public administration in a State educational institution at university level;

(7) having experience in public administration for not less than six years; that is, in accordance with the rules prescribed in the Royal Decree.

Section 54.

The regional petition councilor shall not be under any of the prohibitions under Section 31 paragraph one. A regional petition councilor falling within the prohibitions specified in paragraph one shall vacate his office.

Section 55.

The Regional Petition Committee shall have the following powers:

(1) to consider the petition in the area within its jurisdiction;

(2) to carry out any work on behalf of a Petition Committee as entrusted thereto by a Petition Committee;

(3) to carry out duties as prescribed in the provisions of the laws;

Section 56.

The regional petition councilor shall receive remuneration as prescribed in the Royal Decree.

Section 57.

Subject to Section 58, the performance of duties of the Regional Petition Committee shall be in accordance with the rules of the Petition Council, and by such rules the Regional Petition Committee may be entrusted with the power to prescribe rules in any matter in details.

The President of the Council of State shall appoint a Chairman of the Regional Petition Committee with the duties to supervise, examine and advise in order to ensure that the performance of duties of the regional petition councilors concerning the consideration of the petitions under their jurisdiction is properly carried out.

Section 58.

The provisions of Section 34 paragraph one, paragraph two and paragraph three, Section 35, Section 36, Section 37, Section 41 paragraph one, Section 42, Section 43, Section 44. Section 46 and Section 47 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the Regional Petition Committee.

The President of the Council of State may entrust the power to order the Regional Petition Committee to conduct the consideration of a particular petition at any place other than the place it is normally conduct under Section 41 to the Chairman of the Regional petition committee under Section 57 paragraph two to exercise on his behalf.

Section 59.

In case the Regional Petition Committee deems it appropriate to recommend a temporary remedial measure or process under Section 45, or after the Regional Petition Committee having considered the petition, wishes to submit a recommendation to the Prime Minister to issue an order under Section 48, the secretary of the Regional Petition Committee shall notify the State official or State agency concerned and send the said opinion or decision to the Secretary-General of the Council of State for further action.

If the State official or State agency concerned under paragraph one disagrees with the opinion or decision of the Regional Petition Committee, such State official or State agency may appeal against the decision of the Regional Petition Committee to the Petition Council by filing the appeal with the Secretary-General of the Council of State within fifteen days from the date of receiving the decision of the Regional Petition Committee.

In case there is an appeal under paragraph two or the Secretary-General of the Council of State deems it appropriate for the Petition Council to review such opinion or decision of the Regional Petition Committee, the Secretary-General of the Council of State shall forward such opinion or decision to the Petition Council for consideration.

Section 60.

In case the Regional Petition Committee has considered a petition and the decision does not contain recommendation for an order to be issued under Section 45 or Section 48, the secretary of the Regional Petition Committee shall notify the petitioner of the decision. If the petitioner disagrees with the decision of the Regional petition Committee, he shall have the right to appeal to the Petition Council within fifteen days from the date he receives the notice of the decision of the Regional Petition Committee.

Section 61.

The rules, procedure and conditions on filing of an appeal and the consideration of petitions under Section 59 and Section 60 shall be in accordance with rules of the Petition Council.

 

PART 2

Office of the Council of State

 

Section 62.

There shall be established the Office of the Council of State having as its duties the responsibility for the official affairs of the Council of State and especially the following powers and duties:

(1) to be responsible for the administrative works of the Council of State and to carry out the study and to compile various data concerning the works of the Council of State,

(2) to provide assistance and advice in connection with legislative drafting to State agencies and State enterprises;

(3) to consider and prepare draft legislation as entrusted by the Council of Ministers or the Prime Minister and to submit recommendation on the need for new legislation or the revision and amendment or the repeal of exhaustion legislation;

(4) to give opinion or to carry out other works in connection with the law to State agencies, State enterprises, or as requested by foreign governments or international institutions;

(5) to co-ordinate with the Office of the Regional Petition Committee under Section 67 and to provide training for the administrative officials and to prescribe rules on the performance of duties of such Office concerning administrative works;

(6) to monitor the performance of duties of State agencies or State officials after the Petition Committee has give its decision or the Prime Minister in the capacity of the head of the Government has issued an order under this Act;

(7) to analyze the causes of the petitions, including the principles of laws and the rules and practices to be applied to the petitions;

(8) to publish important decisions of the Petition Council or the Regional Petition Committee which are the basis of public administration for the purpose of dissemination, except where the matter is confidential affection national safety or public interest, which should not be disclosed;

(9) to make annual report on the result of the works and on the obstacles in the performance of duties of the Law Council, the Law Reform Commission, and the Petition Council, for submitting to the Council of Ministers;

(10) to compile data on the Thai and foreign legal systems, and the Thai and foreign legal research works or other research works relating to law for the purpose of performing the duties under this Act.

Section 63.

There shall be Secretary-General of the Council of State with the duties to generally supervise the performance of official affairs of the Office of the Council of State. He shall be responsible directly to the President of the Council of State and shall be the superior official of the Office of the Council of State.

There shall be Deputy Secretary-General of the Council of State to assist the Secretary-General in the performance of official duties.

The Secretary-General of the Council of State shall be an ordinary government official appointed by the King from a person who possesses knowledge and experience in law, legislative drafting and public administration, upon the recommendation of the Council of Ministers and with the approval of the House of Representatives and the Senate respectively. In case the National Assembly is unicameral, approval of such Assembly is required.

Section 64.

The Secretary-General of the Council of State shall appoint petition commissioners from officials of the Office of the Council of State.

For the purpose of making the report on the petitions, the Secretary-General of the Council of State shall have the powers as prescribed in Section 37. In this case, the Secretary-General of the Council of State may delegate such powers in writing to the petition commissioners or the secretary of the Regional Petition Committee.

Section 65.

The Secretary-General of the Council of State has the power to appoint any person to be an official attached to the Petition Committee for the purpose of carrying out any duty entrusted to him in the locality where such person is domicile; that is, in accordance with the rules and conditions prescribed in the rules of the Petition Council.

Section 66.

Subject to the provisions of laws, for the purpose of co-ordination the works, exchanging experience, and developing the ability of the government officials in the performance of duties in connection with the laws or the execution of this Act, the Minister in charge and the Secretary-General of the Council of State may request the Prime Minister in the capacity of the head of the Government to exercise the power under the law on State Administration to appoint any government official attached to a Ministry, Sub-Ministry or Department, to any position in the Office of the Council of State, receiving the monthly salary from his original Ministry, Sub-Ministry or Department, but having the status as a government official attached to the Office of the Council of State.

The appointment to the position under paragraph one shall be for a period not less than one year nor more than three years each time.

The provisions in paragraph one and paragraph two shall apply mutatis mutandis to the appointment of government officials attached to the Office of the Council of State to the positions in any other Ministry, Sub-Ministry or Department.

Section 67.

After a Royal Decree established a Regional Petition Committee in any locality has been issued, such Royal Decree shall also specify the State agency which shall act as the administrative unit of such Regional Petition Committee.

In case the Royal Decree has prescribed any local administration to be the administrative unit of a Regional Petition Committee and such local administration has inadequate budgetary appropriations, the State shall provide subsidy to such local administration.

Section 68.

The administrative unit of a Regional Petition Committee shall have the duties to provide premises, petition commissioners, officials, as well as to carry out all administrative works of the Regional Petition Committee by becoming the "Office of the Regional Petition Committee"

In the performance of duties, the Office of the Regional Petition Committee shall co-ordinate its works with the Office of the Council of State.

There shall be an official who is the secretary of a Regional Petition Committee responsible or all the administrative works of the Regional Petition Committee.

The secretary of the Regional Petition Committee and the petition commissioner attached to the Regional Petition Committee shall be appointed from the government officials, local officials of the administrative unit of the Regional Petition Committee, with the approval of the Secretary-General of the Council of State.

 

PART 3

Penalties

 

Section 69.

Any petition which has been sealed by the petitioner shall be deemed to be confidential, and any person whose duty does not concern with the petition under this Act who opens the petition in order to learn of its contents or to allow other persons to learn of its contents shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of three months to three years and to a fine of five thousand Baht to thirty thousand Baht.

Section 70.

Any official who unlawfully acts against or neglects to act for a petitioner or any other person for reason that there is a petition, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of six months to five years and to a fine of the thousand Baht to fifty thousand Baht.

Section 71.

Any person who submits false information as a petition under this Act shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand Baht or to both. However, if such person repents and informs the Petition Council or the Regional Petition Committee, the petition commissioner or other competent official who has been entrusted to carry out the duty prior to the consideration of the petition, of the true facts, the Court may impose any lighter sentence than that prescribed by law.

Section 72.

Any person who, in the capacity of a witness, intentionally provides the Petition Council, the Regional Petition Committee, the petition commissioner, or other competent official entrusted to carry out the duty with untrue statements or gives false evidence which are material to the petition shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding thirty thousand Baht or to both. If such person repents and informs the Petition Council, the Regional Petition Committee, the petition commissioner, or other competent official entrusted to carry out the duty prior to the consideration of the petition, of the true facts, the Court may impose any lighter sentence than that prescribed by law.

Section 73.

Any person who fails to comply with the written order issued under Section 37 (4) shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to a fine not exceeding one thousand Baht or to both.

  

Transitory Provisions

 

Section 74.

The law councilors appointed under the Council of State Act, B.E. 2476 and the petition councilors appointed under the Petition Act, B.E. 2492 shall be the law councilors and the petition councilors under this Act, as the case may be, until new appointment is made under this Act by a Royal Command, which shall not be later than one hundred and twenty days from the date this Act comes into force.

The Secretary-General of the Council of State appointed under the Council of State Act, B.E. 2476 shall be the Secretary-General of the Council of State under this Act.

Section 75.

The Petition Council under this Act shall have the power under the Petition Act, B.E. 2492 to consider petition already submitted to the Petition Council under the Petition Act, B.E. 2492. However, if the Petition Council under this Act deems it appropriate to exercise the powers under Section 45 and Section 48, it may do so.

Section 76.

Within five years from the date this Act comes into force, the President of the Council of State may order any law councilor to perform the duties of the petition councilor and such law councilor shall have the powers, duties and rights as the petition councilor.

   

 

Countersigned by Mr. S. Hotrakitya as Deputy Prime Minister