Requesting the Lawyers Council to drop an accusation made by Mr. Apiwat Khanthong

which demands a deletion of Mr. Anon Nampha from the Lawyer Registration

Referring to the case that Mr. Apiwat Khanthong, an Assistant to a Minister of the Prime Minister Office and a lawyer at A. Amporn Na Takuathung and Friends Law Office had submitted a request on 7th August 2020 to Lawyers Council under the Royal Patronage to delete Mr. Anon Nampha, a human rights lawyer, from the Registration of Lawyers, reasoning that by making an inciting, provocative speech of which its content distorted and offended the monarchy at an assembly around the Democracy Monument on 3rd August 2020, Mr. Anon Nampha had behaviours that deemed to be violation of the Bylaws of the Lawyers Council.  Earlier Mr. Apiwat Khanthong had already submitted a complaint at Samranrat Police Station on 5th August 2020, incriminating Mr. Anon Nampha with an offence according to Article 116 and Article 215 of the Criminal Code for the same incidence.  The case is now in the hands of inquiry officials.

Union for Civil Liberty, Human Rights Lawyers Association and other groups, organisations and agencies totally 24, and 215 individual persons, most of whom are attorney at law and lawyer whose names appear at the end of this letter hold a view that the Lawyers Council by its Lawyers Ethics Committee would be able to delete name of its member lawyer from its registration according to Article 52 (3) of the Lawyers Act B.E. 2528 (1985) only on conditions set in Article 51 Paragraph 2 that is the particular attorney at law violated or did not observe the Bylaws provided by the Lawyers Council.  However, when the Bylaws of the Lawyers Council concerning Ethics of Lawyers B.E 2529 (1986) as a whole are taken into consideration, the reasons that Mr. Apiwat Khanthong referred to make the request do not appear in any Bylaws of the Lawyers Council concerning Ethics of Lawyers to provide any condition required for deletion of Mr. Anon Nampha’s name from the Registration of Lawyers.  Moreover, the legal case of which Mr. Apiwat Khanthong had referred to is now just in hands of inquiry officials; no final verdict has been given by court.  Mr. Apiwat Khanthong who is both an attorney at law in A. Amporn Na Takuathung and Friends Law Office and an assistant to Minister of the Prime Minister Office should know well that the case of Mr. Anon Nampha did not fulfil any condition that would disqualify him from being a licensed attorney at law according to Article 35 of the Lawyers Act.

Union for Civil Liberty and Human Rights Lawyers Association see that the accusation made by Mr. Apiwat Khanthong did not show that Mr. Anon Nampha had behaviours deem qualified for investigation of lawyers ethics according to Article 65 of the Lawyers Act, the Lawyers Council therefore can issue an order dropping the accusation immediately without any necessity to appoint an investigation committee.

Up until now, Mr. Anon Nampha has performed a role as a human rights lawyer providing assistance to people suffering from various issues of human rights violation, including environment-related cases, labour protection, rights in the justice process, and freedom of expression, which is a foundation of a strong and sustainable democratic regime with the monarchy as the head of state, that can be considered an honourable performance of a professional lawyer that all attorneys at law should look up to as a model to follow.  It is therefore highly expected that the Lawyers Council, which is a legal institute that people can rely on and has an important role to protect its member lawyers who are providing assistance to the people to access justice, would issue an order dropping the accusation against Mr. Anon Nampha, and as a honourable professional organisation, issue a clear statement to protect rights and liberty of expression of its member lawyers in particular and citizens in general, not to become a political tool of any persons to threaten those who have political views different from the government.

With respect to rights and liberty of the people and human dignity,

(signed by 215 individual persons, most of whom are attorney at law and lawyer, and 24 organisations, agencies and groups, including:)

Union for Civil Liberty (UCL)

Human Rights Lawyers Association (HRLA)

Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR)

Muslim Attorney Center Foundation (MAC)

Human Rights and Environment Association (HREA)

NGO Coordinating Committee on Development (NGO-COD)

Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF)

Thai Volunteer Service Foundation (TVS)

People Empowerment Foundation (PEF)

Community Resource Center Found (CRCF)

Network of Mineral Owner Citizens

Mineral Resources Public Policy Advocacy Project

6 law offices

7 local conservation groups