Judicial Responsibility and Coups d’État
Judging Against Unconstitutional Usurpation of Power
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This book examines the responsibility of judges of domestic courts following unconstitutional usurpation of power of government (coups d’état). It explores judges’ liability for failing to discharge their judicial duty independently and impartially, and the criminality of usurpers and their accomplices and collaborators for their violation of fundamental rights and freedoms or commission of crimes of international concern. Written by a highly regarded non-Western author, the book is coherent and meticulously researched, covering an approach to coups in an insightful and fascinating fashion. It includes a sophisticated and thorough analysis of the relevant comparative jurisprudence of domestic and international courts, with concrete examples of the best practices among decisions of domestic courts in countries that have experienced coups d’état. With an increasing global interest in the phenomenon of coups, democratic backsliding and the place and role of the judiciary as the only hope to rein in acts of unconstitutional usurpation of power, the book will be essential reading for members of the legal profession, those cherishing democracy as well as students and researchers in constitutional law, law and political science, public international law, international human rights law, international criminal law, regime changes, transitional justice and international organizations.
Table of Contents
Preface; Abbreviations; 1. Introduction; 2. Legal bases to assess the legality of unconstitutional usurpation of power; 3. Permissible parameters for judges in post-coup suppression of fundamental rights and freedoms; 4. Availability or non-availability of defences for judges in relation to judicial responsibility post-coups; 5. Amnesties, pardons, immunities and other restrictions on the prosecution of usurpers of power and their accomplices or collaborators; 6. International or extra-territorial criminal prosecution of coups-related crimes of international concern; 7. Epilogue; Index;
Kriangsak Kittichaisaree is a Judge of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. He has served as Chairperson of the UN General Assembly’s Working Group on the Administration of Justice at the United Nations; member of the UN International Law Commission responsible for the topic ‘The Obligation to Extradite or Prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare)'; and Thailand’s Ambassador to Iran, Australia and Russia. He has taught international law at renowned law schools in four continents. His 11 publications include the pioneering textbook International Criminal Law (2001); Public International Law of Cyberspace (2017, also translated into Chinese); The Obligation to Extradite or Prosecute (2018); International Human Rights Law and Diplomacy (2020); and The Rohingya, Justice and International Law (2021).