Friday, August 1, 2008

Provincial Courts

Entrance of Surat Thani provincial court
When I earlier talked about the provincial halls, I also mentioned the provincial courts (ศาลจังหวัด, San Changwat) which are often located right next to the provincial hall, for example in Surat Thani (depicted). Yet when I passed through Talat Chaiya municipality, to my surprise I saw a provincial court there as well, named ศาลจังหวัดไชยา (San Changwat Chaiya). Though it is a provincial court, this does of course not mean that there is a province Chaiya, it's just that the province Surat Thani is so large that it is divided into several judiciary areas each having its own provincial court. As the website of the Office of the Judiciary explains
Provincial Courts exercise unlimited original jurisdiction in all general civil and criminal matters within their own districts which are generally the provinces themselves. For the purpose of expansion of services of the court to the distance area, some provinces may have more than one Provincial Court.
It seems that even myself fell into the trap of thinking the provincial court has something to do with provinces - in one of the first postings I speculated on a recreation of the province Lang Suan, but in fact that Royal Gazette announcement was about the provincial court in Lang Suan, and had nothing to do with a province hall as I suspected.

Within Surat Thani, my favourite province, it seems there are three provincial courts, one in Surat Thani city itself, one in Chaiya, and one on Ko Samui. But I haven't yet found a complete list of all the provincial (and municipal) courts with my limited Thai.

No comments: