One day in Nakhon Ratchasima
A white sign next to the big heavy brown wooden door outside the courtroom specifying the Do’s and Don’ts was one of the first things I noticed while cautiously walking towards the door handle, ready to enter the first court hearing of my life.
Early on the same day our legal team went up for a witness examination on the case of Mr.Anan Kerdkaew , who died after three days in police custody, at the Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Court and we decided to head over and observe the hearing. Certainly, no phones were allowed inside the courtroom and later on I was also told that there were other etiquette rules such no legs crossing, and no arms hanging on the backrest of the benches. This was a true struggle for a semi-hyperactive person like myself to not cross my legs and comfortably sit still, but because I wanted to avoid getting called out by the judge, I chose to follow the rules.
It was nothing like the series Judge Judy. There were two judges, three lawyers including ours, a court reporter, and most benches were empty. 10 minutes in and I found out that there was another trial going on in the same room which I found strange, but again I’d never been to a court before and my knowledge is vastly limited when it comes to court hearings.
Before the hearing begun, each of the witness had to stand up and take a vow of honesty. At this point I could not imagine the feeling of sitting on the witness stand, answering all the questions from the judge and the lawyer. The questions were straightforward and short. However, I recognized the hardship and stress of being swamped with questions that more or less awaken all kind of emotions, either they were positive or negative, or both. In reference to this, I’d like to extend my admiration to Mr. Anan’s mother and sisters who handled this witness examination nobly.
Admittedly, seeing our legal team in action was a proud moment. I realized then, as I always do, how much work and effort everyone puts in the preparation for every trial. All the petitions written, all the case meetings held- none should go unnoticed.
Forever humble and grateful for being a tiny part of this dedication.