Litigation – Dispute Resolution in Court of Thailand

This article, W Law International (Thailand) shall describe initial process in Thai court.

According to the Laws of Thailand, there are 2 major categories of Laws i.e. Civil and Criminal.

Civil Case

Civil Law is the Law concerning the benefit of individuals or private organizations, propose of the dispute resolution is to remedy of the damage incurred or going to incur, between the parties. Example of Civil Matters such as Breach of agreement between individuals or private organizations, Argument of Debt, Argument involving asset, Family argument as well as Heritage argument, etc.

Method and steps of Civil Dispute Resolution in Thailand are as the following:

  1. Whenever there is any argument against each other, first step should be “Negotiation”, each party should attempt to avoid further trouble and expense caused by litigation case against each other.
  2. If the Negotiation cannot resolve the problem, another option before court could be “Mediation or Arbitration”, that allow third party to be mediator or arbitrator to help ceasing the problem between parties. If the problem can be resolved at this level, the time to be consumed as well as dispute resolution cost can be reduced compared to dispute resolution in court.
  3. Dispute Resolution in Court should be final option as a lot of time consumed and cost can be very expensive, however, if it is unavoidable, steps of dispute resolution in Thai court are as follows: a. Usually, the party intending to bring the case to the court, prior to filing the lawsuit, such party should submit the “Notice Letter” to the breach party in order to perform according to the agreement or resolve the cause of breach. b. Afterwards, if the dispute has not been resolved after specified period in Notice Letter, Lawsuit can be filed to the court of jurisdiction. The complaint should be specified clearly, of the disputed issues.

There are 3 levels of Civil Courts i.e. Primary Court, Appeal Court and Supreme Court. Basically, every case shall be starting in primary court, for which case to be able to go further to Appeal or Supreme Court shall be in accordance with Civil Procedure Code.

  • After the lawsuit is filed to the court, the court shall stipulate the day of settlement of issues, and usually the court shall attempt to Compromise the case and end the case with compromise agreement. In this process, the court shall act as a Mediator.
  • If the case cannot be compromised, then the court shall designate the Examination date to proceed Witness Examinations.
  • After completion of witness examinations, the court shall stipulate the date for parties to hear the Judgment.
  • If the judgment is not satisfied either to the plaintiff or the defendant, plaintiff or defendant may be able to bring the case further to Appeal Court and Supreme Court respectively upon the requirement of Laws.
  • Once the judgment is issued, both parties are binding to perform accordingly. If the defendant fails to perform according to the judgment. Plaintiff is entitled to proceed Legal Execution against the plaintiff.

Criminal Case

Criminal Law is the Law concerning penalty of actions which is against the Laws of public order. Therefore, if any person act against the Laws which stipulates the punishment, such person shall be punished by sentences according to such Law.

Punishment according to Thai Criminal Code are as follows:

  1. Death Sentence
  2. Imprison
  3. Detention
  4. Fine
  5. Asset Forfeiture

The procedures of Criminal case are as the following:

  1. Criminal case can be initiated either by police submitting the case to public attorney and the public attorney agrees to sue the defendant to the court, or injured person bring the case directly to the court.
  2. Once the case has been brought to the court, at the first appointment there will be a preliminary hearing that the court shall examine whether the case has the ground for consideration. If the court decides that the case is prima facie then further procedure shall be done.
  3. Next step will be witness examination.
  4. After completion of witness examinations, the court shall stipulate the date for parties to hear the Judgment.
  5. During any process of criminal case, if the court allows, defendant can be bailed out by the security provided in accordance with the court order.

To consult with our “Litigation Lawyer”, “Civil Lawyer”, “Criminal Lawyer” for Dispute Resolution Service please feel free to contact us at contact@w-lawthai.com; Line: @wlaw, Tel. 026240555

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