Law and Compliance in Thailand

Overview by

Business Contract

General Observation
The use of contract is an insurance of a safe business practice.
Law Applicable to the Contract
The laws applicable to the contract are managed within the Civil and commercial code of Thailand.
Advisable Incoterms
Quotes are usually on CIF basis in Thai baht, Australian dollars, US dollars, Pound Sterling or any other currency. Thai baht and US dollars are preferred. Initial transactions should be by confirmed irrevocable letter of credit only. The validity period is usually nine months.
Language of Domestic Contract
Thai and English.
Other Laws Which Can Be Used in Domestic Contracts
Thailand is a signatory of the Vienna convention adressing in particular dispute resolutions.

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Legal Framework of Business

Equity of Judgments

Independence of Justice
When under civilian rule, judiciary is generally regarded as independent though it is subject to corruption and heavy backlog of cases.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreign nationals can normally expect impartial trial from the country’s judicial system.
The Language of Justice
Thai is the judicial language used in Thailand, though English is widely used.
Recourse to an Interpreter
It is possible to have access to a transleter.
Legal Similarities
The main source of law in the country is the new constitution of October 1997. The legal system is based on civil law system. Thailand has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. Thailand's legal system blends principles of traditional Thai and Western laws. Under the constitution, the Constitutional Court is the highest court of appeals, though its jurisdiction is limited to clearly defined constitutional issues. Its members are nominated by a committee of judges, leaders in Parliament, and senior independent officials, whose nominees are confirmed by the Senate and appointed by the King. The Courts of Justice have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases and are organized in three tiers: Courts of First Instance, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Justice. Administrative courts have jurisdiction over suits between private parties and the government, and cases in which one government entity is suing another. In Thailand's southern border provinces, where Muslims constitute the majority of the population, Provincial Islamic Committees have limited jurisdiction over probate, family, marriage, and divorce cases. Only Thai-qualified lawyers have rights of audience in the country’s courts so many domestic firms focus on litigation, although international firms often retain significant Thai expertise. The country recently introduced specialised courts for bankruptcy and IP cases.

The Different Legal Codes

Civil and Commercial code Civil and Commercial Law
Criminal Code Criminal law
Civil Procedure Code Administrative law
Criminal Procedure Code Criminal Prosecution
Land Code Land ownership law
Revenue Code Tax legislation
Checking National Laws Online
The Thai law Forum
Other Useful Resources
Asialaw, Thailand law information
Country Guides
Thai Law Forum
Siam-legal, Thailand largest legal network

Find Legal Experts in Thailand on

The Jurisdictions

Courts of Justice The Courts of Justice have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases and are organized in three tiers: Courts of First Instance, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Justice. There are about 140 Courts of First Instance throughout the Kingdom: Civil Court, Criminal Court, Juvenile and Family Court, Central Labour Court and Central Tax Court, including Kwaeng Courts which have jurisdiction over minor civil cases and criminal cases with maximum punishment of imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or fine not exceeding Baht 60,000 or both. In the provinces, they are the Provincial Courts, and in some large provinces the Provincial Juvenile and Family Courts and Kwaeng Courts are included. A detailed presentation of the Thai juridictions can be found on the following website.

Court Officials

There are four types of judge system: career judge, senior judge, associate judge , and Datoh Yutithum or Kadis. For more details on the description of their function click on this link.
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