Thai law is mostly based on continental European law systems. That means that Thai substantive and procedural law is codified. However, precedent decisions of the Supreme Court (in Thai San Dika) play an important role for the interpretation of the law by the courts of lower instance. Our Thai lawyers fight for our client’s rights in court, while our foreign trained attorneys communicate with our foreign clients.
In order to know which concrete court has jurisdiction over a particular case, one has to consider each of the following three aspects:
- The nature of the legal matter, e.g. civil case, criminal case or administrative case. The civil and criminal courts are also called courts of justice as opposed to administrative courts. Besides these there are Family and Juvenile Courts, Labor Courts and other specialized courts, as well as the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court.
- Some court decisions can be reviewed and overruled by courts of a higher instance. In Thailand the courts of justice generally have three tiers: Courts of First Instance, the Appeal Court (in Thai “Uthon”) and the Supreme Court (in Thai “Dika”).
- There are courts of first instance located all over Thailand. There is one Appeal Court in Bangkok and nine regional Courts of Appeal in Thailand. There is only one Supreme Court, which is located in Bangkok.
It is important to understand that the different types of courts have different procedural codes, which will only apply in the specific type of court unless referred to by the procedural code of another court. For example, the Civil Procedure Code of Thailand sets forth the rules of procedure in civil court cases (such as the place of jurisdiction, the roles of plaintiff and defendant, the taking of evidence), whereas in criminal courts, very different rules of the Criminal Procedural Code will apply.
Additionally, there are special rules for special types of cases like consumer cases, where a consumer sues an entrepreneur, which contain specific provisions in favor of the consumer in order to compensate for the consumer’s generally weaker position.
Moreover, it is important to understand that the laws of Thailand may vary greatly from those of other countries. If you are a foreigner in Thailand you should never assume that the rules that apply back home will automatically apply here as well.
Juslaws & Consult have a first-rate Litigation Department comprising Thai lawyers who are experts in all levels and categories of litigation including:
- Civil law
- Criminal law
- Shareholders dispute & Business litigation
- Property disputes
- Class Actions