If you are having legal issues in Thailand, you will need to seek legal advice from an attorney in Thailand. What we have shown here is only the structure of the legal system in Thailand as the court structure in Thailand is not well known. You will note below that there are 4 different types of courts in Thailand.
The justice system in Thailand is a hybrid legal system that was built from local customs and the British legal system. Certain aspects of the legal system might remind you are the British legal system, however it is not. Unlike the US, the Thai court system does not have a jury system. The Thai courts also have specialised courts which are outside of the normal court system. The judges in these courts tend to be experts on the specific legal issue. Many law firms do offer internship for foreign lawyers so that they can see how the legal system works in Thailand.
There are generally speaking Civil Courts, Criminal Courts, Municipal Courts and Provincial Courts. There are also a Constitutional Court in Thailand and an Appeals Court. Thailand also has Juvenile and Family Courts as well as 4 specialised courts.
Provincial Courts (Bangkok) – 2 judges (Judge)
Each province has its own provincial courts in Thailand however Bangkok being as large as it is would normally be split between North and South. This would be the Bangkok South Civil Court, the Thon Buri Civil Court, the Min Buri Provincial Court, the Taling Chan Provincial Court as well as the Phra Khanong Provincial Court.
Municipal Courts (Bangkok) – 1 judge (Magistrate)
The province of Bangkok has been divided as follows. There is the Bangkok North Municipal Court, the Bangkok South Municipal Court, the Thon Buri Municipal Court, the Dusit Municipal Court and the Pathumwan Municipal Court.
Compared to the British system, the Municipal Courts in Thailand will hear matters that are in the jurisdiction of the court but are limited to issues such as civil claims below 300,000 THB or criminal matters where the sentence is not more than 3 years or a fine over 60,000THB. These Municipal courts in Thailand would In the British legal system this would be called a Magistrates Court. Much like the British system the Municipal Courts has 1 judge (magistrate) while the General Courts have 2 judges (judge). Civil Courts will hear matters where the defendant lives or where the immovable property is located. Criminal matters generally will be tried where the crime occurred or where the person was arrested. This is much the same as the British legal system.
Juvenile and Family Courts – 2 Judges + 2 Lay Judges
The juvenile and family courts have 2 judges and 2 lay judges. One of the judges needs to be a women. Much like other courts there is a Central Juvenile and Family Court, the Provincial Juvenile and Family Courts, and the Provincial Courts, Juvenile and Family Divisions.
There are 4 specialised courts in Thailand. These are the Tax Court, the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court, the Bankruptcy Court and the Labour Courts. The establishment of the specialized court is to ensure that specific or technical problems will be solved by appropriate adjudicators.
If you have any further questions about the legal system in Thailand then email us or call us.