Arbitration in Thailand is possible since Thailand signed the New York and Geneva Conventions however it is not very common. Many contracts do have a clause that arbitration will be an option before seeking a solution in court. Certain types of arbitration may not work where it comes to intellectual property rights, criminal acts or certain family disputes.


There are a number of arbitration organizations in Thailand such as the Thai Arbitration Institute of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Office and the Thai Commercial Arbitration Institute of the Board of Trade. A foreigner can be the arbitrator however the governing law is not allowed to be Thai law and there must be no need to enforce the decision from the arbitrator in Thailand.

In Thailand, arbitrator awards are enforceable on condition that the country where the decision was made is also a member of one of the conventions being either New York or the Geneva Conventions.  The costs associated with arbitration is usually much lower than going to court as the process is faster and there is an appeal process normally added to contracts when it comes to arbitration.

If you wish to appeal an arbitration ten you have 90 days to appeal the judgement. While it is before the Thai courts you will not be allowed to enforce the ruling from the arbitration. If however one party does not want to comply with the ruling without appealing to the courts then the courts can enforce the judgement of the arbitrator.

Arbitration Defence

There are certain defences when people do not comply with the ruling from the arbitrator:

 – The party that lost the arbitration cannot or is incapable of complying with the ruling. As an example a financial award was made but the losing party does not have the financial means to comply. The option may be bankruptcy proceedings.

– The party to the arbitration agreement claims that the agreement was not binding. This is normally inserted into contracts that the arbitration ruling will be binding on all the parties. It’s important to draft the commercial contract correctly.

– The party was given little notice time to prepare for the arbitration and was not able to raise a proper defense in the matter.

– The arbitrator was not authorized to rule in the dispute. Again much like above the commercial contracts have in include a clause that the arbitrator ruling is final.

– Enforcement of the ruling would be contrary to the public policy.

Most disputes that rise out of arbitration tends to be the initial clauses set out in the commercial contract. If the arbitrator clauses are not drafted correctly, the arbitration will not solve the issues. The arbitrators ruling must be final and that this ruling is binding on both parties. Speak to an attorney about arbitration in Thailand today and ensure that you next commercial contract has an arbitrator clause in it as the legal costs are much lower when there is a dispute. See also adoption in Thailand.

The information contained on our website is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For further information, please contact us.

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