Mediation, like Arbitration, can be conducted in Thailand in both in court and out of court settings. Thai courts, their culture being grounded in that of the wider Thai culture, strongly encourage the practice of the resolution of disputes by peaceful and non-adversarial means wherever practicable. Judges will commonly order the parties to a dispute to attempt to reach an amicable settlement before any formal and detailed hearing of the issues in dispute is begun.
In addition, the Thai court is empowered by the Thai Civil Procedure Code to order court annexed mediation in civil matters where it deems it appropriate or with the consent of the parties. The process is confidential and designed to bring the parties together in a more informal and nonadversarial way. The practice is available at the appellate level in certain courts, most notably the Family, Labour and IP and IT courts.
Whilst still uncommon compared to western jurisdictions, where civil courts will often order out of court mediation, irrespective of the parties’wishes as a routine part of case management, out of court mediation is gradually becoming more common in Thailand as the benefits of what a skilled mediator can achieve become more widely recognised. In particular, a significant number of financial disputes are now referred, with the consent of the parties, to the Mediation Center of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Office of the Office of the Judiciary. The Center offers a coherent set of mediation rules under which parties may agree to settle their dispute.
Parties may, of course, elect to mediate their dispute at any time, before or during legal proceedings. A binding mediation agreement can be entered into which describes the framework of the process and ensures the confidentiality of what takes place during any mediation, obviating any potential prejudice in any underlying existing or forthcoming proceedings. In the event a settlement is reached, a further binding agreement can be entered into and is enforceable by the court.
It is important to note that any form of ADR, whether arbitration or mediation, is only effective if both parties have a genuine desire to engage in a good faith attempt to resolve a dispute. If one party is simply seeking to delay, frustrate or otherwise evade the consequences of litigation, then any form of ADR is likely to be ineffective when compared to traditional court proceedings. Our dispute resolution practice has years of practical experience in arbitration and mediation in a Thai domestic and international cross border context. Our contacts in the local legal community and beyond include arbitrators and mediators with decades of experience in high value commercial and private dispute resolution. Whatever the value of your claim and whether you are simply looking for advice or to conduct a mediation or refer a dispute to arbitration, we can guide you from start to finish and provide complete and comprehensive services that will ensure the best chance of a successful outcome. Please feel free to contact us for more details.