Recent amendments to Thailand’s Civil Procedure Code (CPC) will allow parties to submit a matter for court-supervised mediation prior to the actual filing of the case. Encouraging mediation prior to filing a complaint is intended to save time and resources that would otherwise be expended on a trial.
These changes are contained in the Act Amending the Civil Procedure Code (No. 32) B.E. 2563 (2020), which was published in the Government Gazette on September 8, 2020, and will apply to all disputes from November 7, 2020, onward.
New Mediation Procedure
The meditation processes introduced by the new act are not subject to any court fees.
Prior to filing a complaint, one of the parties in a dispute may petition the appropriate court to appoint a mediator to resolve the dispute. If the petition is accepted, and the opposing party consents to the mediation, the court will bring the parties together (with or without their lawyers) and appoint the mediator. If the mediation yields a successful settlement, the court will consider the agreement and—assuming it is fair, made in good faith, and in accordance with both the law and the parties’ will—allow the parties to sign the settlement agreement. The parties may also request that the court issue a judgment in accordance with the agreement. If the court agrees that it is necessary, it will issue the judgment accordingly.
The court’s judgment is considered final and can only be appealed if there is an allegation of fraud against any party to the case, or if the judgment is alleged to go against either the agreement or a provision of law involving public order.
If, on the other hand, the mediation is unsuccessful, any limitation period that was either barred after the submission of the petition or will be barred soon will be extended for 60 days from the end of the mediation.
Existing provisions of the CPC and regulations of the Supreme Court regarding the powers and duties of the mediator and the confidentiality of court-supervised mediation—including regulations prohibiting parties from disclosing information in subsequent arbitration or court proceedings—still apply under the new act.
For more information on the amendments, or on any aspect of the civil procedure in Thailand, please contact Tilleke & Gibbins at [email protected] or +66 2056 5555.