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Overview of The Thai Legal System

:: The Thai Legal System
:: The Judicial System
:: Arbitration

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The Thai Legal System

Thai laws follow the pattern of civil law countries of conventional Europe. When a dispute is brought before the judge, the court will decide a case based on an interpretation of the statutory provisions. The court's interpretation is not as broad as that of a court in a common law country and unlike a common law court, its decision will not develop a body of law. Although, interpretations by the highest courts (Dika Court or Supreme Court) become precedent under the doctrine of stare deices.

Thai laws derive from two major sources; the legislative and executive branches of both central and local governments. The judicial decisions are not law because they apply to an individual; not withstanding the fact that that the court will normally adhere to precedent for subsequent cases with the same situation in order to attain stability and fairness. Reversal of precedent based on decisions however doe not happen very often.

Constitutional Law
A constitutional based law defines the powers and the relationship of the three branches of Government to each other and the relationship between the Government and citizens in regards to fundamental rights and responsibilities.

An act is the most common known law and is made by parliament. Examples of Acts are the Copyright Act, Trademark Act and Investment promotion Act

Royal Decree
A Royal decree is promulgated by the Executive Branch normally though the Minister of the concerned Ministry authorized under a specific Act to set forth the details from time to time under the guidelines of the Act. For example a Royal Decree to revise the tax rates under the Revenue Code.

Emergency Degree
An emergency Decree is enacted by the executive branch, though the cabinet in an emergency to protect the country from imminent harm but subject to subsequent confirmation of the Parliament.

The civil and commercial code, penal code, civil and Criminal Procedure Codes are well known features of civil law countries legal system. Initially, codified law consisted of multiple chapters of subject matter, but this is no longer necessary.

Administrative Agency orders
Administrative agencies are empowered by the legislature to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out government functions.

Cabinet Resolutions
Cabinet Resolutions have no binding effect but will influence the Government Agencies in the enforcement or interpretation of rules and regulations.

Municipal Ordinances
Building, health and city planning codes are examples of local government laws.

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