Thailand Legal System

Thailand is a civil law country, whose basic laws are enshrined in codes, the four most important of which are: the Civil and Commercial Code; the Criminal Code; the Civil Procedure Code; and the Criminal Procedure Code.


There are also other codes dealing with specific areas, for instance, the Revenue Code and the Land Code. In addition to the Codes, there are individual Acts that have been passed to effect changed in particular areas of law, for example, the Labor Act, Intellectual Property Act.


The relevant section of any Code and any Act should be read together with any relevant regulations, decrees, notifications issued by government ministries to obtain complete picture of legislation and regulations affecting any particular area.


As well as legislation, judicial decision is recognized source of law. However, Thailand is a civil law country and the decisions of the courts do not constitute binding precedents which must be followed on future occasions.


Precedent is of persuasive authority only, though where there is a relevant decision of the Thai Supreme Court that will of course carry any great weight and influence when an inferior court is ruling on a similar issue.


Thailand has a mature and developed court system. There are Courts of the First Instance, Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court. In Bangkok, there are several of the courts of the First Instance, such as Bangkok Civil Court, the Bangkok Criminal Court, and the Central Labor Court. Outside Bangkok, there is at least one court of the first instance in each of 75 provinces in the country. A provincial court normally has jurisdiction over both civil and criminal matters in the province.


[ Jan 9, 2007 ]

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