Arbitral proceedings

Starting an arbitration proceeding

What is needed to commence arbitration?

The Arbitration Act is silent on what is needed to commence arbitration. Where an arbitration is administered by a particular arbitration institution, the requirements on what is needed to commence arbitration must be in accordance with the rules of such institution. 

Limitation periods

Are there any limitation periods for the commencement of arbitration?

For the purpose of limitation periods, an arbitral proceeding will be deemed to have commenced when:

  • a party receives a letter from the other party requesting that the dispute be settled by arbitration;
  • a party notifies the other party in writing to appoint an arbitrator or approve the appointment of an arbitrator;
  • a party sends a written notice of the disputed issues to the arbitral tribunal designated in the arbitration agreement; or
  • either party submits the dispute to an agreed arbitration institution. 

The limitation periods vary according to the types of dispute and are prescribed in the Civil and Commercial Code. The limitation period will be interrupted when a party has submitted the dispute to arbitration. 

Procedural rules

Are there any procedural rules that arbitrators must follow?

Arbitrators must comply with the Thai procedural laws set out in the Arbitration Act and the Civil Procedure Code (BE 2477 (1934)), as well as the rules of the arbitration institution to which the parties have agreed. 

Dissenting arbitrators

Are dissenting opinions permitted under the law of your jurisdiction?

Dissenting opinions are permitted under Thai law. 

Judicial assistance

Can local courts intervene in proceedings?

Local courts can intervene in arbitration proceedings to the extent permitted by the Arbitration Act. 

Can the local courts assist in choosing arbitrators?

Yes, the local courts can assist in appointing arbitrators if the procedure agreed by the parties for choosing the arbitral tribunal is unsuccessful.  

What is the applicable law (and prevailing practice) where a respondent fails to participate in an arbitration?  Can the courts compel parties to arbitrate? Can they issue subpoenas to third parties?

Section 31 of the Arbitration Act provides that, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the arbitral tribunal will continue with the proceedings where a respondent fails to participate in an arbitration. The courts cannot compel parties to arbitrate. 

The courts may issue a subpoena or an order to submit any documents or materials when requested by the arbitral tribunal, an arbitrator or a party with the consent of the majority of the arbitral tribunal pursuant to Section 33 of the Arbitration Act.

Third parties

In what instances can third parties be bound by an arbitration agreement or award?

Third parties are not legally bound by an arbitration agreement or award. However, where there is a transfer of any claim or liability, the transferee will be bound by the arbitration agreement concerning such claim or liability pursuant to Section 13 of the Arbitration Act.

Default language and seat

Unless agreed by the parties, what is the default language and location for arbitrations?

Unless agreed by the parties, the language and place of arbitration will be determined by the arbitral tribunal.Gathering evidence

How is evidence obtained by the tribunal?

The arbitral tribunal will decide whether to hold oral hearings for the presentation of evidence or whether the proceedings will be conducted solely on the basis of documents or other evidence presented. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the arbitral tribubal can take evidence at any stage during the course of the proceedings as it thinks fit if so requested by a party.

What kinds of evidence are acceptable?

Acceptable forms of evidence include materials, documents and expert reports.

Confidentiality

Is confidentiality ensured?

The Arbitration Act is silent on the issue of confidentiality. Confidentiality can be ensured in the terms of reference or by the rules of the arbitration institution.

Can information in arbitral proceedings be disclosed in subsequent proceedings?

Please see above.

Ethical codes

What ethical codes and other professional standards, if any, apply to counsel and arbitrators conducting proceedings in your jurisdiction?

No ethical codes or other professional standards apply to arbitrators, other than the requirements under the Arbitration Act. No ethical codes or other professional standards apply specifically to counsel conducting proceedings in Thailand.