Strengthening Mediation in the Thai Legal System
4 November from 9:00 - 17:00
Strengthening Mediation in the Thai Legal System
jointly organized by
the Hanns Seidel Foundation Thailand, the German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance (CPG), Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, and the Asian Governance Foundation (AGF)
September 23, 2022, Bangkok
Since more recently, mediation has received increasing support in becoming a viable process of Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’) in Thailand, a development that is in sync with the regional trend in ASEAN. This relative progress notwithstanding, the efforts made so far have not been fully conclusive. The implementation of a conducive legal and institutional framework is still in the early stages, and mediation is not yet commonly used in conflict settlement. This is even the case in those areas where the introduction of mediation has been particularly supported by legal reform and judicial initiatives, most notably administrative justice. In private law, meanwhile, mediation at this time plays an insignificant role, with even arbitration – the other sister in the family of ADR – being less successful in Thailand than in some other Asian countries.
At the same time, mediation proves not only to bear notable potential to strengthen the rule of law but also reflects deeply ingrained traits of a traditional conflict resolution pattern practiced in Thai society since ancient times. What is more, the benefits of a working mediation culture are obvious and of great interest for Thailand today: Mediation can provide a speedy and cost-effective solution to a judicial backlog caused by lengthy and protracted court action; therefore, it presents a true alternative to the choice between judicial and fully informal ways of dispute resolution with all the risks for the rule of law implied in the latter.
Moreover, an even stronger boost to the enhancement of mediation in Thailand would also create professional opportunities for lawyers in economically strained times, during which especially young professionals find it difficult to make a decent living with the profession they have been prepared for. A strengthened mediation process and culture would thus expand the realm of the law and formal legal process at the expense of dubious informality and, at the same time, contribute to the professional cake which is feeding the lawyers and mediators of other academic backgrounds. In this regard, it is important to note that the Dispute Mediation Act 2562 that established an out-of-court process for the mediation of civil disputes and calls for a system of private mediators to be established is a solid start. Yet, the scope of both the legal model and the actual practice is modest.
Furthermore, Thailand is not signatory to the Singapore Convention on Mediation (‘SCM’) which allows parties of cross-border commercial disputes to directly ask the courts to enforce their mediated settlement agreements (the so-called “Sword” aspect) or to raise a defense that the matter in dispute had already been settled (the so-called “Shield” aspect). The SCM points to what a working and suitably enhanced mediation mechanism can provide for foreign investors, most notably raising their trust and encouraging to invest in Thailand where investor confidence can be very much improved especially regarding the availability of reliable and efficient dispute settlement mechanisms.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
Against this backdrop, CPG´s newly established Mediation Center invites to a one-day conference, co-hosted by the German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance and the Hanns Seidel Foundation Thailand/Laos, to discuss the status, prospects and potentials for enhancing and improving the mediation mechanism in Thailand.
Aim of the conference is to increase knowledge and understanding, provide stimuli to be taken up by the Mediation Center for the formulation of policy recommendations, foster the creation of a national network of mediation stakeholders and provide networking opportunities for participants.
Addressees are judges and lawyers in private and administrative law, academics, representatives of the business community and everyone interested in alternative dispute resolution.
BEHIND THE CONFERENCE
The conference is organized by the German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance (‘CPG’) and the Asian Governance Foundation (AGF), with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation Thailand/Laos.
CPG is an academic institute and think tank attached to the Faculty of Law of Thammasat University in Bangkok. Built upon a cooperation between the German universities of Frankfurt and Münster, and the Thammasat University in Thailand, it is one of only five Centers of Excellence worldwide established since 2009 under the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Government. CPG is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and receives administrative support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Our expertise extends to comparative constitutional and administrative law, human rights, peace and security studies, and governance and compliance, as well as law and policy reform. CPG – throughout its members and partners – offers conferences and seminars, training courses and workshops, and project evaluations and consultancy services to the public and interested parties.
If you would like to learn more about CPG, we recommend our institutional profile.
Registration details will subsequently be updated.
For more information, please contact Mr. Lucas Meier, the Deputy Head of the CPG Mediation Center, German-Southeast Asian Center of Excellence for Public Policy and Good Governance (‘CPG’)
Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, 2 Prachan Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Phone: +66 (0)2 613 2971