Good News for Foreigners! : A new approach that shades light on the power of foreign authorized representatives
The Department of Employment has issued a letter of clarification clarifying whether a foreigner who is a representative authorized by a party to proceed with the arbitration proceedings in Kingdom of Thailand is able to ask and answer questions in the arbitration hearing. This is because the foreign authorized representatives (attorneys) are unsure about the scope and their right and are concerned whether their performance of duties in the arbitration proceedings in Thailand is against the criminal law.
It is stated in such letter of clarification that “…a foreigner who is a representative authorized by a party to proceed with the arbitration proceedings in Kingdom of Thailand and is granted with a certificate from the Thailand Arbitration Center is entitled to work in Kingdom of Thailand according to the position and duties specified in the certificate issued by the Thailand Arbitration Center, although such work is prohibited for the foreigners…”
The Thailand Arbitration Center expects that this clarification would increase the number of foreigners travelling to Thailand to perform duties as authorized representatives since in the past it is unclear on this issue and there are concerns about the performance of duties of foreign authorized representatives. It would also prevent the defence in arbitration proceedings using such issue. In other words, it also increases the job opportunities of Thai lawyers because it is defined as a condition in the certificate, stating that a Thai lawyer shall be appointed in order to ask questions or inquire the witnesses or those involved in an arbitration case. This is a measure used in other countries such as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, which allows a foreign lawyer to act as a legal advisor in an arbitration case by working in collaboration with a local lawyer in the form of co-counselling, etc. In addition, the certificate issuing process of the Thailand Arbitration Center is not complicated which facilitates foreigners entering the Kingdom of Thailand to act as authorized representatives in the arbitration proceedings.
In this regard, the foreigners wishing to enter the Kingdom of Thailand to act as authorized representatives in the arbitration proceedings can file a certificate request form to the Thailand Arbitration Center. The certificate request form can be downloaded here Certificate Request Form.