Lastest Arbitration Law: Scope of Work for Foreign Representative
Problem: The question arose among foreigners who are granted with a certificate under the Arbitration Act B.E. 2545 (2002) and the Arbitration Act (No.2) B.E. 2562 (2019) (as amended) on the work permit is that “Can they ask and answer questions in the arbitration hearing?”
In these acts, it is not clear whether the foreign representative knows the exact scope and their right to inquire about the facts related to the dispute from the witnesses or those involved in an arbitration case. THAC, therefore, sent a letter to the Department of Employment to discuss the said issue
On May 19, 2020, the Department of Employment received a letter in response, stating that “If the representative has appointed a Thai lawyer as the defense counsel, the representative has the right to inquire the witnesses or those involved in an arbitration case. It is regarded as an act on behalf of the representative under the scope of the power of attorney and conditions of the certificate issued by the Arbitration Institute.
The conclusions from the above case increase the certainty and clarity in the performance of foreign representatives and also prevent attacks based on such issues. 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-counseling, etc.