New e-arbitration centre in Thailand
15 March 2021
Since January 2021, the Department of Intellectual Property has introduced its online dispute settlement services covering IP cases that it developed with the Thai Arbitration Institute.
The new system will allow cases to be filed online, enabling settlement sessions via online chats and video conferences, and allowing fully online formal settlement processes to achieve faster, more convenient agreements with less chance of confrontation between the two sides, and at a lower cost.
When settling disputes on the online system, the parties involved will have to agree to a mutual confidentiality agreement that forbids facts and evidence from being shared during the process and from being used in a court filing.
“The two leading arbitration institutes in Thailand, the Thai Arbitration Institute and the Thailand Arbitration Centre started their online arbitration services last year in response to the Covid-19 lockdown. They issued their e-arbitration rules in April and July 2020, respectively. The rules allow online filing of claims, responses and evidence documents amongst other things. The rules also facilitate online witness hearings and online granting of awards,” says Thatchaya Bunnithithanakit, an associate at LawPlus in Bangkok. “As the rules have been in place for less than one year, it is too soon to judge whether or not they work. Specifically, we found that seven cases have been filed through the Thailand Arbitration Centre online system. Generally, we can say that e-arbitration has saved a lot of cost, time, and trouble for both the arbitration institutes and the parties to a dispute. The major challenges, however, are technical failures of the systems and unstable internet connections.”