Published On: Mon, Jun 17th, 2013

Enforcement of Foreign Judgments

Foreign judgments are judgments rendered by court of foreign jurisdiction or outside the country. Foreign judgments are enforceable in some countries provided that the procedural rules of the country in which the judgment is to be enforced shall be followed. However, a different rule can be found in the laws of Thailand.

Enforcement of Foreign JudgmentsIn Thailand, foreign judgments are generally unenforceable in courts and are not generally binding. The reason for this is that Thailand is not a party to any convention, agreement or treaty for enforcement of judgment obtained in a foreign country.

Nevertheless, because of the principle of reciprocity, obligation and recognition of vested rights in Thailand, foreign judgments served as proof in evidence before Thai courts. Hence, as long as it is not contrary to Thailand’s public policy, it can be persuasive and can directly affect the decision of a judge deciding a case for enforcement of the claim. It must be remembered that before a foreign judgment can be equally considered as persuasive, the following serve as basic requirements:

  1. The foreign court must be cloaked with jurisdiction;

  2. The foreign judgment should not be obtained through fraud;

  3. The foreign judgment should be final and conclusive;

  4. The foreign judgment must not be contrary to Thailand’s public policy;

  5. The foreign judgment must not be obtained in violation of the principle “auditor et altera pars” (the foreign court refused to hear one of the parties or that it did not notify one of the parties).

  6. The foreign judgment must be for an action in personam, hence the judgment must be for a definite sum of money

Also, because Thailand acknowledges and honors the doctrine of “stare decisis”, the foreign case may be cited as judicial authority or precedent to resolve the issue or subject matter of the case.

    Foreign judgments are generally enforced in the following manner:

  1. Bring a new action in Thai court;

  2. Bring an action or judgment for reciprocal enforcement of the judgment obtained in a foreign court.

It is believed that laws relating to enforcement of foreign judgments in Thailand are not enacted by Thai legislature because of the rarity of cases such as this in the country. It is for this reason too that it did not gain popular attention in the country.

Leave a comment