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Thai Law Insights

Arbitrator Competence Rule Grants Power to Decide Its Own Competence (In A Nutshell)

Nathawadee Thanasiri


COMPETENCE DE LA COMPETENCE Is not merely a French legal terminology but it infers that the arbitral tribunal has the competence to decide about its own competence. Such theory has been adopted in the Thai legal system through the Thai Arbitration Act as lex arbitri.

In 2002, to bring Thai arbitration law to the universal standard, the 'Competence-competence' was officially recognized in Thailand under Section 24 of the Arbitration Act of 2002 (adopt and follow UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration) which the arbitral tribunal shall be competent to rule on its own jurisdiction, including the validity of the arbitration agreement, the validity of the appointment of the arbitral tribunal, and issues of dispute falling within the scope of its authority.

The above rule can prove that Thailand is now taking inventive steps to accommodate international arbitration standards through various arbitration institutes or ad hoc arbitration, popularly recognized by international parties and multinational corporations who may love to choose Thailand as the place of arbitration and choose Thai law on arbitration as lex arbitri. Apart from the scenic cities of Chiang Mai or Phuket, Thai arbitration institutes and law should be the front-runner choice when deciding where to have arbitration.