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Our legal comments on the Class Action in Thailand and its nature H&P Law firm for litigation in Thailand

H&P lawyers in Bangkok have prepared some legal comments on the Class Action in Thailand in the format of Q&A that can improve the understanding on this topic to the readers who are not familiar with the peculiarities of this legal action in Thailand.

What is Class Action?

Class Action is a case procedure that allows many people, as a large number of people or a group of injured people (plaintiffs) with the same rights deriving from the same facts and legal principle to present a complaint to the Court in Thailand. Therefore, the Court passes a judgement on the rights of the injured people (plaintiff) and the members of the class.

What is the difference between Class Action and Ordinary legal Action?

In the ordinary legal action, the interested person shall join as the party in a case or interplead to be a party in the case after plaintiff has filed the complaint. The interested party shall appear at the court procedure by themselves or authorize a representative to appear in the court procedure.

On the other hand, the Class Action, merely needs the representative of the class to be the plaintiff. The plaintiff shall act on behalf of the large number of injured parties, which is much more convenient than the ordinary action. The Court judgement is binding to all the members of the class action. In case a member does not want to be attached to the judgement, this member can perform the intention to opt-out of the class action within the prescribed period.

What is the Court jurisdiction for the Class Action?

In the Class Action, all courts of justice can make a judgement in this case as Civil Court, Provincial Court, Tax Court, Labor Court, Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court excepted Administrative Court, Constitutional Court and District Court.

What is the prescription period of the Class Action?

The prescribed or limitation period ends when the court allows for class action or when the parties agree to make a compromise agreement or has agreed to go for arbitration.

What is the condition or scenario that the Court will allow the case to proceed as a Class Action?

Basically, there are 6 possible legal scenarios for the class action:

A) The nature of the claim and of relief applied for, as well as the allegation as the basis of the plaintiff’s claim and the class of person are with the same characteristics as the plaintiff.

B) The plaintiff has demonstrated the same unique characteristics of the class of persons which are sufficiently clear for the class to be acknowledged, such as all members bought stocks in the same period of time;
C) The class is so numerous that to conduct a case as an ordinary case is not realistic and more complicated. The law does not specify the minimum amount of the members of the class; therefore, the court shall consider the convenience and complication if the members go on ordinary action;

D) To conduct the case as a class action is more efficient than an ordinary case;

E) The plaintiff has demonstrated that the plaintiff is a member of a class with the characteristics, interests, including the acquisition of the right to be a member of the class as prescribed by the President of the Supreme Court (if any). The plaintiff, including the plaintiff’s proposed counsel for the class is able to conduct the case to justly and sufficiently protect the rights of the class;

F) The lawyer shall have enough capability to protect the rights of all the members of the class. Moreover, the lawyer must honestly perform his/her duties as lawyer.

The plaintiff who opted-out of the class is entitled to file separately lawsuit and pursue individual claims. However, he/she cannot file a motion to intervene or joint as a plaintiff in the class action.

If you require more information on Class Action in Thailand, please contact our Bangkok lawyers at [email protected]

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