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Posts Tagged ‘Thai Airport Court’

19th September 2013

Recent reports indicate that Thailand is preparing to launch court proceedings at the Suvarnabhumi airport. On September 17th 2013, the Airports of Thailand PLC (AOT) approved a proposal to establish a court at the aforementioned airport. It appears that the airport court will be a division of the provincial court for Samut Prakan. The court is to be tasked with adjudicating cases involving infractions against foreign nationals. As of the time of this writing, the new court is supposedly scheduled to commence proceedings on Monday September 23, 2013.

Officials with the AOT have reported that within the past year there have been almost 2,000 crimes reportedly committed at the Suvarnabhumi airport. Although most such allegations involved mere petty crime. The establishment of the “airport court” is apparently an attempt to bolster the image of Thailand as a safe and tourist-friendly destination which takes crimes committed against foreign nationals seriously. Apparently, it may be possible for foreign nationals to schedule their cases with an eye toward maintaining their departure schedule from Thailand. Furthermore, any legal grievance which may arise at the airport could be dealt with at the airport court.

In a recent posting on this blog it was pointed out that Thai authorities had approved the commencement of proceedings at a recently established Tourist Court in the resort town of Pattaya. It was further pointed out that six more similar courts were scheduled to commence proceedings in the coming months. It would appear that the establishment of an airport court is in line with what appears to be an overarching Thai policy designed to provide new venues for tourists who have grievances in the Kingdom. That being stated, it currently appears that the airport court is modeled after traditional Thai courts while the tourist courts are more akin to arbitration venues. Those monitoring the justice system in Thailand are likely to be interested in the effectiveness of the new tourist court as well as the new airport court since no similar tribunals have ever existed in Thailand.

As in the case of the recently established tourist court, the airport court at Suvarnabhumi is to be the first court of its type to be established in Thailand. Thai officials have explained that there are plans to establish another two airport courts at Don Mueng (another airport in Bangkok) and at the international airport in Phuket, Thailand. Hopefully these new venues will provide an efficient and convenient avenue for tourists in Thailand to seek redress of grievances.

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