Foreign arbitral award refers to an award resulting from arbitration, the proceedings of which was in whole, or in the most part, conducted outside Thailand and wherein one of the parties involved in the dispute was not a person of Thai Nationality.

Under section 29 of the Arbitration Act of 1987, a foreign arbitral award will be recognised and enforceable in Thailand only if it is made in accordance with bilateral or multi-lateral treaties or conventions to which Thailand is a party of or has acceded to. Currently, these treaties and conventions are the 1927 Convention on the Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards made at Geneva (Geneva Convention); the 1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York Convention); and the Treaty of Amity and Economic Relations between the Kingdom of Thailand and the United States of America.

The Arbitration Act of 1987 expressly states that the action for enforcement of arbitral award (by way of a confirmed judgement) must be initiated in a Thai court within one year from the date the award was sent to the parties by the arbitrators. The Act also states clearly the preconditions for the enforcement as well as the reservations made by Thailand under both the Geneva and New York Conventions. For instance, the court may refuse recognition if the subject matter of the dispute is not capable of being resolved by arbitration or the recognition would be contrary to public policy or good morals of Thailand. In addition, it must be legally valid and final in the country where the arbitration was held and at least one of the parties to the dispute must be a subject of one of the member countries of the Conventions.

NOTE: The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

If you would like further advice please contact: David Ellis, Johnson Stokes & Master, 16th Floor, Princes Building, 10 Chater Road, Hong Kong; Tel 2843 4226; Fax no. : 2845 9121. Alternatively do a text search "Johnson Stokes and Master" and "Business Monitor".