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Date of Award

12-1-2014

Author's School

School of Law

Degree Name

Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD)

Degree Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Class action is on its way to the Thai civil system. Thai legislature would like to see class action helping small and unsophisticated claimants to get redress together with an enhanced trust in the judicial system. There is a benefit from economy of scale that can help with administration of resources in both litigation and adjudication. To achieve such ends, class action must be in real used, not merely a law in a book. This dissertation can be one of the learning sources for Thai legal society about class action application on a practical level. It gives the audiences an idea of a class action operation in the Thai system. Adopting US class action law as a model law posts certain challenges due to differences between the US and the Thai legal systems. The dissertation does more than looks into literatures of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It explores structures of the Thai civil justice system that can influence and shape development of Thai class action. Law should be tailored to each society; class action law is no exception. In transplanting US class action into the Thai system, some variations will occur. Existing fee-shifting rules, newness of contingency fee, and current practice of attorney's fee award will play a part in practicality of class action in Thailand. Interview sessions and questionnaires distributed to drafters and parties of interest support this dissertation with comments and concerns on application of class action from legal practitioners' perspective. Combining available legal institutions and social actors into a class action picture will create our unique style of class action, one that may differ from US class action but will actually work in practice. Existing institutions and legal culture can help overcome challenges of adopting class action into our system. Integrating the Office of the Attorney General, Layers Council of Thailand, NGOs and certain government agencies into Thai class action regime should make class action a practical procedural tool in our civil justice system. US experience on class action, available legal and social institutions in our system and suggestions from Thai practitioners lead to recommendations for a workable operation of class action int Thailand in the dissertation.

Chair and Committee

John N. Drobak, Chairperson, Supervising Professor; Ronald M. Levin, Examining Professor; Andrew C. Sobel, Examining Professor.

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