Phuket’s Tourist Case court division resumes after four-year break

Picture of Krabi courtesy of Stay in Thailand

After a four-year hiatus, the special Tourist Case division of the Phuket Provincial Court has resumed operations. The announcement was made by Kriangsak Rodphanchu, who currently holds the position of Chief Judge at the Wiang Sa Provincial Court in Surat Thani, in addition to serving as the Acting Chief Judge of the Phuket Provincial Court.

Initially opened on September 24, 2017, the division was dedicated to hearing cases involving tourists. However, its operations were suspended amidst the Covid-19 outbreak. The division’s revival has been prompted by the growing influx of tourists, both Thai and foreign, to Phuket. This increase has consequently led to a surge in disputes and criminal cases involving tourists as victims, accused, or defendants.

Kriangsak voiced concerns over the increasing number of cases that have been making headlines, leading to a drop in confidence regarding the safety of life and property in the area. He believes that this could potentially damage the province’s tourism sector and Thailand’s image as a whole.

“The processing of tourist cases in court is to provide justice to tourists when there are disputes, both criminal and civil and with agencies involved in helping tourists to have their legal rights protected and the perpetrators punished strictly.”

Kriangsak further stated that this initiative is part of a broader strategy to restore confidence among tourists and portray a positive image of Phuket Province and Thai tourism overall.

The Tourist Case Division’s duties extend beyond hearing cases. They are also tasked with providing advice and assistance to tourists in preparing complaints in consumer cases. According to Kriangsak, the court can arrange mediation sessions within 24 hours from the filing of a complaint, which can continue until the case is resolved.

In collaboration with representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Attorney-General’s Office, the court can expedite cases involving sued business operators. Additionally, the court coordinates with local police and embassy representatives to gather witness statements from tourists needing to return home from their holidays. Legal representatives can act on behalf of tourists needing to leave before the completion of the case.

Kriangsak also highlighted the role of interpreters or mediators who are required to be on duty outside of business hours to assist with cases, reported Phuket News.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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