Ms. Mashni is a Ph.D. candidate at the Doctoral School of Public and Fiscal Law, Sorbonne- Pantheon University in Paris. She currently serves as a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting Officer in the Prime Minister’s Office in Ramallah, Palestine, where she is responsible for overseeing interventions pertaining to Area C and East Jerusalem (West Bank), and reporting to the Prime Minister and the Ministerial Committee. She provides policy and methodological guidance and support, including in-depth research on political, social, economic and security trends, as well as their possible impacts on programs in Area C—over 60 percent of which remains under full Israeli control. Her team aims to develop a policy paper for Area C with a practical and detailed action plan that will guide the delivery of development assistance to the area.
Mr. Jha is currently preparing his thesis in Criminal Law for his LL.M. degree at the Tribhuvan University in Nepal. He is the Executive Director PDS-Nepal (Public Defender Society of Nepal). This not-for-profit organization was created to provide effective defense services to indigent men, women, and children charged with criminal offenses in Nepal, and to make Nepal’s legal aid system more effective, accessible, and sustainable. Mr. Jha is a leading advocate for the right to counsel for the poor and for the last 10 years has been on the front lines of efforts to address the growing access to the justice crisis. He is a national expert in the field of legal aid, and recently convened leading civil society organizations in Nepal with the goal of exerting pressure on the government as it develops a new legal aid policy. Legal Aid reformation is not work which can be done within a few days a year; it requires advocacy, litigation, and dialogue and is a fundamental, under-addressed, and overlooked right in all countries.
Ms. Phanthusak is the Manager at the Tiffany’s Show Pattaya Co. Ltd., Woodlands Hotel & Resort, La Baguette Co. Ltd. in Thailand. She received her M.B.A. in Finance and Banking from George Washington University in Washington DC. She has 20 years of extensive experience in business, as well as public and social work. Tiffany’s Show Pattaya is unique, because it is the only organization in the world to deal with the equality and public awareness of the transgender community. She believes in equality for all, but her work with the transgender population is different. She has been at the forefront of providing opportunities for transgender people through an art form that seeks to promote their cause and give them work opportunities in an interesting area in which they could readily adapt to. In 2007, as a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee, Ms. Phanthusak had the chance to amend Section 30 in the Constitution regarding discrimination against any person who has sexual differences.
Dr. Sawadsri is the Dean and Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Architecture at the King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology in Bangkok. She received her Ph.D. from the School of Architecture at the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom. Her academic interest is two-fold: the role of disabled people and accessibility concerns in built environments, and the role of disabled people in terms of negotiating and changing their disabling environments. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is based on human rights, Thailand’s disability legislation has been based on a medical and regulatory approach. The concept of disability widely held in Thai society views disability as an individual problem capable of charitable resolution. Consequently, efforts to enforce rights according to this law have struggled. The Persons with Disabilities’ Quality of Life Promotion Act, 2007 is the first that mentions rights-based disability law. It contains anti-discrimination provisions based on physical or health conditions and guarantees access to social welfare and services for disabled people. However, change comes slowly. There is now a need to focus on society’s attitude and understanding of disability.
Ms. Sivayathorn holds a Master of Laws in International Business Law from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. She is the Head of Capital Market and a Partner at Thanathip & Partners Legal Counsellors Ltd. She has one particular concern about the national legal frameworks in that certain laws may have worked in the past, however prove to be counterproductive to other national goals—whether in increasing the ease of doing business, boosting the level of competition in industries, or improving the knowhow of businesses. She notes that law practitioners like herself need to be more forward-looking in their inputs, especially because the pace of change in business has quickened and the ability to give inputs on future implications will be crucial. Ultimately, the rule of law resolves dilemmas in business, but it is the effective integration of the different practices, intentions, and implications that will reach the most effective resolution. Businesses have a tremendous role in improving society, Ms. Araneta feels, and those who support the growth of fair, equitable, and rules-driven business will contribute significantly to this end.
Dr. Maneepong is the Program Manager and Director of the Center for Environmental Governance and Social Engagement at the Thailand Environment Institute. She received a Ph.D. in Regional Planning and Urban Development from University of New South Wales in Australia. For the past 10 years her work has focused on environmental governance and social engagement. Currently she is involved in researching and advocating environmental safeguard policies, along with more effective delivery and utilization of local impact assessment by communities affected by large scale investment. Dr. Maneepong is committed to advocating environmental rights for local communities, especially the ones affected by social and environmental impact such as large scale economically critical special economic zones, which are currently high profile in Thailand and neighboring countries. She seeks to ensure that the public has access to information, can participate in the decision-making process, and has access to justice in environment matters, safeguarding the right to a healthy and sustainable environment for present and future generations.
Mr. Yokoyama is a professor and government attorney in charge of international cooperation activities at the Ministry of Justice in Japan. He received a Master of Laws degree from Tohoku National University. Mr. Yokoyama has been instrumental in the implementation of policies of law-related education in Japan. Although, Japan is considered one of the safest countries in the world, an increase in crime rates in 2003 has led the government to design a program for law-related education, which sought to create teaching and training materials for primary school students and teachers. Yet without parents and other adults on board, school-level education was found to be inadequate. With the assistance from media outlets in developing law-related activities for adults, law-related education has been accepted by Japanese citizens and a culture of lawfulness now permeates society. In 2015, the number of criminal cases was the lowest since 1945.
Mr. Butuyan most recently was the Commissioner (Undersecretary/Deputy Minister) at the Philippine Competition Commission. He earned a Master of Laws degree from the Harvard Law School. As a former senior litigator and team leader for Asia and the Pacific at the World Bank, he is interested in the damaging effects of corruption on the political and judicial structures of developing countries and on legal activism essential for combating systemic injustices. He sees international efforts to combat corruption as primarily targeting businesses, and for the most part leaving out the main victims of graft—the citizens of endemically corrupt nations. Current efforts to improve victims’ rights and access to compensation have often yielded a few concrete results. This is largely due to the lack of essential resources. As a result, ordinary victims of corruption continue to suffer. Currently, Mr. Butuyan conducts research on and teaches about corruption-related topics at leading institutions, including the Harvard Law School where he is a Lecturer in Law on Transnational Corruption.
Mr. Wei is the Director of the Tax & Information Technology Administration Division at the Jiangsu Yancheng Local Taxation Bureau in China. He earned his Juris Master degree in Finance and Economics at the Shanghai University. His work focuses on directing a core division in the Yancheng Taxation Bureau that coordinates the city’s tax collection. He also provides consulting services to provincial and national policymakers. Through his writing and frequent role as a lecturer at professional training events, he serves as a highly-valued mediator between the tax administration and tax professions in China. He was instrumental in the design and implementation of the tax administration reform of Jiangsu Province, where a large traditional government organization with nearly 18,000 employees was transformed into an efficient modern tax administration institution. Mr. Wei was granted the tax research award of the State Administration of Taxation and the Jiangsu International Tax Association.
Ms. Nguyen is a lawyer at the Family Justice Courts in Singapore.She holds a postgraduate diploma in Legal Practice from Bond University in Australia. As a strategist and researcher, she has proposed a number of recommendations to judicial management on crime trends and community courts, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) (in particular mediation), juvenile crime and youth intervention programs, divorce and children, as well as family violence. She is passionate about assisting the most vulnerable groups in our society: women, children, and men who need help. Over the years, she has spearheaded initiatives to support indigent litigants-in-person (LIPs), including helping to establish a center to support these self-represented litigants where standards of service and delivery are ensured. The project was recognized with a United Nations Public Service Award.
Mr. Reaud is the Assistant to the Chairman and Project Coordinator for rural Development Projects at the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) & Mechai Viravaidya Foundation Thailand Country Manager. He earned a B.A. from the INALCO University in France. He is responsible for his organization’s flagship initiative, which provides assistance to 153 schools and their surrounding communities in 39 provinces. His current involvement is in helping develop an educational initiative to prepare Thailand for moving towards Thailand 4.0, which aims to enable schools to educate students of the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare them for the economies of the future. The proposed new “semi privatization model” would allow companies, foundations, and institutions to take over all management and operations of a number of schools, with relaxed government controls and regulations, and be accountable for the results of these schools. While the initiative is still a work in progress, Mr. Reaud notes it is clear that the laws and regulations in place did not foresee such an initiative, and adjustments will need to be made to allow the project to proceed.
Ms. Holloway earned her a Masters in Applied Anthropology from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She is the Chief of the Crime and Development Programme and Acting Chief of the Transnational Organized Crime Programme at Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ). For the past 10 years she has worked with vulnerable communities on sustainable development, including in conflict areas with marginalized communities living in poverty and insecurity in countries such as Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand. Ms. Holloway’s numerous areas of interest include sustainable development, drug policy, transnational organized crime, human rights, refugees, treatment and rehabilitation of offenders, and promoting the rule of law. In her current position she supports the TIJ in guiding domestic and regional policy reform and strengthening public institutions to aid vulnerable populations in contact with the criminal justice system.
Mr. Poomsrikaew is the Public Policy and Government Relations Manager for Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar at Google (Thailand) Co. Ltd. He earned his M.A. in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C. His responsibilities include: ensuring the ability for Google to operate and conduct business in the Greater Mekong Sub-region; managing regulatory challenges; and collaborating with governments on digital literacy and citizenship, SMEs development, and Google for Education. Thailand 4.0 is the national policy that seeks to promote a digital economy. Its purpose is to generate new investment, uplift labor skills, and allow Thailand to take a bigger share of the fast-growing technology sector while maintaining control of transactions and activities over the Internet. The essential question is: how would it be possible for governments to both benefit from a digital economy and maintain control over the Internet? Mr. Poomsrikaew notes that we live in a time where strong partnership between the government and private sector is needed to forge new rules and regulations that propel the country forward.
Dr. Wangpaichitr received his D.B.A. from the Northumbria University in Newcastle in the United Kingdom. He is the Assistant to the Vice Minister of the Thailand Regulatory Guillotine Project at the Government House of Thailand. He is also the Secretary-General of the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (FETCO) and the Vice President of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). For him, the lack of financial literacy in the general population is a major concern. In order for Thailand to create an equitable and inclusive environment conducive to sustained growth and development, the nation urgently needs to resolve all financial literacy problems at the root of cyclical poverty traps. Recent surveys show that a majority of Thai people do not fully understand compound interest calculations, deposit protection policies, and the time value of money. Financial behavior and financial attitude scores are understandably low. Low income and education levels as well as low paying jobs and workers are correlated with lower financial literacy scores. One proposed solution includes setting up a national literacy institute supported by both public and private sectors to prepare policy for educating consumers.
Ms. Patarachoke is the Director-General at the Department of International Organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand. She earned a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Chicago. Under her leadership, the Department seeks to ensure that Thailand plays a constructive role in the international arena, actively contributes to the global community, as well as benefits and learns from others. In the past three years, she has focused more on the areas related to sustainable development. One of Ms. Patarachoke’s major concerns is the problem of refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand. Currently, since Thailand has no official screening mechanism for these individuals and refugees, it has de facto allowed the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees to undertake the screening process to determine refugee status. This lengthy endeavor often leaves open the possibility of individuals getting involved with criminal networks or becoming their victims, or of inadequate assistance to those in genuine need of protection, especially women and children. Recently, the January 2017 cabinet resolution tasked the Royal Thai Police and the Immigration Office with studying and setting up a formal refugee screening mechanism.
Ms. Sirisukha is Co-Founder of Little Forest project. She earned a B.A. from the Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology from Thammasat University in Thailand. She initiated Little Forest project in collaboration with the Agro-Industry Faculty of Kasetsart University, Forest Industry Organization, and the Community College of Phrae Province, along with guidance from Mae Fah Luang Foundation. Their goal is to tackle the problem of deforestation in Thailand where approximately 43 percent of original forests have been lost within the past 50 years. Deforestation in Thailand is primarily driven by agricultural expansion as forests are cleared and converted into large-scale farms specializing in single cash crops such as rice, cassava, corn, and sugarcane. Ms. Sirisukha says that without an environmentally smarter next generation of consumers and decision-makers, it is likely that eco-friendly and sustainable practices will remain outside the mainstream, and resources will be irretrievably eroded. It is not only important to instill such mindsets in the rural population, but also to teach the urban population the values and fundamental understanding of natural resources issues.
Mr. Tangjitrmaneesakda holds a Master of Laws from Cornell University, and is the Managing Director at the SCG Legal Counsel Ltd., as well as the Secretary General of the Federation of Thai Industries. He has seen many business problems arise from irrelevant and obsolete laws and regulations. In Thailand, where governmental agencies at times propose new laws without sufficient information and clear objectives, ineffective structures and directions for society are created. Sometimes agencies copy laws from developed countries without a full understanding of the objectives and implications of the laws, even to the point of disregarding the differences between the economies and circumstances of Thailand and such countries. Another concern is inefficient law enforcement. Laws are not enforced efficiently, correctly, or in a timely manner for many reasons, including corruption. Good laws can foster a good society with a high quality of life. Independent research, public consultation, and effective law enforcement will lead to the sustainable development of Thai society.
Ms. Raksaseri is an Assistant News Editor at the Bangkok Post. She earned her M.A. in Journalism from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. She has been a political news editor following the development of Thai politics for over a decade, covering protests, military coups, constitution drafting, elections, and government policies from former Prime Minister Thaksin’s era until the current military government. She has seen the success and failure of populist policies and shares an acute concern about public perceptions of injustice. Ms. Raksaseri attributes her interest in political journalism to the morning her editor woke her with a phone call directing her to go a meeting at Chulalongkorn University. Traveling through pouring rain, she remembers thinking she might quit the job so her life would be easier. But the “meeting” turned out to be a gathering of the Assembly of the Poor where troubled people from the provinces shared their problems. At the end of the event, she asked herself, “Who would help make their voice heard if I quit this job?” Ms. Raksaseri regularly lectures at Chulalongkorn University.
Ms. Swe is Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Myanmar, Ministry of Planning and Finance, where she is in charge of the Market Supervision and Market Surveillance Departments. She earned her Master of Public Administration from Yangon University of Economics in Myanmar. The Securities and Exchange Commission was established only in November 2014, while the Stock Exchange was formed in December of the following year. This illustrates that the securities market in Myanmar is in its early stages. Currently there are four listed companies and six securities companies. Market value of the Exchange is about USD 602 million. Myanmar is the least developed country within the ASEAN region with a history of poor education and an underdeveloped economy due to years of military rule. There is also a general lack of investment knowledge and understanding. Therefore, she seeks to address challenges faced by general investors and companies, especially the complex listing requirements, which serve to deter small(er) investors and foster stronger family business ties.
Ms. Tushiminina is the Executive Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA) in Buea, Cameroon. She earned her M.B.A. from Davenport University in Michigan. CHRDA is an independent, nongovernmental, apolitical and non-profit making organization dedicated to the protection and advancement of human rights and the promotion of democracy in Africa. Her former position as the Executive Director of the Shalupe Foundation placed her in a continuous posture of learning about the rule of law, and its patriarchal influence on gender in post-conflict Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Seeing women with disproportionate access to social services, subjected to brutal sexual violence and abuse, having limited avenues to economic independence, and drastic underrepresentation in the political sphere, fueled her work in Shalupe. She has volunteered for the African Governance Architecture’s Democratic Governance ‘DGTrends’ campaign since 2013 and helped to mobilize over 5 million young people on social media towards the AU’s agenda to silence all guns and end conflicts on the continent by 2020.
Mr. Nour is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Premier University in Bangladesh. He received his LL.M. in Human Rights from the University of Hong Kong. He has long been engaged with human rights activities that has allowed him to become familiar with many of his country’s outdated laws. Bangladesh is a developing country with a mostly poor population. Many citizens want to migrate to the Middle East or Europe for work where they often face conditions of forced labor. Before 2012 there was no specific law regarding human trafficking. Mr. Nour was involved in researching and organizing workshops and seminars to facilitate the drafting of a new law. The resulting Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act prescribes punishment for the trafficker up to 12 years and a fine not less than USD600. However, for the proper implementation and investigation of all trafficking matters a formal referral mechanism and training system for police and other public officials needs to be implemented, as well as increasing the education level of the coastal people where most of the trafficking takes place.
Colonel Panitgabutr, Officer in the 7th Infantry Regiment in Chiang Mai, is interested in the field of ICT-related crimes where he strives to develop alternative approaches to combatting cybercrime. He earned a Master of Science degree in Public Administration at Mae Fah Luang University in Thailand. With the industrialization of cybercrime, personal information moves far too quickly for traditional law enforcement mechanisms to keep pace. Current Ministry of Information and Technology research shows that Thai youth (under 25) spend on average 41.4 hours per week on the Internet, making them vulnerable to exploitation and threats to their safety. Thai children can easily interact with strangers and exchange large personal data files with little parental supervision or monitoring. The main forms of ICT-facilitated abuse can range from mild cyber-bullying, exposure to harmful online content, sexual harassment and aggressive solicitation, to commercial sexual exploitation. Col. Panitgabutr seeks to promote awareness-raising initiatives such as the concept of “digital citizenship” through establishing linkages between corporate social responsibility, human rights, and protection of children and youth.
Dr. Komolvadhin is a news editor for ThaiPBS, the first Public Broadcasting Service in Thailand. She was awarded a Ph.D. in Gender Studies by the London School of Economics. In addition to daily news coverage, Dr. Komolvadhin is responsible for a nightly news analysis program, which aims to broaden and enrich the Thai audience on significant public issues. She is adamant that members of the media need to understand clearly the concept of rule of law in order to deliver it in national, regional, and global arenas. Currently in Thailand good governance and its application both in public and private sectors is questioned. Freedom of expression is an issue of concern because law enforcement by the military junta monitors content in all media platforms. Political and national reforms, corruption, lack of transparency, accountability, and inequality are major issues which need to be tackled. Members of the media in Thailand must be aware of their strong responsibility to encourage public participation to support good governance.
Ms. Sucharitakul is the Executive Vice President of the Stock Exchange Thailand (SET), and responsible for social development and corporate communications. She earned a Master of Science in Political Science from Thammasat University in Thailand. Under her leadership, the SET is not only guided by the philosophy of “inclusiveness,” whereby national growth, business growth, and individual growth must be developed in concert, but its operations also align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of Ms. Sucharitakul’s key concerns is the lack of financial literacy among Thai people. Fifteen years ago, SET embarked on an education campaign to help people safeguard their wealth and prepare for retirement. Unfortunately, a compulsory financial and entrepreneurship study program was never included in the school curriculum, which resulted in an inadequate level of financial literacy among Thais. Currently, while most financial institutions perform education campaigns and/or wealth services only for their clients, SET seeks to complement this by providing financial education for other individuals.
Dr. Kittipanya-ngam is the Vice President of the Innovation Department at the Electronic Government Agency, and is responsible for driving digital innovation for the Thai government. He earned a Ph.D. in Computer Vision from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. He has extensive experience in the development and implementation of digital platform strategies for businesses, innovation of products and services, as well as commercialization with creative marketing and partnership strategies. Currently, his work mainly focuses on drafting a roadmap, driving policies, and implementing platforms for innovative government services. Many successful Thai startups have moved abroad due to the lack of proper tools for technological innovation, and laws strictly designed for traditional businesses. Dr. Kittipanya-ngam sees the need for faster regulatory responses, as well as open-mindedness, agility and courage among those driving policies to assist the country in handling emerging technologies. Recently, he was named National Startup Leader of the Year 2016 by the National Innovation Agency.
Mr. Theerathada is Chief Corporate Affairs Officer with DTAC where he is responsible for legal/general counsel, regulatory, policy, governance, government relations, ethics and compliance, communications and sustainability. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina in the United States. In his short tenure with DTAC Mr. Theerathada has created a legal and policy governance division and developed a public-private partnership connecting entrepreneurs and SMEs through a MOU with the Ministries of Commerce, Digital Economy and Society, Agriculture, and Education. In order to be part of, and to keep up with, a global digital economy, Thailand needs to look at itself realistically and rethink the legal and governance frameworks. The Thai people are more informed than ever thanks to social media, allowing them real-time global access to social change, and it is inevitable that they will openly compare and contrast their own situation to that of others. Mr. Theerathada feels that open communications and debate must lead to the development of a dynamic legal foundation where rule of law becomes more representational, benefitting the greater good, not just a few elites.
Ms. Panyavaranant is the Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Partnerships, at the Kenan Institute Asia. She works in sustainable development areas including rural economic development, education, and inclusive social development. She is currently a doctoral student in the Rural and Regional Development Planning Faculty at Asian Institute of Technology. Her professional responsibilities include overseeing sustainability development programs funded by leading corporations, designing and conducting capacity building for CSOs on productivity and good governance, and advocating sustainability and SDG principles. She was assigned as Chief of Party (COP) for USAID-funded Healing, Opportunity, Peace and Engagement (HOPE), a three-year project which focuses on bringing together youth in Thailand’s embattled Deep South. As COP, she works with stakeholders at local and national levels to build a model for conflict mitigation, peace, and reconciliation in six at-risk communities in Pattani province. Ms. Panyavaranant is a skilled Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) trainer and facilitator and a CSR columnist in the Thai business newspaper, Prachachart Thurakij.
Dr. Chokesuwattanaskul is a multidisciplinary scholar with extensive experience in research and teaching on both the procedural and technical aspects of law and policy. He obtained a Ph.D. in Developmental Economics from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. His current research establishes a new way to consider the relationship between export cartels and economic development through the use of historical analysis and game theory models. He aims to debunk the myth about export cartels from developing countries, whereby cartels are stigmatized and prohibited by academics as well as international organizations. His research proposes that export cartels from developing countries could be selectively used to promote economic development. Dr. Chokesuwattanaskul has lectured on economics and game theory, as well as supervised graduate students in economics, political science, management, and engineering at the University of Cambridge.
Ms. Isaranuwatchai is CEO of both the P&W Service Ltd. and the Maximum Dynamic Ltd. In the past 18 years, she has been a member of five startup companies, two of which have become IPO listed companies. She earned a Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology from the University of Waterloo in Canada. Ms. Isaranuwatchai notes the importance of recognizing our limited resources and how to implement them to better people’s living conditions. In early 2005, she had several opportunities to visit and provide support to the tsunami-affected areas in Thailand where many children became orphans overnight. Because of geographical discrepancies, her research team discovered that orphans in one particular region did not receive much needed support. The team collaborated with public health officers to create an annual special day for the affected children which included a theater performance, as well as butterfly farm and zoo visits, each with lunch in a special place. She witnessed great courage from the children and learned the true meaning of community and how people can overcome many challenges together.
Mr. Sirisant is the Group Chief Strategy Officer for Asia Plus Group Holdings Public Company Ltd. in Bangkok. He earned his M.B.A. in International Business from UTS Graduate School of Business in Australia. Recently he was appointed one of 12 Global Alumni Ambassadors for Australia and one of Thailand’s two HeForShe Ambassadors by UNWOMEN (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women). Mr. Sirisant is passionate about advocating for gender equality through closely working with various embassies, as well as private and public sectors in an effort to narrow the gender gap in Thailand. He is a driving force behind the HeForShe campaign, which aims to raise awareness and spark action concerning the responsibility men have in eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence against women. The campaign involves men as advocates and change agents for the achievement of gender equality and human rights.
Ms. Suwanmongkol received her M.B.A. from Walter A. Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. She is the Director General of the Legal Execution Department (LED) at the Ministry of Justice in Thailand, where she is responsible for both civil judgment and insolvency enforcement. As the only department within the Ministry responsible for civil justice system, the LED must fortify investors’ confidence—reflected in an influx of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)—as well as economic development and national competitiveness. Under her leadership, proactive initiatives, along with proposed legal development and amendments include, most notably, the improvement of Thailand’s ranking to number 23 out of 190 economies in the 2017 Doing Business of the World Bank (moving up 26 positions), to number 1 in the ASEAN region, and to number 4 in Asia. Other positive outcomes include the realignment of the Civil Procedure Code and Insolvency Act with international standards, and enhancement of investors’ confidence, which further contribute to the growth of the national economy.
Ms. Achavanuntakul is the Managing Director of the Knowledge Development at the Sal Forest Co. Ltd., a board member of the Faculty of Economics at Thammasat University, and adjunct professor in their Integrated Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Program in Business and Accounting. She received her M.B.A. from the Stern School of Business at New York University in the United States. For the past 20 years she has been involved directly with three national policy initiatives, especially in raising public awareness of and opposition to the junta government’s draft “digital economy laws” which she sees as “surveillance/national security laws” in disguise. With others, she staged a public campaign to raise the awareness of fellow Internet users of these concerns, and formed a civil society organization called “Thai Netizen Network,” the only civil society group in Thailand dedicated to protecting digital rights. Although Section 14(1) of the Computer Crimes Act was slightly amended to specify that the clause not be used for defamation, in reality Internet users, members of the press, and activists continue to be prosecuted. Ms. Achavanuntakul is a widely respected author and translator on topics of justice, fairness, and inequality.
Ms. Arbab holds a Master in Public Administration and is the Director of a meat packing company, Euro Industries Pvt. Ltd. in Peshawar, Pakistan. With a passion for women’s development through economic empowerment, she plays an active role in organizations such as the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Peshawar Division, where she is president; the Provincial Commission for the Status of Women (PCSW); and is a founding member of the South Asian Women Entrepreneurs Network (SAWEN). She was born in a culture that says respect your women by keeping them inside the house and where terrorism targets women who step out for education or to start a small business. Yet in the past four years these organizations have accomplished much. Through advocacy they gained approval for 17 Industrial Parks for women, the first ever in the region. This particular initiative gave women the confidence to work towards a policy on domestic violence in which they made their opponents allies by letting them own the policy reforms.
Dr. Deb is the Dean (I/C) of the School of Law, Pondicherry University, and the Director (I/C) of the Directorate of Distance Education at the Pondicherry University in India. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Psychology from the University of Calcutta. His research interests revolve around children and their rights. As a resource person, he participated in the formulation of rules of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act 2000. Two important issues were corporal punishment and lowering the age of juveniles from 16-18 years. Corporal punishment is widely practiced in India by both parents and teachers. After reviewing data regarding the safety of children in school, the committee agreed to ban corporal punishment under the Juvenile Justice Act. Regarding lowering the age limit of juveniles, thousands of orphan and/or destitute children and adolescents live on the street. Since they do not go to school they are vulnerable to unlawful activities. The 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape case in Delhi, where the main accused was under 18 and at the time tried in juvenile court, influenced the decision to repeal the old law and include youth of 16-18 years as adults.
Ms. Subhapholsiri is the Deputy Head of the Legal Department at the BEC World Public Company Ltd in Bangkok. She earned her Master of Laws from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. She has formerly worked in the banking industry, but decided to go into law, because she wanted to participate in public policy and development work. She is particularly interested in designing legislations for social enterprises. The Thai government and its legislative body are currently challenged with creating a law to support these emerging business entities. The Social Enterprises Act is currently waiting to be considered, formulated, and issued by the National Assembly. From the beginning, the perceived problem was one of concept. Because social enterprises are businesses and there are already laws for businesses, businesses should focus on profits, not the betterment of society. In her experience reviewing the current draft of the Act, Ms. Subhapholsiri finds rule of law the most appropriate guiding principle. A law is not being drafted for the sake of having a law; it is being drafted in the hopes that it would work to support the missions of people forming social enterprises.
Dr. Chaopricha is the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Education and an advisor at the Center of Educational Psychology. She received a medical degree from Mahidol University in Thailand. For more than a decade, she has worked as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, as well as a lecturer at Thammasat University. In the past three years at the Ministry of Education she has become more acquainted with the criticisms and concerns of the Thai educational system. Problems continue to persist despite various reform efforts, because they did not address the underlying root causes of ineffective Thai educational system, which include: quality of teachers, inconsistency of education, and low transparency in governmental duties. She sees that laws and regulations, which take into account the interests of all affected parties, as major tools for transforming the system.
Dr. Srisamran is the Vice President, Economic Intelligence Center at the Siam Commercial Bank in Bangkok. As a senior business analyst with a Ph.D. in Regional Science and Urban Economics from Cornell University, he monitors business dynamics, creates industry deep-dive analysis, and forecasts business outlooks. In a recent advisory capacity, he was involved in an infrastructure mega project valued at approximately USD60 billion. Siam Commercial Bank was an external advisor to the project, and Dr. Srisamran was selected as a team member, advising in project analysis and submission. Although this was the first time he had been exposed to the legal side of such a project, he acknowledges learning greatly from the advisory experience, i.e. that best practices from both business and law have to be equally blended in order to carry out mega projects, and that law itself has to be regularly updated and adjusted due to the dynamics of the business environment.
Dr. Anantsuksomsri is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture, Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, as well as a Visiting Lecturer at the Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering at Tsukuba University in Japan. He earned a Ph.D. in Regional Science from Cornell University in New York. Recent research and consulting projects have led him to the theory of the “Just City,” by Susan S. Fainstein, in which equity, democracy, and diversity are the major concerns of urban development. One of Dr. Anantsuksomsri’s concerns relates to the development of the newly announced Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and its negative impact on people in the area, especially vulnerable poor in the agricultural sector. Crop lands in the EEC are likely to change into other types of use such as urban areas and perennials land use, benefitting the rich since the policy aims to encourage investment in the area. Although there are expected economic spillover effects from these investments, positive effects may not be able to cover the gap in uneven benefits. Creating opportunity and social equality are at the forefront of his concerns.
Dr. Tasanachaikul currently works as a judge at the Office of the President of the Supreme Court of Thailand, and the Offices of International Affairs and Judicial Affairs. She obtained a Doctor of the Science of Law degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She oversees the employment of technology in the facilitation of court administrative tasks to provide efficient services to the people. Government policy and international trends are driving the Court to adopt technology which, it is believed, can achieve tasks in a more cost-effective and timely manner. In addition, when it comes to the judiciary, less human contact within the process is often believed to yield a fairer, bias-free result. The Court’s goal and policy initiative in the past 10 years have been to integrate the use of technology to meet that principle. As a committee member of the Doing Business—a project of the World Bank—Dr. Tasanachaikul believes that while incorporating technology into Court’s work is not easy, it ultimately needs to start somewhere and now is an opportune time.
Mr. Qureshi is the Deputy Director at the Intelligence Bureau in Lahore, Pakistan. He is responsible for the overall supervision of the Security Section. He holds a Master of Criminology from University of Melbourne, Australia, and has served in various police capacities for over 20 years. In Pakistan where the criminal justice system lacks basic modern skills and tools, police investigations are primitive and unscientific, rule of law is an elusive concept, and corruption is endemic. In 2009 to 2010, Mr. Qureshi joined a community policing initiative—Musalihiti Committees—which sought to bridge the gap between police and the public. Since people on the streets find it difficult to communicate with the police, alternative dispute resolution bodies were formed to resolve minor and civil issues. In time, neighborhoods became safer and the trust deficit between police and the public was considerably reduced. With a more active community participation, police practices and procedures became transparent, resulting in further reduction of human rights abuses and drastic decrease in police corruption.
Mr. Wangyal has studied at University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, as well as the Institute for Developing Economies Advanced School in Japan. He is a member of the National Council of the Parliament of Bhutan, where he oversees law-making and policy review. He has championed causes against growing inequality through a two-pronged approach: 1. Enhancement of income and wealth of the poor via effective provision of and access to adequate healthcare, education, and opportunities to improve their living standards; and 2. Ensure that the elites do not become exceedingly wealthy and as a result, politically powerful so as to undermine political and economic institutions, which must serve society as a whole. Mr. Wangyal is also a faculty member at the Royal Institute of Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS), established by His Majesty the King to train senior bureaucrats and military officials.
Ms. Taihitu received a Master of Development Studies from University of Melbourne in Australia, and has been working on development issues for over 10 years, particularly in the area of human rights and strengthening democracy. Last year she was the Project Officer for Indonesia Democracy Index (IDI), which oversees all provinces in Indonesia. She is passionate about enhancing democracy and law, which will eventually lead to the improvement of public services. In 1999 the first ever free and direct election was conducted in Indonesia. Ever since, the country has continued to seek the proper shape of its democracy. Through her work, Ms. Taihitu learned that it is not easy to develop a policy initiative, moreover to ensure that the initiative is incorporated within the national/regional planning and budgeting. However, IDI with all its strengths and weaknesses has already set the standard for policy makers to start the trend of evidence based policy making in Indonesia. This year, national as well as international students and researchers have reached out to the expert members to learn more about IDI.
Ms. Pornpongsaroj is currently involved in a number of business enterprises such as a Business Development Manager in the polymer industry and Project Consultant in the agricultural sector. She received a M.A. in Economics from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. She is passionate about helping people reach their full potential through learning and development. Her greatest aim is to generate opportunities through implementation of projects in areas of sustainable development and digital platforms, including clean energy policy. There is a movement in Thailand to adopt more green technologies with environmentally-friendly cars and a push to improve infrastructure for public transportation and the private sector. However, the current business environment in Thailand is not favorable for the production and sales of electric vehicles (EVs) due to their high prices and insufficient EV related infrastructure. Ms. Pornpongsaroj is interested to play an active role in the partnership between the government and the private sector to further initiate national policy.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Pitaneelaboot is currently the Acting Deputy of Police Region 2 in Thailand, and also an Associate Professor of Criminology and Economic Crime at the Royal Police Cadet Academy. He obtained a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University in Texas. From 2013 to 2015, he was Commander of Immigration Division 6, and in charge of southern Thailand. For over a decade, an influx of illegal immigration of Rohingya from Rakhine State in Myanmar in this area has posed a challenge to limited detention centers and support personnel, as well as safety of the local population. However, it became apparent that the Rohingya should not be seen as illegal migrants, but rather as victims of trafficking who were held hostage by and/or enslaved in the fishing industry. During his tenure as Commander of Immigration Division 6, Pol. Maj. Gen. Pitaneelaboot launched successful policy initiatives to eliminate human trafficking cases of Rohingya in southern Thailand.
Mr. Pittayasophon is the Director of the Corporate Monitoring Department at the Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Thailand. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master of Laws degree. He is responsible for the supervision of companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), as well as its core functions on policy formulation and law enforcement. Mr. Pittayasophon has extensive experience and interests in the formulation of regulations related to crowd-funding, which is an alternative fundraising channel that enables businesses to access funds from supporters investing small amounts of money. When crowd-funding is equity-based or debt-based, it is subjected to the Securities and Exchange Act of 1992. In this respect, it was necessary to strike the right balance between how to widen fundraising opportunities for startups and SMEs, while providing an appropriate level of investor protection.
*The SEC Thailand supervises the crowd-funding portals as business operators whereby they must comply with the regulations as well as pursue appropriate business conduct.
Dr. Ractham earned her Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of Pittsburg in the United States. She is the Deputy Dean for Academic Services of the College of Management (International Program) at the Mahidol University in Bangkok, and the Program Director of SIBA (Strategy and Innovation for Businesses in Asia). She is an active researcher in knowledge management and Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP). In a country where there is little regard for an understanding and application of the rule of law, Dr. Ractham is interested in applying a knowledge management platform to the rule of law process. This can foster the legitimacy and acceptability of rules that are written, reviewed, and applied, where consensus is attained in order to contribute to the building of a Thai sustainable society. If the rule of law is capable of guiding human behavior, laws have to be made known to their addressees; however, rule of law publicity in Thailand is still in its infancy and needs an effective mechanism to broaden people’s knowledge so it is common and mutual among the community in everyday life.
Mr. Thephachanh is a member of the National Assembly for Savannakhet Province in Lao People’s Democratic Republic, where he is the Vice Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He holds a Master in Public Policy degree from the National University of Singapore. Early in his career, as a junior officer assigned to the Committee on Economy Planning and Finance, he assisted in drafting legislations which sought to integrate the rule of law into the 1991 Constitution. During the late 1990s, he was closely involved with the preparation and modification of national legislation for Lao PDR’s integration into the ASEAN Community. Now as a Member of Parliament, Mr. Thephachanh is oversees the following initiatives: the development of policies and legislations concerning external relation, translation of provisions under international convention into national legislation, harmonization of laws between the ASEAN Member States, and consideration for ratification of international conventions, treaties, and agreements. In the field of human rights and democracy, he has participated in the preparation for the Universal Periodic Review of the Lao PDR before the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
Mr. Kititasnasorchai is a public prosecutor at the Office of the Attorney General in Thailand. He obtained a Master of Laws degree from University of Washington in Seattle. Much of his work focuses on reviewing and proposing legal and policy improvements related to countering human trafficking, building capacity programs to enhance the investigation and prosecution of complex cases, and analyzing the results of cases prosecuted. A turning point in his promotion of the rule of law was his discovery of a quote by Peter Drucker: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” which led him to realize why Thai criminal justice reforms have made very little progress. To him, they have been heavily based on the perceptions of certain criminal justice experts and academics, without drawing much on existing empirical data. Further, criminal justice agencies have been plagued by ineffective management. As a result, Mr. Kititasnasorchai has created a set of criminal justice performance indicators that is accepted as a key national plan for criminal justice reform. The implementation phase, however, continues to be an on-going challenge.
Mr. Uanarumit is the Chief Operating Officer of the Upstream Petroleum and Gas Business Group at the PTT Public Company Limited. He received his M.B.A. from Pennsylvania State University in the United States. His responsibilities include developing strategic goals and objectives of the PTT Group Upstream and Gas Business, conducting strategic direction alignment between PTT and Upstream subsidiaries, and managing and optimizing the upstream portfolio. Under his leadership, the PTT follows the “SPIRIT” framework, or overarching values to guide its corporate governance, social responsibility and transparency. For instance, the letter “I” in this acronym denotes “Integrity,” whereby action plans entail the promotion of accountability and transparency in all corporate operations, encouragement of collaboration with external parties to create an anti-corruption network, and provision of equitable treatment to all stakeholders, including creation of diverse activities that seek to inspire management to become role models of integrity and ethics.
Dr. Atcharawongchai holds a degree in Intellectual Property Law from the University of Hong Kong. He currently works as a judge at the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court (IP&IT) in Bangkok. As a professional judge for almost 10 years, he is committed to upholding the rule of law in the administration of justice. He is particularly interested in copyright enforcement. The Central IP&IT Court has taken an active role in elevating the efficiency of copyright enforcement to address rampant copyright piracy in Thailand through strengthening social norms and reinforcing people’s respect towards copyright enforcement. Although the success of this policy initiative has not been evident in the short term, he strongly believes that it can incrementally plant the seeds of respect towards copyright enforcement among Thai people.
Mr. Ito is a graduate of Sophia University in Japan. He is a prosecutor at the International Judicial Proceedings Support Office of the Ministry of Justice in Tokyo, and provides legal support for litigation pending before domestic courts in foreign countries where Japan is involved as a party. In addition, he conducts research on international arbitration among other international dispute resolution methods, to which Japan could become a party. Drawing from his experiences as a participant in international fora on issues such as money laundering and terrorist financing, it became apparent that various conception of the rule of law based on diverging domestic cultures and norms continue to pose a challenge to the effective designs of international legal frameworks and policies. However, it is important to note that participants can discuss about and share common interests for promoting better coordinated efforts among nations. With this in mind, he believes that maintaining a balanced perspective is vital for achieving shared goals with other countries.