Thailand and the Rule of no Law

Thailand and the Rule of no Law

Thursday, 29 May 2014 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Venue: 
Dahrendorf Room, Founder’s Building, St Antony’s College
Speaker(s): 
Verapat Pariyawong (Former Special Counsel to the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand)
Chair: 
Dr Matthew Walton
Convenor: 
Dr Matthew Walton
Series: 
Southeast Asia Seminar

The session will be focussing on Thai politics following the 2006 coup and how the protesters, the care
taking government, the courts and military establishment and different classes in Thai society are
currently dealing with the political struggles while relying on some form of legal arguments. The current political battle is not fought by mere physical power like in the past, but rather some form of legitimacy power claimed by all sides, each interpreting the constitution differently. As the struggles push closer to the critical point, the dynamic of power politics in an emerging Democracy such as Thailand is being illustrated clearer than before.

Verapat Pariyawong is a recognized Thai legal advisor and political commentator. He was Special Counsel to Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand and Honorary Advisor to Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives of Thailand. He holds a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School where he was also a Fulbright Scholar and held honorary distinction for his LL.M. paper on Thai constitutional and political issues.

He was guest-lecturer and speaker at various universities and leading institutions in Thailand; and among his audience were the current and former Prime Ministers of Thailand, the Speaker of the Thai Parliament and the Speaker of the Thai Senate. He co-authored a policy study report on Thai electoral system for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and published articles and chapters on constitutional and international law in academic journals and liber amicorum. Apart from appearing regularly in the Thai press, his comments were reported internationally by ABC (Australia), Agence France-Presse, Aljazeera, Associated Press, BBC World Service, Channel News Asia, China Central Television (CCTV), DPA (Germany), Kyodo (Japan), the New York Times, the Strait Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Xinhua News Agency.