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Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) is now accepting applications from emerging leaders interested in joining its Rule of Law & Development Program or RoLD 2020: The Resilient Leader with an aim to enhance knowledge related to the rule of law and sustainable development in pursuit of Goal 16 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), as well as forge a strong collaborative network among professionals for setting the rule of law standards in Thailand and beyond.


Prof. Dr. Kittipong Kittayarak, Executive Director of Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ), says, “The rule of law and sustainable development are interlinked, as the first serves to support all of the UN SDGs. When societies are founded on the respect for the rule of law, effective laws and credible judicial processes, it becomes easier to work towards realizing the Global Goals. However, if laws and judicial processes are inherently weak, then societies would face immense obstacles to development progress. When trust in judicial institutions breakdown, societal fabric and peace would in turn erode.


“The COVID-19 outbreak is an apparent evident of how pre-existing challenges within vulnerable and marginalized sectors of our societies are further exacerbated by structural inequality, extreme poverty and domestic violence. This not only calls for the creation of the rule of law that is tangible in its outcomes, which can be monitored and measured, but also offers an opportunity for individuals from all sectors to take part in this process. It is as crucial as ever today for leaders to become more resilient and responsive in face of ever-changing circumstances. With this in mind, RoLD 2020 is launched to engage emerging leaders in brainstorming innovative, yet adaptive policy designs and programs that would engender just societies based on the respect for the rule of law, thereby leading to sustained and equitable development,” Prof. Dr. Kittipong says.


“Since TIJ truly believes in the importance of the promotion of the rule of law in tandem with the creation of a culture of lawfulness in Thai society, we have sought to translate internationally recognized standards into practice in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Guided by this emphasis, TIJ has created the TIJ Executive Program: Rule of Law & Development (RoLD Program), in collaboration with the Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School. The RoLD Program aims to bring together bright executives, emerging thought leaders, policymakers, and particularly those who are passionate about solving socio-economic issues, drawn from government agencies, civil society organizations and private sector in order to equip them with critical tools in strengthening the rule of law and sustainable development,” he continues. 


Program Highlights: Diversity – World-Class Standard

Successful applicants will not only have the privilege to learn from and exchange ideas with prominent faculty members from Harvard University, but will also gain first-hand insights from renowned speakers via online and offline sessions. With contemporary knowledge of the rule of law and practical policymaking skills, they will become a part of a professional network of changemakers. RoLD 2020: The Resilient Leader Program will run from December 2020 to June 2021, and key highlights include: 

  1. “Special Lecture Series” conducted by keynote speakers who will share their first-hand experiences on cross-cutting issues related to global law and policy practices that contribute to sustainable development.  
  2. “Global Webinar Series” led by IGLP faculty members will keep participants abreast of the latest developments, impacts and challenges in the post-pandemic era. Among the interesting topics are Comparative Regulatory Responses, Social Justice, Poverty and Inequality, Criminal Justice Reform, Labor, Education and the Future of work, as well as Global Governance and Multilateralism.
  3. “Problem Labs: Executive Future Thinking for Justice Series” led by regional experts will provide participants with unique hands-on sessions on innovative problem-solving tools based on “Future Thinking” concept to design long-term solutions for four main regional challenges, including Access to Justice, Gender-Based Violence, Social Reintegration, and Anti-Corruption.
  4. “TIJ-IGLP Workshop for Emerging Leaders on the Rule of Law and Policy” led by IGLP faculty members and reputable guest speakers will be held between 6 and 11 June 2021 for participants to develop a nuanced understanding of the innerworkings of policymaking that aim to improve development outcomes. It is one-week intensive workshop that will highlight peer-to-peer learning under close mentorship of experienced IGLP faculty members.


RoLD Alumni attest that the Program has successfully nurtured leadership skills founded on the rule of law to create a network for impactful changes.

Dr. Suntareeya Muangpawong, A Research Justice at the Supreme Court, considers it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have completed RoLD Program. Conducted through collaborative efforts between TIJ and the Harvard Law School, the Program has endowed her with contemporary global knowledge, in-depth understanding of regional trends, along with a multidisciplinary perspective for problem-solving in light of enhancing sustainable development. She adds that the Program has offered participants with a forum to exchange innovative ideas and meet like-minded peers from across Thailand and overseas.


“Capacity-building for social leaders is the key to Thailand’s ability to bounce back from crises—be it economic, environmental, or political—and transform into a just society with sustainable happiness,” she says.


Dr. Ekniti Nitithanprapas, Director-General of the Revenue Department, describes RoLD Program as the most impressive and thought-provoking programs he has ever joined. One of its highlights, he says, is using the rule of law as a lens and common ground for national development agendas. He says this appeal differentiates RoLD from other programs he has attended.


“The rule of law content in RoLD Program is practical and applicable to issues that are close to people’s lives such as the access to sources of funding for those who are most marginalized. RoLD Program has expanded my horizons in many aspects. As part of the Program, I visited the Doi Hang Temporary Prison in Chiang Rai province and realized that many prisoners did not intend commit crimes. Rather, they are convicted due to lack of opportunities. If we use the rule of law in granting them these opportunities, they will be able to reintegrate into our society as quality citizens. Following the trip, I have proposed that tax incentives be provided to firms that hire former prisoners, thereby creating a practical means to engage the private sector in offering
social-reintegration opportunities,” Dr. Ekniti says.


Assoc. Prof. Visit Vamvanij, Director of the Siriraj Hospital, says RoLD Program is multidisciplinary in its nature as it integrates management science with legal knowledge. RoLD Program encourages learning with an emphasis on lively discussions and fruitful debates, in tandem with learning through practice on the ground. Ultimately, this experience allowed participants to understand how the rule of law is crucial in promoting mutual coexistence in a just society, whereby everyone contributes to sustainable development.


Prof. Suchatvee Suwansawat, President of the King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), says RoLD Program has not only expanded his legal perspective and boosted his leadership skills, but has also underscored the similarities between legal and engineering concepts. He emphasizes that in the Age of Disruption, justice becomes even more important for organizational management.


Mrs. Sirinya Bishop, A Model and a Women’s Rights Activist, says attending RoLD Program has given her new perspectives to make society a more pleasant place to live in. With peers drawn from wide-ranging sectors, namely policymaking, business, judiciary, and civil society, the Program has underlined the importance of the rule of law and the need to engage all sectors of society in engendering sustained and equitable development.

If you are interested in the upcoming RoLD Program, please visit https://tijforum.org/ for more information and download the application materials. Applications are accepted until 6 November 2020.