In partnership with the Lawyers Council of Thailand (TLC), the Rule of Law Initiative co-hosted a conference entitled “Anti-Corruption: The Role of Lawyers, the Bar and the Bench in Preventing and Combating Corruption Within the Justice System,” on Feb. 19 - 20, 2007, at the U.N. Conference Centre in Bangkok.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Lawyers Council of Thailand, the ABA and TLC brought together bar association leaders, judges, prosecutors and lawyers from Thailand, other Asian countries, the U.S. and Europe, to discuss their respective roles in addressing corruption in the justice system.
The program was opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha, who is a trained lawyer currently working as a public prosecutor in Thailand. U.S. Ambassador Ralph Boyce delivered remarks, as did ABA President Karen Mathis, Asia Division Chair Laura Stein, Asia Division Council member J. Clifford Wallace, and the Asia Division's former Regional Anti-Corruption Advisor, Charles Caruso. Mr. Caruso's successor, Andrew Boname, who will serve as the Asia Regional Anti-Corruption Advisor beginning in mid-March, also participated in the program.
Following the first day of the conference, the Rule of Law Initiative convened a side meeting for Asian bar leaders who had traveled to Bangkok to attend the conference. The group discussed challenges to bar development in Asia, and explored ways to strengthen networking and information exchange activities. Represented at the program were bars from Bangladesh, Burma, Korea, Nepal, India, Cambodia, Lao, the Philippines, Indonesia, Timor Leste, and Mongolia.
The conference was generously funded by the U.S. State Department and U.S. Embassy/Thailand, and was part of the Asia Division's larger Asia regional anti-corruption program.