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Under The Spotlight by Peerasan Wongsri

Dr. Pantip Nawanuch, Dean of the Faculty of Law

North Chiang Mai University prepares students for ASEAN laws

General Manager of the Chiang Mai Mail Peerasan Wongsri chats with Dr. Pantip Nawanuch about the changes being made at North Chiang Mai University to prepare for AEC in 2015.

Dr. Panthip Nawanuch is the Dean of the Faculty of Law at North Chiang Mai University and has had a varied and interesting career in the law as well as in education. She received a Bachelor of Law from Ramkamhaeng University and then a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy from Chiang Mai University. She went on to obtain her Masters in Law from Ramkhamhaeng and then to Pathum Thani University for her doctorate in Law.

She first began working as a lawyer in 1975 before moving to the field of education.

Mr. Peerasan: I heard that you used your knowledge of law to help society quite a bit?

Dr. Pantip: Yes, before I entered the education field, I work as a lawyer and worked to help society in Chiang Mai. I gave advice to people and participated in many committees in the Chiang Mai Lawyers Association i.e. the Lawyers Council Committee Region 5, the Central Committee of Chiang Mai Province, Vice President of Chiang Mai Lawyers Association, Registrar of Chiang Mai Lawyers Association and an Advisor to the President of Chiang Mai Lawyers Association.

Mr. Peerasan: How did you enter the education field?

Dr. Pantip: From my experiences as a lawyer, I saw that there are still a lot of people who do not understand the law and no matter how much I tried to educate them it was just too late as the disputes had already occurred, so I decided to teach law as a special lecturer for academic institutions in Chiang Mai before finally becoming a professor and then Dean here at North Chiang Mai University.

Mr. Peerasan: As a lawyer in the field of education, how do you apply your knowledge and experiences as a lawyer to your current work?

Dr. Pantip: When I was a lawyer I educated people who were already in trouble, but after I became a lecturer, I decided to teach what is called preventive law, in other words I gave students knowledge that will prevent them from violating the law. At North-Chiang Mai University, we focus on academic knowledge that can be used in real life situations. I have worked on community development as well as a lecturer on law for community leader development, a lecturer on law for promoting knowledge on democracy, a lecturer on law to youths, a co lecturer in seminars of the Ministry of Justice, a lecture for academic training programs on taxation and a lecturer of a legal training program for non-commissioned police officers who are taking the promotional examination to become commissioned police officer, I have used the knowledge that I gained from those experiences and combined it with the national educational concepts and strategies to develop our students until our students secured the Royal Award for the national best youth, second prize in a legal quiz competition and our Faculty of Law is also working together with the Faculty of Law of Queensland University, Australia and that of the National University of Laos to develop students’ professional skills including professional lawyer skills.

Mr. Peerasan: I heard that the Faculty of Law under your administration has signed many Memorandums of Understanding to develop the body of knowledge for students. I would like to know what is your role in an education to produce legal personnel in relation to the AEC community?

Dr. Pantip: The Faculty of Law of North-Chiang Mai University has prepared for the ASEAN community 2015; it has been necessary to adapt in every aspects, especially on the education frontier to enter the ASEAN community proudly. Another important thing under the ASEAN Charter is that any action of the ASEAN must be supported by law to make it legitimate. Therefore, law is a tool to change and develop the ASEAN, thus Thai laws must be developed to keep pace with the changes as ASEAN’s laws are important in operations among members and have legal validity by the state laws of member countries.

Dr. Pantip Nawanuch, Dean of the Faculty of Law for North Chiang Mai University is helping students prepare for AEC laws.

To study only Thai law is not enough in the ASEAN generation, they must now study ASEAN laws and it must be developed from the level of bachelor degree to prepare students to work in any member countries. As for judges and prosecutors, they must study more on foreign laws and international laws to ensure justice in every area. The Faculty of Law must be ready to produce graduates that have equal knowledge and ability with other member countries, the Faculty of Law of North-Chiang Mai has begun producing such graduates.

Mr. Peerasan: Other than producing legal personnel, how else does the university participate?

Dr. Pantip: To develop the body of knowledge for community is our CSR or social services of the Faculty of Law. Because we realize that being in ASEAN has so many effects, both good and bad, we have developed a project to train students to help and educate in the community as well as having community justice volunteers. The University is working to produce more graduations that have strong knowledge and expertise in ASEAN laws. Because ASEAN laws focus on investment in stock markets and foreign owned businesses we must adapt as there will be foreign law firms and accounting firms operating in Thailand for their people. Thus Thailand has to adapt its working strategies and visions.

Mr. Peerasan: I see that the University is well prepared in producing ASEAN legal graduates. How do you think people can access to information and knowledge on ASEAN laws?

Dr. Pantip: One of the University’s resolutions is that it wants to be a knowledge market, thus the Faculty of Law provides courses to people Saturday and Sunday both in bachelor and master degrees. Anyone who is interested can ask more information at North-Chiang Mai University every day from 8.30 am-5.00 pm including holidays and our library also serves outsiders who wish to come and seek knowledge everyday including holidays as well.

Mr. Peerasan: I hope the legal graduates will be able to serve society according to your wishes and determinations.

Dr. Pantip: That’s our goal. It’s the reason why we stick strictly to high teaching standards. Students will be assessed and selected by qualified instructors from the Ministry of Justice according to our University’s standards which has been approved by the Institute of Legal Education of the Thai Bar Association to study to become a barrister. Many gradated students carry out further study in the Institute of Legal Education of the Thai Bar Association, some become solicitors and some operate law firms. We also have legal practitioners i.e. police, lawyers, legal officers, local politicians and entrepreneurs who come to study for a Masters of Law degree with us that shows the good feedback we have received from other professions related to the legal field.

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Dr. Pantip Nawanuch, Dean of the Faculty of Law