• Thammasat Pro Bono Society & National University of Singapore Collaboration

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    Daily Report – January 8th 2015

    Members: Rain, Patrick, Dean, Vardev, Opp, Belle and Bouquet

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    The National University of Singapore (NUS) has sent a band of thirty one intellectual students to Khon Kaen University (KKU) with their objectives to assist KKU’s Pro Bono Society. Thammasat University (TU) has also sent seven volunteers to learn about the culture and the complex systems of NUS’s Pro Bono Society in order to establish our very own Pro Bono Society.

    In the morning of January 8th, 2015, the students of all three institutions were transported to the main auditorium of the Faculty of Law at KKU. Vu Lan Nguyen, the vice president of the Pro Bono Society of Singapore, commenced the day with a brief overview of the upcoming schedules and events that all of us will be a part of. He concluded the overview with five main events, which are: Legal System Comparison, Pro Bono Sharing, Social Issues Conference, Employment Law Seminar, Youth Institutional Seminar. Due to our planned schedule of leaving on January 11th, we will be unable to attend the Youth Institutional Seminar. After the overview, the KKU students warmly greeted us with a warm – hearted “icebreaking game” – in which the KKU students gathered the students of all three institutions to play various games and activities, where we had this opportunity to share lots of laughter and humors together. All of the TU students were able to feel more comfortable among these new faces after these delightful games.

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    It is now late in the morning, all seven TU volunteers morphed into spectator mode, as we enjoyed the first main event: Legal System Comparison. The KKU students introduced NUS and TU students a brief introduction to the Thai Legal System with several interesting laws that sparked interest to NUS students, such as Les Majesty of the Penal Code, Article 112. Conversely, the NUS students introduced the TU and KKU students the Singaporean Legal System. It was there that we’ve come to learn that Common law system and judicial precedent heavily influenced Singapore, where judge – made laws are binding. Likewise, it is there that we have learnt some interesting laws of Singapore, such as “it is illegal to be naked at home”, which gave us some eye – opening insights into such laws. After both introductions, all three institutions have asked questions on unfamiliar and unique laws that both legal system have: such as the relationship between the royal family and the constitution, and how homosexual is illegal in Singapore.

    DSC_0540We’ve spent some quality time during lunch to socialize and get to know more people from NUS, as we exchanged some topics regarding the cultures and hobbies that each of us have. Right after lunch, we have proceeded into the highlight of the day: Pro Bono Sharing. This event lasted for four, worthwhile hours. This is where students of all institutions are split into three categories hosted by three groups of NUS students: legal education, legal research, and legal assistance. The three groups of TU and KKU students will be allocated into one of the three categories, where the NUS students thoroughly discuss and analyzed their own Pro Bono system, which included their Pro Bono Society Hierarchy, their objectives, their relationships with law firms, the branches of sub – groups under Pro Bono Society, as well as the culture of Pro – Bono Society of Singapore. Within these four hours, all of us were eager to ask multiple questions in order to gather as much information possible on how the NUS Pro Bono system works, and what are their limitations. After this event, we feel more equipped with the knowledge that we have gathered to establish our own Pro Bono Society, and we look forward to the next upcoming, productive day.

    Today’s event allowed us to develop a closer relationship with the NUS students, and some NUS students have even emphasized that they would “gladly assist us or collaborate with us if we do establish a club”. Furthermore, we feel that the Pro Bono Society is now within closer reach for us to establish. Today was a good day.

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