The Cornell Law School and the Thai Bar Association have forged a scholarship and exchange program honoring Cornell alumna, Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol, LL.M. '02 and J.S.D. '05, known to friends and colleagues as "Princess Pat." She is a member of the Thail Bar Association, which is sponsoring the program with the law school, and a prosecutor in the Thai Ministry of Justice.
The fund will provide a scholarship of one year's tuition and living expenses for a Thai student with especially outstanding qualifications, including successful completion of the Thai bar exam. Once nominated by the Thailand Bar Association, the first recipient of the new fellowship is expected to attend Cornell Law School in fall 2007. The fund also will support a scholarly exchange program for law teachers and scholars from Cornell and leading Thai universities and legal institutions.
Stewart J. Schwab, Cornell's Allan R. Tessler Dean and professor of law, signed a memorandum of agreement for the program in January, when a Cornell delegation met with alumni and faculty at various law schools during a 10-day trip to Thailand and Japan. The event was part of a gala celebration for 300 people shown on Thai national television.
Schwab was accompanied by his wife, Norma Schwab, Cornell associate university counsel; by John J. Barceló III, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of International and Comparative Law; and law school benefactor Jack Clarke, LL.B. '52.
"We greatly value our growing interactions with law faculties and our alumni throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia," said Schwab. "The 21st century is the century of globalization, a process that both shapes and is shaped by law and legal institutions throughout the world. Cornell Law School is committed to being a leader in this process."
Schwab said Thailand "has a unique" legal history having long ago "adapted some Western legal practices without having them imposed as part of colonialization."
He added: "We deeply appreciate our very special relationship with Thailand. As an important developing country, contemporary Thailand confronts legal issues today that are challenging and fascinating. We at Cornell gain much from our ties with Thai universities and are grateful to the Thai Bar and to Princess Bajrakitiyabha herself for their initiative."
"Princess Pat is both the inspiration and the model for this new scholarship and exchange program," said Barceló. "We at Cornell are absolutely delighted that this new fund has been established and that it has been named in the princess's honor."
In Japan, the Cornell delegation met with a large group of law school alumni and with the law faculties of Keio University and Waseda University, with whom the Cornell Law School has exchange agreements. They also met with alumni representatives of the Mori Hamada law firm, which has established the Mori Hamada Exchange Fund to support the exchange of legal scholars between the law school and Japan.