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Whither academic freedom in Thailand? The criminal case against Dr Chayan and four others

Public Forum


Dr Craig Reynolds, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific; Prof Jacqueline Lo, ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences; Sarah Bishop, ANU College of Law.


Sir Roland Wilson Building (Building 120), ANU


Thursday, 23 August, 2018 - 13:00 to 14:00

The criminal trial of a senior Thai academic along with four others that commenced this July 2018 has thrown a sharp spotlight on conditions in Thailand’s universities since the military seized government there in 2014.

Dr Chayan Vaddhanaphuti, Director of the Regional Centre for Social Science and Sustainable Department at Chiang Mai University, three students and a translator are being tried for violating an army order against political assemblies. Their criminal trial arises from a small protest against the monitoring and recording by state officers of proceedings at the International Thai Studies Conference held at Chiang Mai University in July 2017. Participants at the conference held signs reading “an academic forum is not a military camp”.

What does this criminal case indicate about the state of academic freedom under military dictatorship in Thailand today? What part can scholars abroad, including in Australia, play in supporting embattled counterparts in Thailand? The speakers at this roundtable will address these questions, and also discuss and welcome audience members’ ideas on the role of the Australian university in response to threats to academic freedom at home and overseas, with special reference to the recent ANU Statement on Academic Freedom.


Dr Craig Reynolds, Honorary Professor, School of Culture, History and Language, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Professor Jacqueline Lo, Professor, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences; Chair, ANU Academic Board

Sarah Bishop, PhD candidate, ANU College of Law

Venue: Lecture Theatre 2.02, Sir Roland Wilson Building #120 McCoy Circuit, Acton.

This forum is co-hosted by the Department of Political & Social Change, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific, and the Centre for International & Public Law, ANU College of Law.





Nick Cheesman

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Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team