Queen Mary University of London was approached by the Office of the Judiciary of Thailand to design and deliver a bespoke training programme for their leading judges focused on employment law. In Thailand, Judges are selected to engage in training abroad, to get a better understanding of foreign judiciary practice so that it might inform their work domestically – or lead to changes and innovations in Thai law.
Queen Mary and the GPI adding design and deliver a course in employment law related to top-flight sports professionals. We also broadened the brief – adding sessions on the differences between EU and UK law and marine law. There were additional considerations needed for understanding UK culture, through day trips and field trips, in the two weeks the party of delegates would be joining us.
We decided to leverage our contacts between the School of Law and London-based legal firms to bring in as many external practitioners as possible, mixing them with our academic talent. Of the sessions delivered, 50% of them involved practitioners from our industrial networks.
Our use of external practitioners formed allowed us to maintain high levels of engagement – but were mindful of delivering a course that was more than interactive slide-focused lectures. We integrated activity-based workshops into each training day – focused on putting the content of the lecture in to practice with individual and group activities. We added field trips to employment tribunals across London, and the Royal Courts of Justice, for delegates to sit in live tribunal sessions and meet the judges holding them. The training concluded with a simulation of an employment tribunal, with delegates taking on roles.
Networking dinners between delegates and senior Queen Mary staff members bookended the course and, on the weekend, we arranged a cultural trip to Bath and Oxford. The highlight of the course for many was the meeting with the audience and the Thai Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
The party of delegates included early career and senior judges, including a Vice-President of the Thai Supreme Court. Delegates informed us they would be taking back the theory and practice learned to inform their future work within the Thai judicial system. We were told by their Vice-President, the most influential areas of the programme were sports law, health and safety regulation, and legislation surrounding race and gender discrimination.
In all our bespoke projects, delegate feedback is of the highest importance. In face to face sessions we will use paper forms in session to ensure a high response rate. This is then followed up with a link to an online version of the form, to those who were not identified as respondents in order to gather further feedback. Depending on the final platform used, our online provision can have feedback forms embedded within the collaboration space, with a task assigned to the learner to provide feedback. Queen Mary has a standard feedback from for our executive education, however this can be tailored to suit the needs of any partners, as it was for the Thai Judiciary, to overcome language barriers. When feedback was collated from the Thai Judiciary project, we received the following results:
- 92% felt course content was “very good”, with all respondents scoring us “good” or “very good”
- 96% felt their lead tutor was “very good”, with all respondents scoring us “good” or “very good”
- 65% felt the organisation of the course was “very good”, with all respondents scoring us “good” or “very good”
- 73% of respondents would recommend us to colleagues.
"Committed to training public servants"
Professor Colin Grant, Vice-Principal (International) at Queen Mary, said: “Queen Mary is committed to training public servants in Thailand and the wider world; our new Global Engagement Strategy and path-breaking Global Policy Institute support a strong translational agenda and engagement with international policy-makers.
“With the Eastern Economic Corridor and Thailand 4.0 projects well under way, this is a highly exciting time to be working with Thailand to support knowledge exchange, create mobility opportunities and push innovation.
“Being awarded this contract is testament to Queen Mary’s expertise and reputation in Law globally, and in Thailand particularly, as many Thai judges have completed an LLM at the University.”
Queen Mary has enrolled almost 400 Thai students on its LLM programmes in the past seven years alone, with another 50 anticipated later this month. As part of the The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) strand of Queen Mary’s Global Engagement Strategy, the University will be strengthening its relationships with Chulalongkorn University, Thammasat University and Mahidol University.
In February this year, Thailand announced its Eastern Economic Corridor project, which aims to develop the country’s eastern provinces into a leading ASEAN economic zone and diversify its economy. Thailand’s 4.0 initiative is also an economic drive to make Thailand a knowledge economy and connect the country to the global community.