Kittipong Kittayarak

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Kittipong Kittayarak


Peter W. Martin

Resource Type

Video Interview

Date of Recording





From the video archives of the Cornell Law School Heritage Project. The interviewer is Peter W. Martin; the videographer, Jae-Hyon Ahn. This video contains an interview with Kittipong Kittayarak, Cornell Law School LLM 1983, covering his initial impressions of U.S. legal education and Cornell, his experience while a student in Ithaca, his subsequent graduate work in the U.S. and work on Thai criminal law reform.

Kittipong Kittayarak received his first law degree, an LLB from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. In 1983 he earned an LLM from Cornell Law School after which he returned to Thailand to qualify for the Thai Bar. He then returned to North America to earn an LLM from Harvard in 1988 and a JSD from Stanford in 1990.

Today he is Executive Director of the Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) and Professor of Law at Chulalongkorn University.

Dr. Kittipong has long been involved in judicial and criminal justice reform in Thailand. He served on the Senate's Judicial Committee from 1994-99, the Constitution Drafting Committee in 1997, and the Law Reform Commission from 2004-06. He also served on the Police Reform Commission from 2006-08.

He is known as a champion for the reform of Thai criminal justice towards due process and the rule of law, and for pioneering the implementation of restorative justice and community justice programs. He was deeply involved in the National Reconciliation Committee from 2005-06 which focused on conflicts in the deep south of Thailand and was a member of the Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand from 2010-12. He served for six years as Permanent Secretary for Justice from 2008-14 and was the youngest civil servant to serve in this capacity.

Dr. Kittipong has received many honors including Fulbright Scholar in 1987-90 and Eisenhower Fellow in 2001. In 2000 he was selected Man of the Year by the Association for the Promotion of Women's Status Under the Royal Patronage.

Before becoming director of the Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ) he served as Advisor to the Prime Minister. The TIJ works to promote justice as it relates to UN standards and norms. Dr. Kittypong is working toward TIJ becoming a member of the Institutes of the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (PNI).


Cornell Law School, Cornell Law School alumni


The initial phase of this project was sponsored by a generous grant from the law firm of Sutherland Asbill and Brennan LLP.