SEAMEO Secretariat Legal Advisor
Compiled by Rachanee Kanthongkul (AO)

In accordance with the Council Resolution at the 6th SEAMEO Council Conference in 1971 which reads that SEAMES retains a Legal Advisor and his services be made available at meetings of Governing Boards if requested by the Centre concerned, the Secretariat has been using the services of the Legal Advisors as follows:

1972-1976 : Ukrit Mongkolnavin Law Office
    (Service agreement termination in 1976 due to legal matters concerning SEAMEO membership, please refer to the Resolution at 11th SEAMEO Council Conference in 1976*)
1976-1981 : International Legal Counsellors Thailand Ltd./Dr Sutharm Valaisathien
    (The service contract was on annual basis, but not continued as from 1 July 1981 due to limitation of the budget)
1981-1987 : Prof Dr Adul Wichiencharoen, SEAMEO Secretariat Director
    (He offered to help the organization in legal matters during his term of service as SEAMEO Secretariat Director)
1 Oct 1987-31 Aug 2016 : Prof Dr Adul Wichiencharoen
    (Appointed as SEAMEO Secretariat Legal Advisor commencing 1 October 1987as recommended by PAC, Ref:Confidential PAC' Memorandum dated 18 August1987)
2014-present   Mr Chatri Archjananun
    (Due to Prof Dr Adul's health condition, Mr Chatri has been another SEAMES legal advisor in addition to Prof Dr Adul since 2014)

* 11th SEAMEO Council Conference in 1976, Plenary Session

22. Proposed Revised SEAMES Budgets for FY 1976/1977 and FY 1977/1978

Working paper No 16 was presented by the SEAMES Assistant Director for Finance. Following the presentation, the Head of the Thai delegation expressed his appreciation for the attempt of the Secretariat to reduce expenditure in view of the change in the political situation.

Referring to the budget item on Professional Services in the proposed budgets, the Head of the Indonesian delegation proposed that the services of the present SEAMES legal adviser should not be continued. His Excellency was of the opinion that the legal adviser's treatment of the problem of Council quorum was not sufficiently constructive. The SEAMES Deputy Director informed the Conference that the services of the present SEAMES legal adviser had so far been adequate in routine legal matters, and further clarified that since the problems related to the Council quorum was a unique situation without precedent, the Secretariat decided to seek additional legal advice from Prof Adul Wichiencharoen, who recommended the adoption of a Provisional Modus Operandi.

It was to be understood that Prof Adul would not be in a position to provide legal service to the Secretariat on a regular basis. Furthermore, the Secretariat had already committed itself for the services of the present SEAMES legal adviser up to December 31, 1976. The Head of the Indonesian delegation emphasized the importance of having high quality legal advice and proposed that the Secretariat should try to renegotiate with the present legal adviser with a view to shorten his period of service. The SEAMES Director agreed to act accordingly.

The Council then adopted the following resolutions:


  1. That the Council instruct the SEAMES Director to renegotiate with the present SEAMES legal adviser with the aim of terminating his services on June 30, 1976, or earlier if possible, and to engage other lawyers on a retainer or a case to case basis.
  2. That the Council approve the revised budgets of the Secretariat for FY 1976/1977 and FY 1977/1978 in the amounts of US$262,200 and US$273,000, respectively.