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SCENARIO 1 :

GETTING HELP ABROAD

Common Instructions: PLEASE READ

Problem and Background

Cecilia is a mid-level corporate associate working for a law firm in Hong Kong.  The law firm encourages associates to engage in pro-bono activities and organizes various placements with NGOs both in Hong Kong and overseas.  Cecilia agreed to go on an 8-week placement to Bangkok, Thailand to work at an NGO which provides housing and social support services to homeless families.  The NGO is extremely under-resourced, and relies heavily on outside support. The law firm does not have an office in Thailand, so during her placement it was agreed that Cecilia would work at the offices of the NGO and report to the NGO's office manager.

In order to further support the work of the NGO, the law firm agreed that it would engage consultants to provide advice and support to the NGO on a longer-term basis.  The law firm has appointed 3 consultants from Thailand who are also based at the NGO office and are assisting the NGO with specific projects over a 6-month basis.

One week into her placement, Cecilia attended an off-site strategy meeting with all NGO staff and consultants, with the aim of discussing funding and new project initiatives.  During a break, one of the consultants engaged by the law firm pestered Cecilia for a date and touched her inappropriately.  When she complained he pushed her and she tripped over some uneven flooring, injuring her knee.  Cecilia was very upset and immediately took a taxi back to her hotel.

Cecilia would like to explore what her options are for complaining about the consultant's conduct.  Cecilia decides she wants to file a police report against the consultant. However, she is unsure how to do so, as she does not speak Thai, does not know where the police stations are located and is also unsure as to whether she would need to find a lawyer to go with her. 

 

In addition, Cecilia is concerned about the injury to her knee.  She thinks she may need some ongoing medical treatment, and does not know whether she can recover any costs and losses incurred as a result of her injury under the firm's travel and medical insurance policy.

 

Finally, Cecilia thinks that the consultant's conduct might amount to sexual harassment, but she does not know whether she has any rights in Hong Kong, given she is working on a volunteer basis and in an overseas country.

Task Prompt / Guidance

Can you please design and develop prototype of a software tool that assists Cecilia? You may develop your solution around one of the following situations. However, they are provided for guidance. If you would like to address situations other than those listed below, please be prepared in presenting your solutions to demonstrate recognition of the same level of practicality and reality and answer related questions from the judging panel.
 

  1. Cecilia has been stressed about working abroad while having to find out information by herself when she needed legal assistance. She would like to help those in a similar situation going on overseas secondments or work trips who might be involved in an accident, crime or other situations requiring legal assistance. Ideally, there would be a resource that allows an employee to check insurance policy coverage and assist in insurance claims.

  2. Cecilia has opted to file a police complaint.  She is concerned about any language barrier lawyer with experience in this kind of incident, where the nearest police station is and have access to a service to have real-time translation in case she needs this at the police station or when communicating with the police afterwards.

  3. Cecilia does not want to file any claim in relation to sexual harassment at this stage, as she would rather raise it internally with the firm in the first instance.  However, she would like to know what her rights are in due course in case she is retaliated against for raising a concern or is unhappy with the firm's response.  She would like to find out more about which lawyers could assist, but wants to also make sure it is someone who is experienced in this particular area and who is recommended by others.  

Further Readings and Resources

  1. www.gov.uk/world/thailand#/world/emergency-help-for-british-nationals-thailand 

  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/thailand-list-of-lawyers 

  3. www.eoc.org.hk 

  4. http://www.bkkpages.com/useful/police 

  5. https://www.gov.uk/victim-crime-abroad

  6. https://www.hg.org/law-firms/personal-injury/thailand/bangkok.html 

  7. https://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/public/content2_7.htm