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Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns

Belgian diplomat and adviser to King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who ‒together with other Belgian lawyers‒ reformed the Thai legal system and established law courts. As founder of the International Law Institute, he also mediated in making a state treaty between France, England and Thailand, which safeguarded the country against foreign colonial rule. It was on the invitation of Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns that the Belgian physician Dr. Eugene Reytter (fig.) in 1895 came to Siam, where he was for 17 years the personal physician of King Chulalongkorn. Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns' merit in 1898 availed him the title of Chao Phraya Aphai Raja, the highest noble title ever given to a foreign national. This happened only twice in Thai history, the first time to the Greek Phaulkon, an adviser to King Narai during the Ayutthaya Period. Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns received a statue at the Faculty of Law at the Thammasat University, yet the bust-like statue was in March 2021 officially handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand in order to be placed at the Thai Embassy in Brussels.