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Workshop on Courts, Power and Legal Process in Indonesia

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Staff Common Room, Level 2, Building F8, UNSW Law Faculty, Kensington Campus, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

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This workshop on “Courts, Power and Legal Process in Indonesia” will reflect on the growth in the role and function of courts in Indonesia. 20 years on from Indonesia’s democratic transition, there has not yet been a thorough analysis of how and why Indonesia’s courts have changed, and what this says about power and legal culture today. The common theoretical point of reference for this workshop is the seminal work of the late Professor Dan S Lev, a pioneer in the study of courts and legal process in Indonesia. Lev’s work was grounded in a socio-legal approach to the study of law, and his work spans an impressive range of themes related to courts, judges, lawyers and politics in Indonesia from the 1960s to 2000s. The papers in this workshop seek to reinvigorate and affirm the importance of Lev’s work for the study of courts in Indonesia today. Offering new and empirically informed perspectives on important developments in the courts, this panel seeks to bring the study of Indonesian courts into the broader view of literature and debates on the politics of courts. While there are new trends in courts in Indonesia – such as the marked tendency towards the creation of specialised courts – our working presumption is that many of the broader ideas articulated by Lev are still of relevance.

Each chapter will include vital background analysis of the establishment, powers and function of a court or legal institution. The chapters will also offer original, substantive analysis of how and why the court is used today, and how it fits into the broader judicial system and legal culture in Indonesia. That is, what role do the courts play in Indonesia today, and how has this shaped legal culture? After a broader overview of each court, the authors may use a case study on an aspect of the courts’ caseload or a particularly topical issue that illustrates how the court works and what role it plays in contemporary Indonesia.


9:30 -10:45 Session 1

Courts and Legal Culture in Indonesia – Melissa Crouch, UNSW

Anti-corruption Courts – Simon Butt, Sydney University


11:00-12:00 – Session 2

Human Rights Courts – Ken Setiawan, University of Melbourne

The Media and the Courts – Ross Tapsell, ANU

1:30-2:30 – Session 3

The Supreme Court and Reformasi: The Struggle for Power, Status and Authority – Rifqi S Assegaf, University of Melbourne

The District Courts – Daniel Pascoe, City University of Hong Kong


2:30-3:30 Session 4

The Fisheries Court – Indri Saptaningrum, UNSW

The Constitutional Court – Fritz Siregar, Jentera Law School

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Staff Common Room, Level 2, Building F8, UNSW Law Faculty, Kensington Campus, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

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