Legal Systems in South East Asia (LAWS5194)


This unit introduces students to the legal systems of Southeast Asia, focusing on Indonesia and Malaysia. The course emphasises legal pluralism - that is, the operation of different bodies of law for particular groups in those countries, colonial, national, Islamic and customary law - and compares how countries in Southeast Asia have handled it. The Indonesia component of the course will be taught at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, which has one of Indonesia's finest law faculties. Students will learn the fundamentals of the Indonesian legal system. The component will be geared towards not only those who want to practice commercial law in Indonesia, but also those who are interested in other areas, including law reform, human rights, Islamic law, constitutional law, environmental law and criminal law. The Malaysian component will be taught at the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur, which has one of the largest and most prestigious law faculties in Malaysia. Established in 1983, the faculty has sought to teach and provide expertise on harmonizing Shari'a with Civil and Common Law. Students will learn the fundamentals of the Malaysian legal system in the contexts of Malaysia's competing ethnicities, political and economic reform and the harmonization of laws. A particular focus will be on the dual banking system and the role of Islamic law in the development of trade, banking and finance.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Intensive mode. Teaching takes place in July in Indonesia and Malaysia as part of the Southeast Asian Winter School.


Take-home exam (100%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


LAWS3494 or LAWS6149

Additional Information

Enrolment in the winter school is by application to the Law School.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.