Indonesia's Constitutional Court: Safeguarding Democratic Transition?

27 October 2010

Sydney Law School would like to extend its congratulations to Senior Lecturer, Dr Simon Butt, on securing the Sydney Law School's first Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellowship.

"This is a magnificent achievement," said Acting Dean, Professor Patrick Parkinson AM.

"The ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowships are very prestigious and only 2 were awarded in Law this year, with only 108 across all disciplines throughout Australia."

Dr Butt's project is entitled, Indonesia's Constitutional Court: Safeguarding Democratic Transition?

The project will analyse the Indonesian Constitutional Court's decisions in election-related cases andwill examine the Court's role in maintaining democracy and, ultimately, the national unity of Indonesia.

"Indonesia is now one of the most electorally democratic countries in the world, with around 500 parliaments and executive governments, all freely and fairly elected," Dr Butt explained.

"My research looks at how disputes over election results are resolved in Indonesia, particularly by the Constitutional Court.

"Several hundred electoral disputes have been lodged with the Court.

"In its decisions, the Court has enforced candidacy requirements, reallocated seats, ordered recounts and even required elections to be held again.

"Parties and candidates affected by Constitutional Court decisions have largely respected them.

"This is striking because Indonesian politics is highly fragmented and elected office is hotly contested.

"This research analyses election-related disputes the Court has decided and seeks to explain why parties and candidates tend to voluntarily comply with the Court's decisions."

Dr Butt's Discovery Project was one of five awarded to staff from the Sydney Law School to commence from 2011.

It is scheduled for completion by 2014.

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 0619160e18292d1c5d0a1a0a0d3c190c3d14090a1c497b151d247a5814