Law and Society in Indonesia

26 June 2012

This unit provices an introduction to the Indonesian legal system and provides a background on Indonesian history, economics, politics, religions and cultures.

Law and Society in Indonesia examines aspects of the colonial legal system introduced by the Dutch and the Japanese before Indonesia's independence in 1945 before turning to the legal systems that emerged during the 50 years of authoritarian rule of presidents Soekarno and Soeharto.

"We often hear that Australia's future prosperity is tied to its economic, social and political engagement with Asia," says Lecturer, Dr Simon Butt.

"However, interest in Indonesia, located directly to the north of Australia, is often overwhelmed by interest in other Asian countries such as China and India.

"This needs to change as we enter the 'Asian Century'.

"Indonesia is set to become the world's fourth largest economy in the coming decades, and is the largest in our region.

"It has the fourth largest population (almost 250 million) and more Muslims than any other country.

"Yet the country, and its legal system, is often misunderstood by foreigners, including Australians, thereby hindering engagement and leading to lost business opportunities.

"This course examines a wide variety of topics relating to the legal system of our northern neighbour, including Indonesia's post-Soeharto reforms, commercial law, Islamic law and (mis)perceptions of the Indonesian legal system."

The course concludes with several case studies, including the position of Islamic and customary law in Indonesia, the legal ramifications of decentralisation, human rights and the Constitutional Court, corruption, and doing business in Indonesia.

The unit is open to Sydney LLB and Sydney JD as well as cross-institutional students.

Penultimate year Sydney LLB students who wish to enrol in the South East Asia Winter School in 2013 may like to enrol in this unit by substituting it for a compulsory unit of study.

Semester 2 2012, Mondays and Wednesdays, 11am to 1pm
Commencing 30 July
Law School Lecture Theatre 107, Sydney Law School (F10)
1 x Take-home exam (30%)
1 x 4,000 word research essay (70%)
Applicable degree
Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
Juris Doctor (JD)
To enrol in this unit, visit or complete a variation of enrolment request.

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 371a0b335d120655172a583e22383631050d161d173b1c4a220f5e3538