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Showing posts from June, 2017

Courts and Constitutionalism in Contemporary Asia

Next week at the ICON conference we have a panel lined up on "Courts and Constitutionalism in Contemporary Asia".  This panel seeks to explore the role of courts and how and why they do (or do not) contribute to building constitutionalism in contemporary Asia. The last few decades have seen the creation of a range of new and specialized courts in Asia, including constitutional courts. The role, function and authority of courts and the extent of judicial review powers varies across the region. What is common to these courts is the potential and risk of becoming deeply involved in matters of politics. In some countries, courts have come to play a critical role in building constitutionalism, but more often in Asia courts remain peripheral to the project of building constitutionalism. This panel seeks to explore and explain the role of courts in Myanmar, China, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Paper 1: Dialogue Among Dictators and the Many Lives of Constitution

Roundtable discussion: Indonesia's Election Supervisory Board:

  Indonesia's Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu):  Working Towards Election Integrity   On 29 June 2017, we were delighted to hosted g uest speaker Dr Fritz Edward Siregar.  In the last week of June 2017, UNSW Law was delighted to welcome Dr Fritz Siregar, an alumni of UNSW Law, as a visiting scholar.  While here, Fritz gave an engaging seminar on his new and important role as Commissioner of the Indonesian Elections Supervisory Board (2017-2022).  The electoral laws in Indonesia are currently undergoing major changes, and preparations will begin this year for the organisation and supervision of the impending April 2019 presidential and parliamentary national elections. Fritz and Dr Melissa Crouch of UNSW Law currently hold a  UNSW Indonesia Seed Fund grant and a ANU Indonesia Research Fund grant to study judicial independence, the elections and the courts in Indonesia. They hosted a seminar on "Judicial Independence and the Courts" in Jakarta in January 2

AsianLII Myanmar database expansion

AsianLII has recently expanded its database coverage of the All India Reporter  * All India Reporter - Oudh (6,330 documents)    < > * All India Reporter - Calcutta (11,000 documents)    < > * All India Reporter - Madras (12,877 documents)    < > * All India Reporter - Nagpur (5,224 documents)    < > * All India Reporter - Allahabad (3,750 documents)    < > * All India Reporter - Sind (2,477 documents)    < > In 2016, AsianLII launched its latest free legal database: the Myanmar/Burma Online Legal Database: . T he collection includes a wide range of laws, articles, local and international case law an

Just published: Emergency Powers in Indonesia

The exercise of emergency powers is always controversial. in a new article "The Expansion of Emergency Powers", I identify the expansion of the type and scope of emergency powers through legislative reform. I examine the Indonesian Law on Social Conflict 2012, which allows a state of social conflict to be declared at the national, regional or local level in response to social conflict, such as conflict between religious or ethnic communities. The deliberate choice of the term “state of social conflict”, rather than “state of emergency”, is an attempt to obscure the nature of these powers. Analysis of these powers and the debate that has ensued suggests that the law expands the types of situation in which powers usually only reserved for an emergency are used, and by delegating this power to local authorities, the law in effect amounts to the expansion of emergency powers. I suggest that this should lead to renewed focus on meaningful limits and checks on the exercise of powe

New book Pluralism, Transnationalism and Culture

Professor Gary Bell has recently published an edited volume on " Pluralism, Transnationalism and Culture in Asian Law" (2017) in honor of M B Hooker, a scholar whose work left a significant legacy in the field of Southeast Asian law. It was a privilege to be a part of the international workshop held in 2012. More d etails of the book can be found here . The abstract of the book is as follows: " To honour this great scholar, this book gathers essays from admirers and friends who add their own contributions on legal pluralism, transnationalism and culture in Asia. The book opens with an account of M.B. Hooker colourful and prolific career. The authors then approach legal pluralism through legal theory, legal anthropology, comparative law, law and religion, constitutional law, even Islamic art, thus reflecting the broad approaches of Professor Hooker's scholarship. While most of the book focuses mainly on Southeast Asia, it also reaches out to all of Asia up to

Podcast on Islam and the State

The ANU Myanmar Research Centre has initiated a Myanmar Musings podcast series, led by Luke Corbin. I recently appeared on the program to discuss my book "Islam and the State in Myanmar." The podcast is available here  A range of other great podcasts are available, including recent podcasts with Nick Cheesman (ANU) on his book Opposing the Rule of Law , and with Jane Ferguson on Making Sense of the Census .