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Showing posts from October, 2017

Religious Deference and the Blasphemy Law in Indonesia

It is a delight to be a University of Indonesia Visiting Fellow this month. On 1-2 November, I will give a paper at a workshop on "Law and Governance in Global Context" at the Law Faculty. My paper is on "The Courts, Religious Deference and the Blasphemy Law in Indonesia" Abstract: The recent criminal trial of Governor of Jakarta, Ahok, has highlighted the controversy over the Blasphemy Law in Indonesia. This raises questions about legal culture, how and why law is used, and the rule of law in Indonesia. My presentation examines the role of fatwa issued against so-called ‘deviant’ religious believers convicted on charges of blasphemy. This is an issue of growing concern in Indonesia, where an increasing number of individuals have been convicted for the offence of blasphemy since 1998. It identifies that fatwa, despite its lack of legal status, may play an influential part in the legal process. A fatwa may be used as a justification or basis for allegations of blas

Implementing New Constitutions Workshop

From 13-14 October 2017, Chicago Law School will be holding a workshop on 'From Parchment to Practise: Implementing New Constitutions'. I will be presenting a paper on " Vehicle for Democratic Transition or Authoritarian Straightjacket? Constitutional Regression and Risks in the Struggle to Change Myanmar’s Constitution ".  The abstract of my paper is as follows: How hard is it to change a constitution that was drafted by an authoritarian regime to legitimate a new political order? What strategies might democratic actors adopt to change such a constitution, and what risks may they face? Democratic actors in Myanmar who seek to change the 2008 Constitution currently face these dilemmas. In the first part of my chapter I introduce the contours and practice of Myanmar’s 2008 Constitution in order to demonstrate the new political order that was set in place by the former military regime. I then explore the different strategies that have been used to change the 2008 Cons

Seminar: The Struggle for Constitutional Rights and Accountability in Asia

On 12 October I will be giving a seminar at Windsor Faculty of Law, Ontario, Canada. My paper is on: "The Struggle for Constitutional Rights and Accountability in Asia." Abstract:  The courts are often a key site of the struggle for rights and administrative accountability. In this article, I highlight an important yet understudied avenue for both the historical and contemporary study of comparative administrative law: the constitutional writs. I demonstrate that the constitutional writs are an example of a British colonial legal transplant that originated from the common law and then took on a new life in constitutions across former British colonies from the 1940s to 1980s, particularly across South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, as well as parts of Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean. I illustrate the history and development of this model, transforming from the common law remedies of England to a significant constitutional means of

Call for panels on Asian Law for the Asian Studies Association of Australia

The Asian Studies Association of Australia will hold its next bi-annual conference at the University of Sydney from 3-5 July 2018. We would like to invite submissions of abstracts for law-related panels around the following themes: 1.      Courts and Legal Culture in Asia 2.      Legal Pluralism and Human Rights in Asia 3.      Public Law in Asia If you would like to be considered for one of these panels, please contact Melissa Crouch or Simon Butt by no later than 15 October. If accepted, you will then need to submit your paper abstract and register by 1 November 2017. If you prefer to submit your own panel or individual paper, please see the conference website for further instructions