Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2019

AMR LSA Book Panel: The Constitution of Myanmar

Author Meets Reader Session: The Constitution of Myanmar: Local and Comparative Challenges for Constitutionalism This session will discuss the book, The Constitution of Myanmar: A Contextual Analysis, and consider the implications of this work for comparative law and society research in the field of constitutional law and politics. The book identifies how people in Myanmar understand and use the 2008 Constitution. This book suggests that the Constitution is crucial to the establishment and maintenance of the military-state. The military-state promotes the role of the military in governance, enforces an ideology developed during military rule, and organises institutions of the state around the principle of cooperative centralism. This timely book offers an important perspective on the role of law and legal institutions in Myanmar's authoritarian regime. Chaired by Dr Nick Cheesman, the panel includes:  Cynthia Farid , University of Wisconsin Law School   Professor

Time to Reverse the Indonesian Language Disaster on our Shores

*This article first appeared in The Interpreter on 15 May 2019. Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong’s efforts to set out a vision for Australia’s foreign policy on Asia, embodied in Labor’s “ FutureAsia ” plans, are admirable. The specific focus of fostering knowledge of and engagement with Southeast Asia is welcome. A key part of enhancing Southeast Asia knowledge capability is investing in languages, with Indonesian being the most obvious example. Australia needs to begin by taking positive steps to address the image problem of Indonesia that affects interest in Indonesian language studies. Several years ago, I taught Indonesian in a primary school and high school in Victoria. In the classroom, I was confronted by my students’ negative perceptions of Indonesia. I had assumed that students might want to study Indonesian, at the very least in the hopes of going on a future holiday to Bali and learning how to bargain in the markets. Instead, it was clear

ASAA feedback from members sought on FOR codes

If you are a member of the Asian Studies Association of Australia, we are seeking your feedback on the review that is currently underway into the Australian New Zealand Standard Research Classification system. This is the system which organises the Field of Research (FOR) codes by which our research is classified for government and reporting purposes. As you will be aware, these FOR codes are important, among other purposes, for classifying research projects in the ARC and for evaluating research quality through the ERA (Excellence in Research for Australia) process. You can read more about the review here: The existing FOR structure is organised according to broad areas at the two-digit level, and into disciplines at the four-digit level. At the level of the six-digit codes, some allowance is made for recognition of Asia-focused research in several disciplines (see list below) but with numerous omissions. The ERA process takes place at the

Australia Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA): Career Champion

*This interview first appeared on the Australia Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA) website on 10 May 2019 Welcome to the  Career Champion Series ! This series is dedicated to the contributions of those who provide inspiration and enhance understanding between Australians and Indonesians. Celebrating the work and dedication they have put in, we featured their profile at AIYA Blog. This week we are joined by Melissa Crouch. Associate Professor Melissa Crouch is based at the Law Faculty of the University of New South Wales, Australia. Working closely to the socio-legal field research in Southeast Asia, Melissa pays particular attention to constitutional and legal developments in Indonesia and Southeast Asia more broadly. Her research has been published in leading academic journals including the  International Journal of Constitutional Law , the  Sydney Law Review,  and  Asian Studies Review . How did you become interested in Indonesia? I studied Indonesian in high

Hope, Despair and the New Normal in Myanmar

*This article first appeared in The Interpreter on 9 May 2019.   Human rights advocates had a rare chance to celebrate yesterday as two local Reuters journalists were released from prison. Their situation is viewed by the international community as a test case of the political reform process in Myanmar. The case is a remind of the mixed feelings of both despair and hope about the relationship between Myanmar and the international community, and the absence of a commitment by the government and the military to basic human rights. The arrest of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo , two local journalists, garnered global attention in late 2017 because of their connection to Reuters as an international news outlet. It demanded attention because the journalists were covering what the  UN Fact Finding Mission has identified  as credible markers of genocide in Rakhine State. At a meeting with the police in Yangon in late 2017, the two journalists were arrested for allegedly possessing

Teaching as a Subversive Activity

On 27-28 November, UNSW Law will be hosting a conference on legal education. The theme of the 2019 conference is: ‘T eaching as a Subversive Activity ’. We will be looking for panels, papers, posters and performances on legal education research related to the theme, which we have drawn from Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner’s classic Teaching as a Subversive Activity (1969). We take this to mean the consideration of research into legal education as lifetime learning, as ‘crap-detecting’, as creating meaning, as transformative and as developing world-changing thinking within the legal context. In an age when everyone aspires to teach critical thinking skills in the classroom (or, at least, no teacher would say they want to produce uncritical students!), what does it mean today to be a subversive law teacher? Who or what might a subversive law teacher seek to subvert – the authority of the law, the university, their own authority as teachers, perhaps? Are law students ripe for