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Showing posts from November, 2019

Constitutionalism after Authoritarian Rule

In volume 11 of the Hague Journal of the Rule of Law, a special issue in honour of Martin Krygier was published. This is my contribution to the volume. The work of Martin Krygier addresses many of the central intellectual and political issues of our times – the role of the state, the tragedy of genocide, the need for democratic institutions, and the paradoxical importance and irrelevance of law and legal institutions. The rule of law and constitutionalism, and the struggle to embed these ideals in societies post-communism, has occupied much of the thinking of Martin’s work.                  I.            From Academia to the World The versatility of Martin’s work is evident in its reach beyond the confines of academic theory to constitutional and political practise. One example is Martin’s role and leadership in the Australia-Myanmar Constitutional Democracy Project (‘the Project’). The Project integrates research on the rule of law, constitutionalism, human rights an

Illiberalism and Democratic Illusions in Myanmar: Constitutional Reform as Political Capital

*This article first appeared in New Mandala on 20 November 2019  Available also in Burmese , and in Bahasa Indonesia . Political actors in Myanmar are in a struggle over constitutional reform, which is a form of political capital. All the key political actors want to control the prospects for constitutional reform and benefit from the political capital this opportunity offers. Among these actors are the military, as the most powerful and unaccountable political actor. It also includes the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) which is the proxy political party for the military. Ethnic political parties also play a role as a small but diverse group connected to the multiple ethnic armed organisations scattered across the country. Finally, of course, the National League for Democracy (NLD), Aung San Suu Kyi’s political party. Each of these political actors want to claim that they pushed forward constitutional reforms in the hopes it will boost their popularity ahead

Indonesia Council law panels

The Indonesia Council is being held from 20-21 November 2019 at ANU. The following panels focus on constitutional law in Indonesia Wednesday,  9:00-10:30am Panel 1: Constitutionalism and the Courts in Indonesia Chair: Melissa Crouch, UNSW Attacking Free Expression and the Rise of Authoritarianism in Indonesia Herlambang P. Wiratraman Indonesia’s democracy is challenged by the increasingly authoritarian model of governance (Power 2018; Wiratraman 2018, 2019; Heufer 2017). First, the political pattern established by the New Order continues to be influential; many practices are still rooted in its bureaucratic systems. This pattern was characterised by corruption and the use of political violence to resolve social-economic conflicts. Second, the state has shown a lack of political commitment to strengthen human rights, seemingly leading to circles of impunity (Wiratraman 2019). Unsurprisingly, the authorities readily reproduced numerous draconian laws which thr

Protecting Rights, Addressing Inequality

Workshop on the Promise of Writs as Constitutional Transfer Here is the final program for the workshop this week at UNSW Laws Friday 15 November 2019 9:45-10am – Welcome and Introductions UNSW Law Welcome Melissa Crouch Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Welcome Ms Gisela Elsner, Head of the Rule of Law Programme Asia 10am-10:45 – Alternative Histories of Modern Judicial Review Speaker: Melissa Crouch Chair: Theunis Roux Commentators: Mayur Suresh, SOAS 11:15-12:00pm Locus Standi in Habeas Corpus Petitions and India’s PIL Jurisdiction Speaker: Anuj Bhuwania Chair: Melissa Crouch Commentators: Theunis Roux 12:15-1:00pm Cutting a New Edge: Using Writs to Define Rights (Sri Lanka) Speaker: Mario Gomez Chair: Tarun Khaitan Commentators: Rosalind Dixon 2:00-2:45pm Writ Petition in the Unmaking and Remaking of Informality Speaker: Yugank Goyal Chair: Theunis Roux Commentators: Amy Cohen 2:45-3:30 Sri Lanka’s Writ Jurisdiction: Legal Transfer

Indonesian Constitutional Court International Symposium

The third I ndonesia Constitutional Court International Symposium 2019 (ICCIS 2019) will be held on Monday 4 November 2019 in Bali. From 6-7th Nov, there will be an academic conference on ' Constitutional Courts and the Protection of Social and Economic Rights'. It even has its own youtube video . My paper will focus on " Court Reform after Authoritarian Rule: Specialised Courts and Corruption in Indonesia ".  Abstract: Democratic transitions from authoritarian rule usually lead to a process of court reform. Indeed, court reform has been a central pillar of the law and development movement since the 1960s. What are the challenges for court reform after authoritarian rule? To what extent can specialized courts overcome these challenges? In this article, I examine court reform in Indonesia post-1998 and its strategy of establishing specialized courts. Building on the work of Daniel S Lev, I suggest we need to pay attention to the politics of court reform after aut

Book Launch: The Politics of Court Reform

On Monday 18 November, the UNSW Bookroom will host a book launch of " The Politics of Court Reform: Judicial Change and Legal Culture in Indonesia" (CUP 2019) Chair: Jacqueline Vel, w ith authors Melissa Crouch, Theunis Roux, Indri Saptaningrun, Herlambang Perdana and Fritz Siregar Indonesia is the world's third largest democracy and its courts are an important part of its democratic system of governance. Since the transition from authoritarian rule in 1998, a range of new specialised courts have been established from the Commercial Courts to the Constitutional Court and the Fisheries Court. In addition, constitutional and legal changes have affirmed the principle of judicial independence and accountability. The growth of Indonesia's economy means that the courts are facing greater demands to resolve an increasing number of disputes. This event will launch the volume, which offers an analysis of the politics of court reform through a review of judicial change a