Dear Participant,

We have received a much larger number of submissions than we expected and are very glad that the topic has the interest of so many scholars. Due to the excessive abstract received by the Committee, we would like to inform you that the announcement of accepted abstract is postponed. Accepted abstract will be announced on Tuesday, 18th July, 2017.

Sorry for the inconvenient.
Thank you for the understanding.

Best Regards,
The Committee


In the last few decades socio-legal approaches have increasingly contributed to the development of legal studies. Socio-legal researchers have questioned assumptions and postulates from doctrinal legal scholars and analysed how the legal system operates in its social and political context. Their criticism and explanation have provided legal studies with more comprehensive understanding on how law operates in all of its aspects.

In Indonesia, socio-legal research has developed in parallel with the emergence of cases in practice which show the gap between law-in-the-books and law-in-action. Reformation has strengthened the legitimacy of socio-legal approaches because they serve three purposes in particular. The first is to understand what the impact and effects of the New Order’s authoritarian legal regime on social, economic and political life in Indonesia. The second is to create regulation that is responsive to the people’s needs and that can actually be implemented. The third is to encourage legal enforcement that aims at realizing objectives rather than merely ‘applying legal rules’. Therefore, socio-legal approach in Indonesia needs to be developed for two important reasons: namely to equip society with the tools to be more critical on state’s legal norms which would potentially violate the rights of citizens as well as to provide substantive inputs to the state’s legal reform agenda, which respects non-state law.

For that reasons, Faculty of Law Universitas Gadjah Mada, the University of Melbourne, the University of Sydney, and Universiteit Leiden / KITLV will organize international conference "Legal Reform in Indonesia: towards Justice" on September 6th-7th, 2017, in Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The Conference invites academics, practitioners, and related institutions to submit paper based on research, case-study, or critical review on socio-legal approach related to Land and Environmental Law, Criminal Law, Anti-Corruption Law, Islamic Law, and Constitutional Law.

Panel Description

Land and Environmental Law

During the last two decades land has been the most important source of conflict in Indonesia. Land conflicts are triggered by different causes, such as contested land claim, lack of compensation for land acquisition, maladministration, dispossession, and regulatory failure. An important issue has also been the state’s refusal to recognise land rights based on Adat Law. While several agrarian reform programs have been initiated, their implementation faces serious constrain by bureaucratic ‘siloism’, which impairs co-ordinated action. Environmental Law has seen similar problems, next to, regulatory disharmony, limited human resources, problems of evidence, and prioritisation of economic reasons such as domestic revenue and employment. Why is it that such factors continue to cause problems concerning land and environment? How can legal reform efforts in land and environment be made more effective?

Criminal Law

Criminal Law is a field that continues to give rise to public debates. The tension between normative pluralism in Indonesia on the one hand and the demand of legality and legal certainty on the other generates disputes about the role of Criminal Law from the national to the local level. This tension also influences the discussions about the Bill for the new Criminal Code in parliament. Another problem concerns the adoption in this Bill of certain criminal actions based on Sharia, especially extra-marital sexual relations and cohabitation. Next to lawmaking, Criminal Law enforcement continues to draw attention. After having been used very rarely for an extended period of time, the pre-trial procedure has once again become the focus of debate. According to some observers, this procedure can be used as a check on the investigation process, as was originally intended by its creators. However, others are concerned that the pre-trial procedure may promote abuse by judges. Besides lawmaking and procedural law, another relevant topic of Criminal Law from a socio-legal perspective is the relation between different law enforcement institutions, as well as the complex relations between Adat, Religious and State Law.

Anti-Corruption Law

Almost every day reports about corruption appear in the media. The clientelism we encounter in many parts of Indonesia and the current political system as it functions in practice, has caused corruption to flourish and to become a common feature in public service delivery. Nonetheless, Indonesia has an effective anti-corruption system in the form of the Corruption Eradication Commission, which has successfully addressed many big cases and made government officials cautious or even fearful of committing corruption. In addition to the Corruption Eradication Commission, there are also other ‘guardian institutions’ with similar tasks, such as the Ombudsman and the National Human Rights Commission. Because of huge political and economic interests, it is surprising to find that such an anti-corruption system has remained in place, even if several times the Corruption Eradication Commission has come into conflict with the police and influential politicians. How can we explain the persistence of Corruption Eradication Commission? What is the actual role of the police and the prosecution counsel in fighting corruption? To what extent have the police and the prosecution counsel become rivals of the Commission Eradication Corruption? And is there any room for a non-criminal approach to eliminate corruption?

Islamic Law

Over time religion has become a defining element of social identity in Indonesia, and one of the consequences is that Islamic Law has become more important. This phenomenon can be seen in a variety of legal fields, for instance in Commercial Law and Criminal Law, but the most important one is Family Law. The state’s attempts at controlling Family Law in Indonesia therefore face serious resistance. Examples are the pro-polygamy movement, refusal of marriage registration, underage marriage, and refusal to divorce before a religious court. An unintended consequence of the government’s attempt to create a particular version of state-controlled Islamic Law has been the proliferation of power and influence of conservative Islamic groups, whose agenda and methods often go against religious freedom. This panel will discuss practices related to Muslim Family Law, looking from institutions at the national level (Indonesia Ulama Council, Ministry of Religious Affairs, and Supreme Court) to what happens at the grassroots.

Constitutional Law

Someone who has not paid attention to legal developments in Indonesia during the last 20 years will be astonished when she looks at the Constitution. The 1999-2002 constitutional amendments not only introduced a complete human rights catalogue but also new institutions to ensure their protection and to further a stable, democratic state. Despite the strength of this legal and institutional framework, it has not yet become a so-called rustig-bezit something that is beyond debate. Occasionally disputes arise among state agencies – such as between the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, and human rights such as freedom of speech and religious freedom have come under frequent attack. This panel will evaluate the current Indonesian constitutional system and how it functions in practice. What are its strengths and weaknesses? How is the situation concerning Human Rights, including Social and Economic Rights?

Registration and Submission


To be registered as participant, one should submit curriculum vitae (CV) and abstract in English or Bahasa Indonesia (300-500 words). Each abstract should be written by maximum 2(two) authors. The abstract should be related to one of the panels as provided. Please submit the CV and abstract to before June, 19th 2017.

The abstract will be peer-reviewed based on its originality and quality by the scientific committee. The accepted abstract should be followed by full paper submission. The selected papers will be published in an English book volume or in Jurnal Mimbar Hukum (national accredited, indexed in ISJD, LIPI, and DOAJ). Conference fee should be paid after the abstract is accepted.

Contribution as conference fee:
a. first author IDR 750.000
b. second author (if any) IDR 500.000

The conference fee should be transferred to Bank Mandiri account: 88888-0602411-1678 (UGM HK S1 REG LAT/SEM Masyarakat Umum). The conference fee is non-refundable.


Only 2 (two) observers are allowed in each panel. The application shall be sent to Upon the application has been granted, Observer is requested to pay contribution in the amount of IDR 750,000 to Bank Mandiri account: 88888-0602411-1678(UGM HK S1 REG LAT/SEM Masyarakat Umum). The conference fee is non-refundable.

Dates and Venue

International conference "Legal Reform in Indonesia: towards Justice" will be held on September 6th-7th 2017, in Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

June 18th, 2017 Deadline for Abstract Submission
July 11th, 2017 Notification of Accepted Abstract
August 14th, 2017 Deadline for Full Paper Submission
August 23rd, 2017 Deadline for Registration and Payment
September 6th-7th, 2017 Conference Day

Steering Committee

Sigit Riyanto
Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia

Rikardo Simarmata
Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia

Tim Lindsey
The University of Melbourne, Australia

Simon Butt
The University of Sydney, Australia

Adriaan Bedner
Universiteit Leiden / KITLV, Netherlands

Contact Us

Fakultas Hukum Universitas Gadjah Mada
Jl. Sosio Yustisia No. 1, Bulaksumur, Kab. Sleman, D.I. Yogyakarta 55281 -INDONESIA

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