‘Democratic Regression and the Rule of Law in Indonesia’
Presented by Professor Jimly Asshiddiqie
The 2023 Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Public Lecture
Indonesia is a rising power in Asia and a crucial partner for Australia. It underwent sweeping democratisation after the collapse of Soeharto’s New Order regime in 1998 and was held up as a model for other Muslim societies. However, many see the last decade as a time of regression, with Indonesia’s ranking sliding in global democracy indexes, key institutions like the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Constitutional Court facing major challenges, and little progress on human rights.
In this lecture, Miegunyah Fellow Professor Asshiddiqie will offer an assessment of the challenges to democratisation and the rule of law in Indonesia in the ‘post-truth’ era, and what could be done to reform the political system.
This lecture was a collaboration between CILIS and Melbourne Law School.
The Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Program
The Miegunyah Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Program enables overseas scholars of international distinction to make an extended visit to the University of Melbourne and contribute to the university’s academic, intellectual, and cultural life. The fellowships are awarded annually and generously supported by The Russell and Mab Grimwade Miegunyah Fund.
Professor Jimly Asshiddiqie
Jimly Asshiddiqie, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Indonesia and a member of Indonesia’s senate, the Regional Representatives Assembly, is one of Indonesia’s leading jurists and distinguished legal thinkers, with more than 70 books to his name.
An important figure in shaping the trajectory of the new democratic system that emerged in his country after the fall of Soeharto, he is best known for his pioneering role as the founding Chief Justice of Indonesia’s first Constitutional Court. This is the first judicial body in Indonesian history with the power to review and strike out laws, and its establishment was a key part of the democratisation process.
He was one of the drafters of the post-Soeharto constitutional amendments that transformed Indonesia. Professor Asshiddiqie has been a member of Indonesia’s highest national legislature (the People’s Consultative Assembly), a adviser to presidents and ministers, head of the Presidential Advisory Council, and former head of the Advisory Council of Indonesia’s National Commission of Human Rights. He has also led the Electoral Ethics Council, a quasi-judicial tribunal charged with ensuring electoral integrity, and has received three of the highest honours his country can award.