2015 Past Events

Postgraduate Conference

  • "2015 CILIS Islamic Studies Postgraduate Conference"
    Hosted by the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies and the Institute for Religion Politics and Society, ACU
    24 & 25 November 2015

    The Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society (CILIS) held the 11th Islamic Studies Postgraduate Conference.

    The first gathering of Islamic Studies postgraduate students was hosted by Emeritus Professor Merle Ricklefs in his own home, with the support of Professors Virginia and M.B. Hooker. This annual conference continues this tradition, bringing together postgraduate students who are researching topics relating to Islam. This 2-day programme brings together students and academic mentors with similar interests in a supportive and collegial atmosphere.

    Special sessions on thesis-writing and small-group feedback on student research are included as part of the program. Postgraduate students from any university are welcome to present papers on their current research.

    In 2015, 21 students from Australian and international universities will speak on a range of themes.

    Mentors: Associate Professor Greg Fealy, Emeritus Professor Virginia Hooker, Dr Nadirsyah Hosen, Professor Tim Lindsey, Professor Jamhari Makruf, Emeritus Professor Merle Ricklefs.

    Conference Program

Open Discussion

  • "An Open Discussion with Yuniyanti Chuzaifah, National Commission on Violence Against Women"
    Hosted by the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society
    11 November 2015
    Open Discussion

Death Penalty in Indonesia

  • "Death Penalty and the Road Ahead: A Case Study of Indonesia"
    Professor Todung Mulya Lubis
    Hosted by the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, and the Asian Law Centre
    24 August 2015

    Indonesia has been criticised nationally and internationally for its use of the death penalty. Critics argue the death penalty does not deter crime and there has never been any solid empirical evidence suggesting it can. They say the objective of punishment should be to re-educate and rehabilitate people, giving them the opportunity to reintegrate with society, not to kill them. Globally only a small number of states still execute.

    Professor Lubis argued that Indonesia does give weight to these objections but domestic support for the death penalty still seems overwhelming. Few governments anywhere are willing to abolish the death penalty if they have to pay a high political cost and the government of President Joko Widodo is no exception. Some sort of compromise or alternative has to be found. One solution would be to formulate a policy respecting human rights (especially the right to life) but still allowing executions in exceptional circumstances. The Indonesian government seems to be trying to do this in its new draft Criminal Code. This says that if a death row convict demonstrates rehabilitation, his or her sentence can be reduced to either life or 20 years in prison. If this had been law earlier this year, it could have saved the two Australians recently executed, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

    Debate on the Draft of Criminal Code is a perfect opportunity for both proponents and opponents of the death penalty. There is, however, a new momentum towards abolition in Indonesia, and Professor Lubis said it should be used to the maximum possible extent to prevent more executions. In this lecture he outlined a strategy for how this might be done.

    Professor Todung Mulya Lubis was the Indonesian defence lawyer for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. He is one of Indonesia’s leading human rights lawyers and most influential legal thinkers. He completed his undergraduate Law degree at the University of Indonesia (1974); his LLM at the University of California, Berkeley; a second LLM at Harvard Law School; and his JSD at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been a senior Adjunct Member of the Faculty of Law of the University of Indonesia since 1990, where he was first appointed in 1975. From 1980-1983, he was Director of Indonesia’s famous dissident NGO, the Legal Aid Institute, where he worked for many years.

    His influential 1983 scholarly book In Search of Human Rights: Legal-Political Dilemmas of Indonesia’s New Order 1966-1990 has played an important role in thinking about human rights in Indonesia. Professor Lubis is also Founding and Senior Partner of a prominent law firm in Jakarta and has been lead counsel in a number of major human rights cases, often on a pro bono basis. These include acting for the Bali Nine in an attempt to convince Indonesia’s Constitutional Court to abolish the death sentence, and against former President Soeharto. He has also held a series of senior government appointments. In 2014, he was appointed as Honorary Professor in the Melbourne Law School.

    Download audio recording

Islam, Democracy and Death Penalty

  • "Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Death Penalty"
    Professor Jimly Asshiddiqie
    Distinguished Asian Lecture 2015
    11 August 2015

    Should democratic countries apply the death penalty? Does Islam require the death penalty? Are executions a breach of human rights? Is religion an obstacle to the human rights reform?

    Professor Asshiddiqie explored Islamic attitudes to the death penalty and argued that all contemporary cultures – whatever their origin and whatever their religious context – face challenges in reconciling the death penalty with the right to life. The experiences of the United States (the world's largest Christian society), India (the largest Hindu society), and Indonesia (the largest Muslim society) suggest, however, that religion is not always an obstacle to democracy or human rights reform, even if all these countries still execute. Professor Asshiddiqie concluded that increasing acceptance of democracy and international human rights norms as a global civilisational aspiration is forcing reconsideration of the death penalty in the legal systems of many societies - including Muslim majority states like Indonesia.

    Professor Jimly Asshiddiqie is a leading Indonesian legal figure, both as a scholar and a prominent public official. As founding Chief Justice of Indonesia’s first Constitutional Court (2003-2008) he established a new branch of the judiciary and developed a process of constitutional review of statutes that had long been missing in Indonesia. He helped set a new standard in Indonesian courts for reasoned judgments drawing on international jurisprudence, as well as pioneering publication of judgments. He also led the Constitutional Court when it decided a challenge to the death penalty in 2007. He is now chair of the Honorary Council of the Electoral Management Bodies and of the Advisory Council to the National Commission of Human Rights. He has advised presidents and the national legislature on legal and political issues, and has twice been decorated for his contributions to Indonesian law reform and state administration. Professor Asshiddiqie studied at the University of Indonesia, Leiden University and Harvard, and is Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Indonesia. He has published more than 40 books, some in English, creating an important resource for emerging constitutional thought on democracy in Indonesia.

    This free public lecture is presented jointly by the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, the Asian Law Centre and the Melbourne Law School, with the generous support of Allan and Maria Myers.

Justice Reform in Indonesia

  • "Justice Reform in Indonesia – A Working Perspective"
    Craig Ewers
    Hosted by the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society
    30 June 2015

    Recent bilateral tensions over specific events have brought to the front pages a number of challenges to the ongoing relationship between Australia and Indonesia, particularly around the role of law and the judiciary.

    The differences between the two systems and their influences are often underestimated but there has been surprising success in some areas of legal and judicial reform since 1998. Many of these are the result of some very effective approaches involving courts from both countries and working relationships that continue to generate change.

    In this lecture, Craig Ewers shared insights into current events in the bilateral relationship, as well as ideas about approaches to Indonesian law reform  and what is working...or not.

    Presenter Craig Ewers is the Team Leader of the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice, the current phase of what has been almost 15 years now of justice co-operation in Indonesia, dating back to the Soeharto era.  Craig has led the partnership for the last 3 years, a role that combines diplomacy, management, technical expertise, innovation, appreciation of Islam and culture, and a lot of patience.  He learnt these traits through similar roles in Timor Leste (2008-12), Solomon Islands (2005-8 and 1999-2001), Cambodia (2002-5), and, before that, in Victoria Police, where he led reform projects there for ten years as a civilian. Craig was born in Melbourne and did his Masters thesis at University of Melbourne.

    Craig Ewers

  • "The Hidden Driver of Deforestation: Why Reforming Indonesia's Legal Framework is Critical to the Success of REDD+"
    Arjuna Dibley and Josi Khatarina
    Hosted by the Asian Law Centre and the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society
    26 May 2015

    Indonesian Legal Framework and REDD

  • PhD Confirmation Seminar

    • "PhD Confirmation Seminar: Aspari Dewi"
      Hosted by the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society and the Asian Law Centre
      22 May 2015

      Confirmation Flyer

    Jokowi Presidency

    • "What’s Happening to the Jokowi Presidency?"
      Dr Helen Pausacker, Dr Jemma Purdey, Dr Dave McRae, Dr Nadirsyah Hosen, Professor Tim Lindsey and Dr Richard Chauvel
      Hosted by the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society
      5 May 2015

      President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo was sworn in last year in a wave of optimism and hope. He was seen as an effective technocratic administrator committed to anti-corruption reform, who would support small business and cut red tape. Six months into his five-year term, many who voted for him already feel disappointed. Police attacks on the Anti-Corruption Commission, his selection of a lacklustre cabinet, an obstructionist legislature, and his apparent inability to resist the growing power of his party chair, former president Megawati Soekarnoputri, are all causing his supporters growing concern.

      Some say Jokowi has been ‘captured’ by the old political elite, others say that he is simply na├»ve and inexperienced, a provincial official out of his depth in cut-throat national politics. Optimists suggest he is biding his time and playing a ‘long game’. Pessimists speculate that he may face impeachment. At this seminar five prominent observers of Indonesia explore how Jokowi’s administration has fared so far, the challenges he currently faces, and what is likely to happen next.

      At this seminar, five prominent observers of Indonesia explored how Jokowi’s administration has fared so far, the challenges he currently faces, and what is likely to happen next.

    Death, Drugs and Bali Nine

    • "Death, Drugs and the Bali Nine"
      Professor Tim Lindsey
      Hosted by the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, and the Asian Law Centre
      21 April 2015

      Professor Tim Lindsey provided an overview of legal and constitutional issues involved in the case of the two Australians who were (at that time) facing execution in Indonesia for serious drugs offences, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.  Tim also explored the implications for the future of reform in Indonesia, and its bilateral relationship with Australia.

      Download audio recording

    Forthcoming Events