Balawyn Jones

  • Balawyn Jones

    PhD candidate

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Balawyn Jones is a PhD Candidate at the Asian Law Centre and Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, Melbourne Law School. She researches across the fields of Indonesian law and human rights, in particular with respect to gender, religion and law. She has an interest in the protection of women’s rights in developing jurisdictions and her doctoral thesis examines criminal justice responses to domestic violence. She also currently holds the positions of Research Fellow at the Institute for International Law and Humanities and Teaching Fellow (Human Rights and Global Justice).

Balawyn holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours Class I) and Bachelor of Arts (extended Geography major) from the University of Queensland. Prior to joining Melbourne Law School, she worked as an Associate to the Federal Court and as the pro bono Legal Clinic Coordinator at Strategic Advocacy Human Rights (NGO). In the latter role, she supervised the development of strategic advocacy guides to argue defences against murder for battered women in domestic violence contexts in Afghanistan. She has also been involved in research projects on the death penalty in Papua New Guinea and jury reform in Tonga.

Thesis Title

Judicial approaches towards domestic violence in the criminal jurisdiction: A case study of sentencing in domestic violence cases in Aceh, Indonesia

Thesis Summary

This thesis explores how state criminal law responses, as implemented by the police, prosecution and judiciary, protect women from domestic violence in Aceh. Firstly, it considers the context and causes of domestic violence in Aceh, applying a gendered history approach and feminist methodology. Secondly, state criminal responses towards domestic violence will be reviewed to identify barriers to access to justice for survivors of domestic violence. Thirdly, a case study of judicial attitudes towards the conviction and sentencing of domestic violence perpetrators will be undertaken. My thesis seeks to analyse to what extent judicial decision-making is informed by gendered norms, assumptions and stereotypes, and how these extra-legal considerations effect the application of the law and protection of women from domestic violence.


  • Indonesian Law
  • Gender, Religion and Law
  • Domestic violence
  • Demography and Law
  • Law Reform and Developing Countries