Lilis Mulyani

  • Lilis Mulyani

    PhD candidate

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Lilis Mulyani is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, Melbourne Law School. She researches Indonesian law and human rights, with a particular research interest in land law and agrarian studies, indigenous people and socio-legal methodology.

Lilis holds a LLM in Public International Law from Melbourne Law School and a Bachelor of Laws from Padjadjaran University Indonesia. Back in Jakarta, she works as a government researcher at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). Beside doing research, she also teaches social and legal research methodology. She has previously held positions as a journal editor in several national accredited journals, such as the Journal on Society and Culture and Journal on Land BHUMI.

Thesis Title

Reforming Legal Personhood in Indonesian Land Law: Towards equitable land rights

Thesis Summary

This thesis examines how the definition of groups as a legal person influences the way traditional customary (adat) communities are recognised as legal subjects.  Recognition of groups as legal subjects by the law is mainly a construct – a legal fiction – but it has significant practical consequences, particularly in Indonesia, where there is a lack of clarity about certain groups.

The notion of a group as a juridical person has also given rise to much debate about which groups can, according to law, be said to have legal personality, and why? The main objectives of the thesis are to understand: the core concept of a group as a legal or juridical person; to investigate how decisions on land rights distributions are made by the Indonesian government; how the community themselves choose to be recognised; and how those distributions could be reformed to better protect traditional communities.


  • Indonesian Law
  • Land Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • Law and Indigenous People
  • Law on Natural Resources
  • Law Reform in Developing Countries
  • Empirical Legal Studies