Call for Papers: Law and Justice – Indonesia 20 years after ‘Reformasi’

Watch Indonesia,  August 02,  2018

A conference organized by Watch Indonesia!

Berlin, 9th – 11th November 2018


student demonstration 1998

photo: Syahdatul Kahfie

The year 1998 is considered as the year of ‘Reformasi’ which marked the end of dictatorship in Indonesia. The great pro-democratic demonstrations, especially those of students, ended dictator Suharto’s power who had led the country under military rule for 30 years. The movement’s demands were: (1) Replacement of Suharto as president; (2) Legal action against Suharto and his »Cronies«; (3) Elimination of the military’s dual function (dwifungsi) (TNI/ABRI); (4) General, free, fair and democratic new election (5) A resolution of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) on the combating of corruption, abuse of office and nepotism; (6) A resolution of the MPR on the reappraisal of human rights abuses; (7) Constitutional amendments; (8) Termination of the unitary state principle; (9) Extensive autonomy; (10) Reduction in the prices of basic consumer staples; (11) Guarantee of an offer of appropriate employment.

There is no doubt that the reform process brought along some achievements, such as constitutional amendments, the establishment of new commissions and laws. In 1999 a law on human rights was passed, which provides the basis for numerous other laws (children’s rights, women’s rights, migrant workers, etc.) as well as the establishment of an ad-hoc court of human rights. Essential for the constitutional amendment in 2003 was the establishment of the constitutional court. As a further reform action the commission on the protection of witnesses and victims (LPSK) was founded in 2006. Just as important was the establishment of the anti-corruption commission (KPK) in 2002 which to date enjoys massive public support. Further, compliance with human rights in Indonesia can be examined on the international scale through different UN-procedures. The 20th anniversary of ‘Reformasi’ offers an occasion to reflect on own endeavors, to develop new strategies and eventually a chance for consolidation. What has been done? What did we achieve? Where are we standing today? How will we support democracy in the future?

This conference is dedicated to the following questions: To what extent are the demands formulated 20 years ago by the democratic movement realized? Which improvements can be seen? Are there deficits and if yes, why? Has democracy in Indonesia lead to the realization of the rule of law? Which problems have emerged or intensified? Which strategies and measures exist to enhance Indonesias development?

These questions follow the aim to devise options for actors of civil society located in Germany/EU based on a compilation of key elements of identified successes and failures.

With this Call for Papers we want to invite people from civil society, science, politics and economics or individuals, in a word everyone who works empirically or theoretically from different perspectives on Indonesia’s development after 1998, to submit an abstract for a contribution of the planned conference. We explicitly want to encourage students and individuals with no academic degree to submit their proposals.

The conference language will be English. Abstracts may be submitted in German or Indonesian as well.

Please submit your proposal (abstract and question(s)) until 30th of September: and

The realization of the conference is under reservation of the approval of funds.


Basilisa Dengen
Tel.: 030-69817938

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