About this blog
In this blog I focus primarily on contemporary legal and political issues in Asia, with particular attention to constitutional and legal developments in Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma and Southeast Asia more broadly. My approach is influenced by an understanding of ‘law’ as embedded within its social, political and historical context. I also use this forum to highlight upcoming events, seminars, workshops, recent legal developments, and new publications in the area of Asian Legal Studies.
I am an Associate Professor and Associate Dean Research at the Law School, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney. I hold a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne and completed my PhD thesis on the judicialization of religion in Indonesia at the same university. My research contributes to the field of Asian Legal Studies, with a concentration on Comparative Constitutional Law; Law and Society; and Law and Religion. My research has a particular focus on Southeast Asia, where I have conducted extensive socio-legal field research.
I am the sole Chief Investigator on an ARC Discovery Grant on “Constitutional Change in Authoritarian Regimes” (2018-2021). This study builds on two of my previous major research projects: my doctoral research on courts and religion in Indonesia, and my postdoctoral research on religion and the courts in Myanmar, and on constitutions and the courts in Southeast Asia.
My research has been published in leading academic journals including the Law & Society Review, International Journal of Constitutional Law, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies and the Journal of Contemporary Asia. My books include The Constitution of Myanmar (2019, shortlisted for the Australian Legal Research Awards); and Law and Religion in Indonesia (2014). My edited books include Women and the Judiciary in the Asia Pacific (CUP 2021), The Politics of Courts: Judicial Reform and Legal Culture in Indonesia (CUP 2019); Islam and the State in Myanmar (OUP 2016); and The Business of Transition (CUP 2017).
At UNSW, I lead the Southeast Asia engagement strategy for UNSW Law. I am also the Myanmar Academic Lead for the Institute of Global Development and in 2019 we hosted the Women in Asia Conference. I am the incoming Vice-President of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) (2021-2022), the peak academic body for Asian studies in Australia. I am an advisor on the Indonesian Law Practicum of the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS); an Associate of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society, University of Melbourne; and a member of the Editorial Board of the Asian Journal of Comparative Law. You can find more about my expertise on Indonesian Law here.
I have been awarded numerous grants and awards, including an Australia-ASEAN grant, the Endeavour Award; the University of Indonesia Visiting Fellowship; and the University of Melbourne’s Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship. I contribute to initiatives on constitutional and administrative reform and legal education in Southeast Asia. I have worked with numerous international organisations in the region, including the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the United Nations Development Program, USAID, IDLO, the Asian Development Bank and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).
I teach in the areas of public law, constitution-making, comparative law, law and religion, law and development, Indonesian law and Asian legal systems.