My teaching interests include Law and Society; Comparative Constitutional Law; Law and Development; Asian Legal Systems (particularly Southeast Asia); and Law and Religion. I am available to supervise research students in these areas.
Current Research Supervision: Ayesha Wijayalath, ‘Constraining Abusive Constitutional Change in Sri Lanka‘ (Scientia Fellow); Mhd Abu Sayeed, ‘Constitutionalism of the Other: Non-Sovereign Politics in Gandhi and Agamben‘; Chhunvoleak (Voleak) Srun, ‘Access to Justice in Cambodian Land Disputes’.
Supervision completions (PhD): Nikki Edwards, ‘Muffled voices: Why civil society calls for transitional justice remain limited in Southeast Asia‘ (2022); Ashraf Azad, ‘Migrant Agency in the Global South: The Movements of Rohingya in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Malaysia‘ (2022); Emma Dunlop, ‘Interpreting Article 16 of the 1951 Refugee Convention‘ (2022); Mahaarum Kusuma Pertiwi, ‘Religion and the Indonesian Constitutional Court’ (2021); Luke Potter, ‘Decentralised Government and Disaster Displacement in Pacific Island Microstates: A case study of Palau’ (2021); Indriaswati Dyah Saptaningrum, ‘Internet Regulation in Indonesia 1990-2018′ (2020); Xu Zhuangsi, ‘The Implications of International Human Rights Law on China’s Protection of Minority Language Rights’ (2020); Milda Istiqomah, ‘Understanding Terrorism Sentencing Decisions in Indonesia: A Southern Criminology Approach’ (2020).
Supervision completions (LLM, JD, LLB research thesis): LLM: Yance Arizona, ‘Becoming Indigenous Citizens in Indonesia’ (2019); JD: Sai Myint Aung, ‘Law and Economic Development in Myanmar‘ (2019); LLB: Jarrod Mitchell, ‘Community Stability and Adat Law in Indonesia (2019)’; Goran Matic, ‘Toward a Modern Egyptian Constitution‘ (2017); Elsa Lo, ‘A Constitutionally Islamic Malaysia‘ (2016)
Law and Society in Asia [in-country in Indonesia] (LAWS3139/JURD7539): This course will provide students with an introduction to law and society studies in the context of Asia. Central to the study of law and society is the idea that law does not only exist on the books, but also in action. This course introduces students to critical questions about law in postcolonial societies in Asia and asks when and why law matters, and in whose interests it matters. The course will primarily draw on the case of Indonesia in comparative context. Core themes of the course include: the origins of socio-legal studies in Indonesia; Islam and the state; constitutionalism; human rights; the role of courts; processes of law reform; and legal pluralism. This elective will run in Indonesia, and provide students with a unique opportunity for a cross-cultural and immersive learning experience.
Constitutionalism in the Global South (LAWS8375/JURD7975): This course will provide students with an introduction to constitutionalism in the Global South. The idea of constitutionalism is a key aspect of liberal democracy and the rule of law, and is seen as important to political stability and economic development. Constitutionalism has, however, been understood based on Global North conceptions of state development. As a result, in postcolonial societies, many of the assumptions in comparative constitutional law do not fit. This course will provide students with the opportunity to engage with the idea of constitutionalism in the Global South from a range of theoretical perspectives. Core themes of the course include the role and function of judicial review; constitutional courts; human rights; constitutions in authoritarian regimes; and constitutional migration, particularly South-South legal borrowing. The course will draw upon key case studies from jurisdictions across Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Indonesian Law (JURD7539/ LAWS3139): This course will provide students with an introduction to the contemporary Indonesian legal system. Indonesia is the world’s third largest democracy and the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. It has a growing economy and an expanding middle class. Since 1998 and the end of authoritarian rule, the country has experienced significant legal and constitutional reform. These reforms have been accompanied by a growing legal profession and changes in legal education. There has also been a major expansion and specialisation in the judicial system, with a range of new courts established to address particular disputes, from the Constitutional Court to the Commercial Court and Tax Court. Indonesia is a civil law system, though it is also influenced by aspects of Islamic law and indigenous traditions. The study of Indonesia’s legal system opens up important debates for scholarly inquiry about legal pluralism; legal change; constitution-making; the role of courts in democratic transition and consolidation; and the viability of specialised courts. This is a research-intensive subject.
The Rule of Law in Asia (LAWS3167; JURD7567) : This course provides students with an introduction to legal traditions of Asia through a critical focus on development and the rule of law. The rule of law is now commonly promoted by scholars, politicians and legal professions as essential to political and democratic reform in regions around the world, including in Asia. The rule of law is however an inherently contested concept, and there is vigorous debate over its substance, content and practical value. This course will provide an opportunity for students to reflect on law reform in Asia. Core themes of the course include: law reform in authoritarian states; constitutional law; constitution-making; democratisation and the role of the courts; human rights; religion-state relations; and legal education.
Islamic Law and Society (LAWS3165; JURD7865): This course provides students with an introduction to Islamic law and society in Southeast Asia. The region of Southeast Asia provides a fascinating and complex site to consider many of the broader issues and debates facing the Muslim world. Countries that will be covered include Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore and Myanmar. The aim of the course is to explore contemporary issues and debates on Islamic law in its social, political and cultural context. Key themes of the course include Islam and constitutionalism; the role of religious authorities; Muslim legal professionals; women and Islam; Muslims and conflict; state regulation of religion; and Islamic courts. This course would appeal to students who are interested in deepening their understanding of Islamic law and exploring debates concerning secularism; the significance of religion to legal traditions in Asia, and the interaction between Islam and democracy in the region.
Institute for Global Development Practicum: As the Academic Lead for Myanmar with the Institute for Global Development, I run a social justice internship program. IGD contributes to building capacity through access to education and creating sustainable evidence-based research solutions to issues affecting disadvantaged communities around the world. The intern will have the opportunity to learn more about the work of the IGD, gain skills in designing and implementing projects, develop their research and writing skills on issues related to Myanmar, and network with an interdisciplinary group of academics. Law students should apply through the Faculty’s social justice internship application process.
Indonesian Law Practicum: I contributed to the establishment of the Law Practicum of the Australian Consortium for In Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) as part of the Advisory Board. ACICIS was established over 20 years ago and is recognised as the premier provider of Indonesian in country studies for Australian students. Launched in 2018, the Indonesian Law Practicum includes two full-weeks of coursework and field trips; intensive Indonesian language program; and four-week internship in Indonesia. UNSW students can contact the International Exchange office for more details.
Other Teaching: I teach Principles of Public Law. I have also designed and taught courses on Principles and Processes of Constitution-making; Judicial Independence; The Constitution of Myanmar; The Role of Courts in Democratisation; Constitutional Courts in Federal Systems; Federalism and Minority Rights; and Emergency Powers. I have taught in the JD, LLB and Masters programs at several law faculties, including Monash University, the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne and the National University of Singapore. I have been invited to give guest lectures to students at other universities in Australia and overseas for subjects such as Islam and the State in Southeast Asia; the Indonesian Legal System; the Indonesian Constitutional Court; the Rule of Law in Asia; Law and Foreign Investment in Asia; and Law Reform in Myanmar.