Activist lawyering in a fragile democracy: the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI)

Crawford School of Public Policy
Reformasi Dikorupsi protests

Event details

Indonesia Study Group

Date & time

Wednesday 16 November 2022




Tim Mann (University of Melbourne)


Alex Gotts

Join in-person: McDonald Room, Menzies Library, 2 McDonald Place, Australian National University 

Join online: Webinar ID: 850 4235 3685  Passcode: 029070

About the Seminar

Under the authoritarian New Order, the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) was Indonesia’s most prominent legal and human rights organisation and an influential hub of resistance to the Soeharto regime.

The far-reaching democratisation process that began after the New Order collapsed in 1998 involved many structural changes that should have provided the conditions for YLBHI to thrive. But in contrast to expectations, YLBHI struggled somewhat following the democratic transition. There was a period when YLBHI appeared weaker as an institution under democracy than it was under an authoritarian regime.

This seminar will examine how democratic change has affected YLBHI and the strategies it uses to promote social change. Drawing on YLBHI’s experiences during the #ReformasiDikorupsi (‘Reform Corrupted’) protests in 2019, it will describe how YLBHI has made an unexpected return to prominence as Indonesian democracy has begun to unravel. 

About Tim Mann

Tim Mann is Associate Director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society (CILIS). He recently completed a PhD at Melbourne Law School focusing on the role of activist lawyers in Indonesia after 1998.

He joined the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society in 2015 as editor of the Indonesia at Melbourne blog. He was appointed Associate Director of CILIS in 2017.

Update: This seminar will not be recorded so please join via Zoom to avoid disappointment.

Updated:  1 February 2023/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team