08 March 2009

The Future of Indonesian Law

The future of Indonesian law despite all the doom and gloom that many commentators talk about, is clearly not as doomy or gloomy as made out. Quite simply, the next generation of Indonesian lawyers and advocates are going to be highly-skilled, experienced in international forums (courts and tribunals), and able to hold their own against the best in the world. In fact, these Indonesian lawyers and advocates may just be the best in the world in their respective fields.

In some exciting news that I received late last night, the International Humanitarian Law Moot Team from the Faculty of Law at the University of Indonesia has won the International Law Moot Competition in Hong Kong. Excellent news!

Success in mooting competitions does not come easy. The team has reaped the rewards for the efforts that it has sown. The time sacrificed to participate is immense, but the rewards are equally large.

The competition was in English which in many ways makes the result even more impressive. Most law faculties do not infuse significant amounts of their respective curricula with English language subjects. So, to be successful in a competition of this size requires not only that the students develop and have excellent language skills, it also requires dedication to research, writing a pleading, and then being able to argue the case under intense questioning by judges.

Indonesia is new to the international law mooting game, but there has been increasing levels of success in recent years. This success is not only team-based, but also individual. In the most prestigious of law moots, the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition, Indonesia has already achieved extra-ordinary individual success by producing the best oralist in the world.

More success is certain. Yet, it is important to remember that this is a work in progress and has relied heavily on the commitments of a dedicated few, at least initially, who work tirelessly and often behind the scenes.

Success breeds success!

Congratulations to all involved who have made this happen. They have brought credit not only to themselves, but to the whole of Indonesia.

This is a well-deserved result and suggests that the future of Indonesian law is much brighter than many imagine it to be.

15 comments:

Brett said...

Fantastic news!

Rob Baiton said...

Brett...

It is indeed fantastic news.

Ben said...

How come I did not find this news in mainstream media anywhere?
Did I miss it by any chance? (or news like this tends to be ignored by mainstream media?)

Pity because I'd love to hear more news like this. Make me proud.

Rob Baiton said...

Ben...

I am guessing it will get an airing in the Jakarta Post, perhaps the Jakarta Globe, and maybe Kompas.

I was SMS-ed by Prof. Hikmahanto of UI fame after the results were announced in HK.

I think I am on the SMS list because I have done loads of work with various law moot teams over the years.

I am taking the Universitas Pelita Harapan Philip C. Jessup law moot team to DC in a couple of weeks, as a matter of fact.

lawbugger said...

very well done and well deserved. Did it take reformasi for this to happen or were Indonesian lawyers exceptional? what's your take?

Rob Baiton said...

Lawbugger...

It is well deserved and is the culmination of consistent work by some dedicated souls over the last decade or so (at the competition level).

No, I do not think it has anything to do with reformasi, at least not in any direct sense that I can see.

I think it has more to do with the vision of a select few and a belief that Indonesian universities could hold their own in international competition.

Indonesia has always had good lawyers. Good lawyers can still exist in a bad or corrupt legal system.

I am confident that in the future there will be significant numbers of Indonesian lawyers of international renown (for all the right reasons).

lawbugger said...

thanks for your reply. I am curious to know the pathways taken by law graduates here - has anyone done a study as to where they are first employed and where they move on to within a short period of time?? How long does it take to actually practice as a barrister??

Ben said...

Rob,

all the best in DC then.
Make us proud!

Rob Baiton said...

Lawbugger...

Not that I know of on the study front. It would be a worthwhile undertaking though, but I am not sure who would fund it and I am not sure that universities care all that much.

Most of my staff are fresh law grads and I am in the legal news / publishing field. I would guess that a lot head into private practice.

I know of many who have gone into public practice in the sense they have joined government departments and agencies. Department of Foreign Affairs picks up quite a few.

Generally, a law graduate who joins a law firm does a two-year internship and then takes a bar exam. If they are successful then they get a practicing certificate (in reality a card) and they are free to practice as an advocate.

There is no distinction here between solicitors and barristers. Simply, everyone who holds a practicing certificate has a right to appear as an advocate in court.

Rob Baiton said...

Ben...

Thanks for the good wishes. I hope for the team that they perform at the very best.

Harry Nizam H. said...

It's a GREAT news!
Congrats to our Moot Team.
Now I can have more hope on
the future of our laws.
Thank you for your help, Rob.

anggara said...

seperti judul yang lebih tepat adalah masa depan praktisi hukum Indonesia deh pak Rob

Rob Baiton said...

Harry...

It is great news.

Anggara...

The future of Indonesia law is the practitioners! Not all of these kids are going to go into private practice. Some of them will end up in public practice, perhaps as legal drafters.

So, I think the title is probably an accurate reflection of the points that I was trying to make.

lawbugger said...

do you think that many young grads will go into parliament - the salaries and allowances are certainly attractive??

Rob Baiton said...

Lawbugger...

No! On this front I am particularly cynical (surprise surprise). There might be the odd one or two but it would be highly dependent on connections, familial or otherwise, to have the necessary party support to find yourself high on the list.

Although, there are some grads that I have had personal contact with and who have now been working a few years and have some experience that would make excellent candidates.

Nevertheless, money still talks and there are not a lot of fresh grads that have it except through their parents (hence my earlier point).