Indonesia’s longest-standing and most prominent “cause lawyering” organisation, the Legal Aid Institute or LBH, was founded in the early days of Soeharto’s authoritarian regime in 1970. Cause lawyering broadly refers to using the law to achieve social change. Throughout much of its history, LBH has faced the challenge of pursuing this mission in a context in which victory in the courtroom has been highly unlikely.
How have LBH’s lawyers pursued social change in circumstances where victory in the courtroom has often been highly unlikely? Did democratisation open new opportunities for cause lawyering? How has LBH responded as the quality of democracy has declined? What does the future hold for LBH and cause lawyering in Indonesia?
In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae chats with Dr Tim Mann, editor of the Indonesia at Melbourne blog and associate director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society (CILIS). Dr Mann wrote his PhD thesis on LBH and cause lawyering in a fragile democracy.
In 2022, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at the University of Melbourne, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University, and Tito Ambyo from RMIT.