Building Blocks for the Rule of Law Project

The Building Bocks for the Rule of Law project was an initiative of Leiden University, the University of Groningen and Universitas Indonesia. It was launched in January 2009 and concluded in September 2012. The aim of the project was to contribute to the improvement and quality of the Indonesian legal and socio-legal education system by strengthening the teaching and research capacity of Indonesian law faculties.

The entire project was made possible by the generous funding of the Dutch Ministry of European Affairs and International Cooperation.


Project goals

The project’s long-term goals were:

  • to strengthen the rule of law in Indonesia
  • to help Indonesia establish good governance
  • to promote economic development and social justice.

Thematic courses held in Indonesia

Civil Law Course

Civil Law Course

At the outset of the project a detailed training plan was drawn up for a series of thirteen thematic courses to be held between January 2010 and July 2011 at various locations throughout Indonesia. These courses were to be conducted by professors and lecturers from the law schools of Leiden, Groningen and Utrecht University, in collaboration with Indonesian law faculty lecturers.


Labour Law Course

Labour Law Course

The aim of the courses was to teach relevant legal concepts, introduce new didactic methods and encourage the application of different teaching methods, such as presentations, discussions and assignments.


Fields of law addressed

Criminal Law Course

Criminal Law Course

The courses were held in the following fields of law:

  • Civil Law 
  • Labour Law 
  • Criminal Law 
  • Socio-legal Studies

Three or four courses, each of five days duration, were held for each field of law.


Course Participants

Socio-Legal Studies Course

Socio-Legal Studies Course

Eighty promising Indonesian law lecturers were selected on the basis of their applications to take part in the above mentioned courses. Participants came from a wide variety of institutions from all corners of Indonesia.


New text books series

As a direct result of the project a new Indonesian text book series entitled ‘Building Blocks for the Rule of Law’ has been created. This series is intended to be used as a teaching tool at Indonesian law faculties. The series combines important contributions from Dutch and Indonesian course lecturers as well valuable input from participants.

Copies of these new text books have been distributed to universities, legal institutions and NGOs throughout the whole of Indonesia.

Download text books

The Building Blocks for the Rule of Law text book series is available for download via this webpage.

  1. Hukum Pidana Dalam Perpektief (Criminal Law) – Edited by Agustinus Pohan, Topo Santoso and Martin Moerings

  2. Hukum Perikatan (Law of Obligations) – Edited by Rosa Agustina, Hans Nieuwenhuis, Jaap Hijma and Suharnoko

  3. Hukum Tentang Orang, Hukum Keluarga dan Hukum Waris di Belanda dan Indonesia (Family Law) – Edited by Wilbert Kolkman, Rosa Agustina, Leon Verstappen and Rafael Edy Bosko

  4. Hukum Pertanahan di Belanda dan Indonesia (Land Law) – Edited by Arie Sukanti Hutagalung, Leon Verstappen, Wilbert Kolkman and Rafael Edy Bosko

  5. Bab-Bab Tentang Hukum Perburuhan Indonesia – Edited by Guus Heerma van Voss and Surya Tjandra 

  6. Kajian Sosio-Legal – Edited by Adriaan W. Bedner, Sulistyowati Irianto, Jan Michiel Otto and Theresia Dyah Wirastri

Policy note

Upon conclusion of the project, Professor Guus Heerma van Voss and Dr. Adriaan Bedner of Leiden Law School drew up a “Policy Note regarding Indonesian Law Education and The Future of Legal Co-operation between Indonesian and Dutch Law Schools”. This was based on careful analysis of the findings of the project and the advice of academic staff members involved. 

The policy note has been distributed to law faculties, legal institutions and governmental departments throughout Indonesia. It can also be downloaded here in both English and Bahasa Indonesia.

Final Conference

The project culminated in a two day international conference held at Universitas Indonesia on 25 and 26 June 2012. The conference was attended by a total of more than 100 guests, including Dutch and Indonesian project members and participants, representatives of Indonesian legal institutions and law faculties, NGOs, members of the press and the Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia Mr Tjeerd de Zwaan.

Opening speech on day 1 of the final conference by the Dean of the UI Law Faculty, Dr. Siti Hayati Hoesin

Opening speech on day 1 of the final conference by the Dean of the UI Law Faculty, Dr. Siti Hayati Hoesin

During day one of the conference four panels, each representing a field of law dealt with during the project, took stock of the results of the courses and discussed some of their major comparative findings on legal developments in Indonesia and the Netherlands.


Panel sessions on day 1 of the final conference

Panel sessions on day 1 of the final conference

Each panel then compared curricula and teaching methodology in their particular field and drew up suggestions for curricula review. The day concluded with a plenary session involving all panel members.


Keynote address on Day 2 of the final conference by Professor Castermans, Vice Dean of Leiden Law School

Keynote address on Day 2 of the final conference by Professor Castermans, Vice Dean of Leiden Law School

Day two of the conference was open to a wider and larger audience. The agenda featured keynote addresses on the role of legal scholarship in both Indonesian and the Netherlands, presentations of the major findings of the project and suggestions for curricula review, a panel discussion, and formal presentation of the Building Blocks for the Rule of Law text book series to the Rector of Universitas Indonesia, Professor Dr. Gumilar Rusliwa Somantri, and the Dutch ambassador to the Netherlands, Mr. Tjeerd de Zwaan.


Progress made and foundations laid

All those involved in the project believe that by way of the courses conducted, the creation of the text books and the debates and discussions of the final conference, real and significant progress has been made in the field of legal scholarship in Indonesia. It is also hoped that a firm foundation has been laid for further positive developments in the Indonesian legal system.

Related professors and lecturers

More information?

If you would like more information about this project please contact Rebecca Tait of the Office for International Education ('BIO') at the Leiden Law School: r.j.tait@law.leidenuniv.nl

There is also a Facebook group for those involved or interested in the Building Blocks for the Rule of Law Project.


Last Modified: 29-01-2013