This course introduces students to the legal systems and legal traditions of South East Asia in the context of their plural societies, and considers the relationship between law, governance and development in the region over the span of modern history. Among the topics covered in the course include:
• pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial law, including customary and religious law;
• the influence of legal transplants, state-building, and development initiatives;
• critical consideration of theoretical frameworks used to make sense of the diversity in the region;
• key issues relating to constitutionalism and nation-building;
• domestic challenges such as ethnic and sectarian conflict;
• the role of law in socio-economic change in the region.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Analyze and critically evaluate the historical evolution of the legal systems in South East Asia;
- Evaluate the role of legal institutions in governance and development in South East Asia, and present the evaluation in verbal form;
- Assess contemporary academic and policy debates about law and society in South East Asia, and participate in those debates orally;
- Access South East Asian legal materials for research purposes and employ a variety of research methodologies;
- Plan and execute complex legal research on issues relating to law and society in South East Asia, and present the research findings in written form.
Classes may be offered in non-standard sessions and be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (a minimum of 36 hours). Please refer to the LLB timetable for dates. Please contact the ANU College of Law Student Administration Services to request a permission code to enrol in classes offered in non-standard sessions.
- Class Participation: to be assessed in seminars throughout the course (10) [LO 2,3]
- Class Presentation: 5-10 minutes of presentation followed by discussion (10) [LO 2,3]
- Research Essay: 4000 words (80) [LO 1,4,5]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week (a minimum of 36 hours). Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsE-brick will be provided through the ANU Library.
Preliminary ReadingPatrick Glenn, Legal Traditions of the World (2004) Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (1983)Barry Hooker, Legal Pluralism: An Introduction to Colonial and Neo-Colonial Laws (1975)
Assumed KnowledgeThe course will assume a working knowledge of basic legal concepts.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.