Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Strengthening Legal Education in Eastern Indonesia (SLEEI)

How can legal education in Indonesia become more relevant for supporting the rule of law and providing legal services that common citizens need?

2019 - 2021
Jacqueline Vel
NUFFIC’s Orange Knowledge Programme - ‘Security and Rule of Law in Indonesia’
Leaves of the lontar palm - an iconic tree of the dry Eastern Indonesian islands. Photograph by J Vel, April 2017, East Sumba

The SLEEI project aims at strengthening legal education, which is a crucial part of maintaining the rule of law in the country. Many  Indonesian citizens cannot realise their rights and continue to face a lack of legal certainty:  It is often unclear what laws apply in particular situations and it is hard to predict how the courts or the government will interpret them.  SLEEI will focus on course development and teaching methods that will produce graduates who master key legal skills required by the labour market, and who are aware of the ethical and inequality/gender issues involved in the problems they address.

The project will be conducted by a consortium of  four law faculties  in Eastern Indonesia (Ambon, Kupang, Waingapu, Mataram), two law faculties on Java (UGM and Jentera), one in the Netherlands (VVI Leiden), and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT). The consortium builds on existing collaboration between Indonesian partners and Leiden Law School, including guest lecturing, masterclasses, joint research, and project based collaboration. With a central role for experts who are alumni of LLS (PhD) and now work at top universities in Indonesia, this project aims to change the collaboration’s focus from primarily Netherlands-Indonesia exchanges to structured interaction, sharing and support between and among Indonesian law faculties.

Working papers on legal skills, ethics, gender, local context and interactive teaching

A short survey in 2019 among students and lecturers of the Eastern Indonesian universities collaborating in the SLEEI project indicated that various aspects of the current legal education in those four universities could be improved. The main thematic areas of improvement include legal analysis and writing skills, legal ethics, higher responsiveness to local context, and also to gender aspects in law and legal education. Results of the survey also indicated existing interest in more interactive teaching methods.

The SLEEI team has now written 5 working papers that summarize the core aspects of these five themes.  The papers are written as key reference material for training law lecturers in Eastern Indonesia. Each paper discusses one of the themes and explains the issues that come up when enhancing law courses on content regarding the themes. The papers also contain practical suggestions on how to integrate the enhancements in existing courses.  These five papers compose the core of what will become the SLEEI manual for strengthening legal education. They are co-authored by Indonesian and Dutch experts who cooperate in SLEEI.

The Indonesian version of the papers can be also accessed through SLEEI’s website in Bahasa where you can also find more information on the project, events and updates.

The English and Indonesian versions can be downloaded here:

  1. Interactive teaching in legal education – English | Bahasa
  2. Legal Skills English | Bahasa
  3. Legal Ethics – English | Bahasa 
  4. Integrating gender in legal education – English | Bahasa
  5. Law in Local Context – English | Bahasa
Click to enlarge the image
Click to enlarge the image

WINNER conference

Week of Indonesia-Netherlands Education and Research (WINNER)
24-26 November 2020

SLEEI WINNER session 'From knowledge to practice through strengthening legal education'
Wednesday 25 November 9.00 - 9.45 hrs CET (online)


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