The Importance of a Degree in Law

Law is a system of principles that determines what the government, private actors, and citizens can and cannot do. The system ensures that all people have equal access to justice and that everyone’s rights are protected.

The rules of law are fixed by statutes, regulations, and customary law (administered through courts and judicial decisions). They also set forth general principles to guide legal practitioners and judges to avoid arbitrary, biased, or dishonest judgments.

Throughout history, the rule of law has evolved as people sought ways to protect themselves from injustice. It provides a foundation for human rights, civil and individual liberties, property and contract rights, and the fair and efficient delivery of justice.

It helps to ensure that the government is not abusing its power or causing harm by exercising it improperly and that it has sufficient resources to carry out its duties. It also gives an incentive to those charged with enforcing the law to make their cases in a fair and impartial manner.

First-year law students typically take courses in the basic topics of administrative law, litigation, civil law, corporate and transactional law, evidence, family law, professional responsibility, and taxation. Most law schools also offer additional courses in international and environmental law, and some offer clinical opportunities where you learn to practice law through real-life experiences.

Studying law can be an invaluable experience for developing your critical thinking, analytical skills, and communication skills. You’ll learn how to identify and resolve complex problems, conduct legal research, analyze and cite sources, write effectively, and collaborate with colleagues.

Moreover, you’ll be exposed to different cultures and societies. Most large law firms work with clients from around the world, and you’ll have the opportunity to travel while in the workplace.

Law is a discipline that demands a lot of dedication and hard work, but it can be rewarding in the end. It can allow you to advance in your career, develop a broad understanding of the world, and help others achieve their goals.

In addition, a degree in law can open doors to many other fields and careers that you might not have considered before. For example, you may be able to use your legal knowledge and skills to become a judge or an attorney, or even venture into the finance sector.

A law degree is highly respected and regarded in society. It can give you the opportunity to do things like change the constitution for the betterment of the people.

Having a law degree can also help you to build a stronger and more unified legal community in your organisation. You’ll be able to discuss and solve legal issues with your staff, senior management, and external providers.

If you want to become a lawyer, it is best to get as much experience as possible. This can be achieved through working in a law firm or taking secondments into other departments. It can also be done through internships and other forms of work experience.

The Challenges of Democracy in Indonesia

Indonesia is a country where political parties and individuals compete in parliamentary and presidential elections every five years. Since the fall of the New Order under Suharto in 1998, Indonesia has experienced a period of liberalization and democratization known as reformasi (literally: “reform” or “reformulation”).

During this period, the government has allowed greater freedom of speech and a more open political-social environment. However, despite these improvements, a number of challenges remain.

First, vertical accountability mechanisms are still relatively weak, which makes it difficult to punish or oust an unpopular president. Moreover, candidates have to compete to burnish their track records and prove themselves worthy of the presidency. This has made it more difficult for voters to choose competent leaders who have a genuine desire to improve their communities.

Second, horizontal accountability mechanisms are also weakened, which is problematic because they prevent the government from acting unilaterally against its citizens’ preferences. Consequently, a president may exercise executive power in ways that conflict with what the people want. This could be a sign of corruption or the misuse of state resources.

Third, the purely utilitarian view of elections articulated by government and party officials privileges bureaucratic efficiency over citizens’ rights. This is particularly true at the lower levels of government where local governments are often dominated by vested interests and ineffective institutions.

Fourth, money-politics is common in Indonesia, which is not free of corrupt practices or nepotism. For example, poorer Indonesians may be “encouraged” to vote for a specific candidate by handing them small amounts of money on election day.

Fifth, the state’s ability to investigate and prosecute abuses remains limited. Although the national human rights commission has been created, it does not have the formal powers of investigation or subpoena power that are essential for effective judicial action.

Six-in-ten or more Indonesians say they are likely to take political action on a range of issues, but only a small share have actually done so. Majorities have not attended an election campaign event or voted in a past election, and few are prepared to participate in political protests.

Seven-in-ten or more Indonesians would also be likely to post their thoughts about politics or social issues on a social media platform. The only exception is voting: a majority of Indonesians surveyed have voted in the past year or more, and a similar share said they would be likely to vote in the future.

Civil society actors can play a critical role in defending and implementing Indonesia’s democratic gains, but they face a government that is increasingly uninterested in heeding public opinion and a state that remains adept at inhibiting dissent. They are also hampered by an ineffective judiciary that has yet to bring credible charges against the country’s most prominent figures.

The upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019 represent an opportunity to renew Indonesia’s commitment to a democracy based on the rule of law. But if the current administration continues to backtrack on governance reform and hobbles the independent Anti-Corruption Commission, Indonesia’s democratic gains are likely to be undermined further.