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Maintaining Order: Public Prosecutors in Post-Authoritarian Countries, the case of Indonesia

On 21 January 2021, Fachrizal Afandi defended his thesis ‘Maintaining Order: Public Prosecutors in Post-Authoritarian Countries, the case of Indonesia’. The doctoral research was supervised by Prof. A.W. Bedner and Prof. J.H. Crijns.

This research gives a comprehensive account of the public prosecutor’s role in post-authoritarian Indonesia, both in promoting the rule of law and in maintaining the political status quo. It traces the development of the Indonesian prosecution service, historically and politically, exploring what and who influences its performance, as well as how public prosecutors work in practice.

The case of Indonesia constitutes an example of the way in which prosecution services evolve in countries marked by authoritarian tendencies. It shows how various regimes position public prosecutors as ‘justice postmen’, who deliver cases based on the government’s interests, as well as on the interests of other powerful actors, such as political parties, companies, or the police force. Such situations are commonly seen in authoritarian countries, where the executive dominates political power, and public prosecutors have become tools of the government in maintaining political order.

This research is a socio-legal study of the criminal justice system. It contributes to a number of broader debates about post-authoritarian public prosecutors and their role in promoting the rule of law. By combining criminal law, criminology, political science and anthropological theory, it provides an important framework for the analysis and critique of conditions for, impacts of, and possibilities for prosecution services in post-authoritarian countries.

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