UNAIR Faculty of Law Lecturer Becomes Examiner of Dissertation in Leiden

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Herlambang Leiden University
Herlambang Wiratraman (far left) was one of 'Leden oppositie commisie' (Member of the Opposition Commission) in a dissertation defense exam at Akademie Gebouw, Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands. (Private Doc.)

UNAIR NEWS – Dr. Herlambang P. Wiratraman, lecturer of Constitutional Law and Chairman of Study Center for Human Rights Law (HRLS) at Faculty of Law, Universitas Airlangga, became one of ‘Leden oppositie commisie’ (Member of Opposition Commission) in Henky Widjaja’s dissertation defense exam. The exam was held on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. (Dutch time), at Akademie Gebouw, Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands.

Henky’s dissertation was entitled ‘Deconstructing a Biofuel Hype: The Stories of Jatropha Projects in South Sulawesi, Indonesia’. Henky works at UNICEF.

In writing his dissertation, Henky was guided by Prof. dr. Gerard Persoon, Professor emeritus of Environment and Development, and Co-Promoter Dr. Ir. Jacqueline Vel from the Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden Law School.

Besides Herlambang, other members of  ‘Leden oppositie commisie’ were Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ir. Maya Slingerland from Department of Plant Sciences, Wageningen University; Prof. Dr. David Henley Professor of Contemporary Indonesia Studies at Leiden University; Prof. Dr. Annelies Zoomers, Professor of Human Geography Utrecht University; Dr. Ratna Saptari, Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University; and Prof. Dr. Cristina Grasseni from the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Leiden University. Herlambang represents the Faculty of Law, Universitas Airlangga.

Regarding Henky’s dissertation exam, Herlambang said that the dissertation was related to Biofuel projects from Jatropha / Jatropha plants, which were given massive funding by government on the basis of recommendations from Indonesian scientists. But unfortunately, the government believes it can be Biofuel though scientifically it has not been scientifically tested.

The large-scale project failed and Henky’s study opened an ideological veil, the actors working behind the project, and criticized the role of many actors including scientists who were merely seeking personal gain or research.

“The study has taught the government to be more careful in developing alternative energy policies in the future, so that they do not repeat same mistake as Jatropha projects in Indonesia,” said Herlambang.

Herlambang continued, the critical tradition of scientific development taught at Leiden University provided learning that the key to change was reality-based innovation in the field.

“And, researchers are required to have more imagination in contributing to the solution as well as strengthening it in the scientific method that is openly accountable to the public,” said Herlambang.

For additional information, in 2014 Herlambang graduated doctoral studies from the Faculteit Rechtgeleerdheid Universiteit Leiden. At that time his exam was tested by 10 examiners. Two examiners were from Indonesia with two different backgrounds, legal philosophy and press freedom. He wrote a dissertation entitled “Press Freedom, Law and Politics in Indonesia: A Socio-Legal Study”.

Author: Binti Q. Masruroh


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