JEAIL > Volume 4(2); 2011 > Article
Research Paper
Published online: November 30, 2011

Indonesian Customary Law and European Colonialism: A Comparative Analysis on Adat Law

Zezen Zaenal Mutaqin
State Islamic University, Indonesia
Fakultas Syariah dan Hukum, UIN Jakarta, Jl. H. Djuanda No. 59 Ciputat.
Corresponding Author:

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This paper argues that what Van Vollenhoven did in dealing with adat law was in fact part and parcel of the colonial policy to exploit the colony for the benefit of the Dutch and had nothing to do with being 'a good Samaritan' by saving 'the other' legal culture. What he did also was mainly triggered by what I refer to as cultural anxiety. His campaign to promote adat law was intensified by his fear of the rise of Islamic identity that would be used as a rebellious ideology by the people of Indonesia to fight against the Dutch. Furthermore, I argue that Van Vollenhoven's intellectual background, heavily influenced by European legal romanticism, had intensified his advocacy to promote adat law in Indonesia.

Keywords : Adat Law, Colonialism, NEI, Unification, Codification, Legal Pluralism, Romanticism, Cuturalist, Legal Positivism

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