The first law school in Indonesia was established by Dutch East Indies government in 1909 under the name of Rechtsschool. The school is located in Batavia, to meet the demand of P.A. Achmad Djajadiningrat, A Regent of Serang, for the purpose of fulfilling the legal personnel at district courts. This school was originally comprised of Preparation Level and Legal Expertise Level. The Law School was later upgraded to a higher education institution by the name of Rechtshogeschool or Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, which was officially opened on October 28, 1924 by General Governor D. Fockt in an assembly hall at Bataviasche Vennootschap van het Museum van Kunsten en Wetenschappen located on Medan Merdeka Barat Street, Jakarta. A famous Dutch Professor, Prof. Mr. Paul Scholten was appointed to lead the school. With the opening of the Higher Law School, then on May 18, 1928 the Law School was then closed.
Both of the name above were used in the regulations of university at the time, namely Hooger Onderwijs Ordonanntie (S.1924 No. 456, amended inter alia by S. 1926 No. 338 and No. 502, S. 1927 No. 395, S . 1926 No. 348, No. 222 S. 1929, S. 1932 No. 14, S. 1933 No. 345, S. 1934 No. 529).
According to the regulations, courses taught at the Rechtshogeschool were (Article 9): Introduction to Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law, Civil Law and Civil Procedure, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law, Islamic Law and Rules, Trade Law, Sociology, Government Studies, Dutch East Indies’ Nations Studies, Malay Language, Javanese Language, Latin Language, Philosophy of Law, Principles of Roman Civil Law, Private International Law, Conflict of Laws, Criminology, Psychology, Medical Forensic Science, International Law, Overseas Colonial Law, History of Dutch East Indies, and Statistics. By decision of General Governor, aside from those twenty four courses mentioned above it was still possible to add more courses so that legal education would follow and foster society development.
Length of education period in Rechtshogeschool was five years which was divided into two stages. The first phase completed in two years with candidates examination (candidaatsexamen), and the second stage with doctoral examination (doctoraal-examen). In the fifth year, doctoral examination part three gave students the opportunity to choose between four majors (richtingen), namely: Civil Law, Criminal Law, State Law, and Sociology-Economics. Those who passed this examination were given the title of Meester in de Rechten (Article 10). The title granted rights to the bearer to be appointed as: (a) advocates and lawyers as well as positions in other judicial fields, and (b) government employees as well as employees in the education field (article 20). The regulations of Rechtshogeschool education was issued in S. 1924 No. 457 was supplemented and last amended by S. 1936 No. 106 and 438.
During the Japanese occupation (1942-1945) Rechtshogeschool was closed and then reopened in 1946 under the name of Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid en Sociale Wetenschappen as part of Nood-Universiteit van Indonesië (opened on January 21, 1946). This higher education institution was founded by the NICA (Netherlands’ Indies Civil Administration).
Government of the Republic of Indonesia had set up its own high educational institutions five months earlier with the name of Higher Education Council of the Republic of Indonesia, on August 19, 1945. The institute was originally comprised of four faculties, namely Medicine, Pharmacy, Law and Literature. Although most of the activities of Higher Education Council of the Republic of Indonesia was moved outside of Jakarta (to R.I. area which centered in Yogyakarta), yet the majority activities were still in Jakarta under the leadership of Prof. dr. Sarwono Prawirohardjo, Prof. dr. Sutomo Tjokronegoro, Prof. dr. Slamet Iman Santoso and Prof. Mr. Sudiman Kartohadiprodjo.
With sovereignty recognition of the Republic of Indonesia on December 27, 1949, then on January 30, 1950, the government issued Emergency Law No. 7 in 1950, which authorized Minister of Education and Culture to take any measures necessary for the development of higher educational institutions in Indonesia.
On February 2, 1950, a negotiation between the Republic of Indonesia (represented among others by dr. Abu Hanifah) with the Dutch representative took place on the Hall of the Faculty of Medicine at Salemba Street No. 6 Jakarta. This negotiation did not result to an agreement and ended up with a chaos. However, at that day also marked the inception of a new educational institution, Universiteit Indonesia was born (later to become Universitas Indonesia).
This newly established university was a merger between Universiteit van Indonesië and Higher Education Council of the Republic of Indonesia. It also included the incorporation of Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid en Sociale Wetenschappen with Faculty of Law of Higher Education Council of the Republic of Indonesia, with the new name Faculty of Law and Social Studies (with the first Dean: Prof. Mr. Djokosoetono and Registrar: Mr. Prof. Dr. Hazairin).
The curriculum and education system used in the Faculty of Law and Social Studies basically were adopted from Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid en Sociale Wetenschappen. The revision for curriculum and education system was occurred in 1969 with adjustment to the decisions of the Official Conference Among Law School Pioneers in Indonesia (Yogyakarta, 29 to 31 August 1968) and also to be in accordance with the Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture No.0198 / U / 1972, dated 30 December 1972, regarding minimum curriculum. However, the pattern of curriculum and education system was not much different from the old patterns of Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid en Sociale Wetenschappen, except for the addition of courses, the introduction of guided study system and division of academic year in semester terms.
A significant fundamental revision of the curriculum was based on Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture No. 0124 / U / 1979 dated June 8, 1979 on Semester Credit System (regulation of 1972 and 1979 was amended again by Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture dated June 26, 1982 No. 0211 / U / 1982 and No. 0212 / U / 1982). Based on these latest regulations, Dean’s Decree of the Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia No. 121 / SK / D / FH / 7/82, dated July 31, 1982 was issued. Also, Decree of the Director General of Higher Education No. 30 / DJ / KEP / 1983 dated 27 April 1983 on Core Curriculum of Undergraduate Education Program of Law which was translated into Dean’s Decree of the Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia No. 210 / SK / D / FH / 7/1986.
Changes in faculty organization occurred in 1959 with the opening of Public Communication Department. In 1960 Faculty of Law also offered an evening course known as the Extension Program or Evening Class Law School that was more intended for students who were also working. The opening of the Extension Program was based on Decree of the Chairman of the Faculty of Law and Social Studies Prof. Mr. Djokosoetono No. 4/915 / lb / 61 / K dated August 1, 1961. (Based on Dean’s Decree No. 92 / I / 4/1994 dated 30 April 1994, the program was called Faculty of Law Extension Program).
As noted above, since February 1950 the name of the school was changed to the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences. By the Decree of the General Director of Higher Education No. 42, dated May 6, 1968, the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences (also known by the abbreviation FH & IPK) was separated into the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Social Sciences (effective as per 1 February 1968 and fully completed on 1 April 1969), later known with the name of the Faculty of Social Sciences and now the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences.
An education section that has been become a part of Faculty of Law was notarial education (better known by the name of Department of Notary). This education has existed since the merger in 1950 (during the Universiteit van Indonesië was lead by Prof. Mr. Slamet and in the early leadership of Universitas Indonesia by Prof. Mr. Tan Eng Kiam and Prof. Mr. R. Soedja). Since 1965, with the abolition of state examination of notarial education for level I and level II, then this education officially became university program and referred to as Notary Department of Faculty of Law, Universitas Indonesia with a two-year study period. Now known as Department of Notary and Land Specialist Program.
In 1979 Faculty of Law had been planning to open a postgraduate program (Stratum-2) to provide specialized training and preparation for dissertation writing for law graduates. Therefore Working Committee for Preparation / Formation Graduate Program at Faculty of Law, Universitas Indonesia was formed and the committee was chaired by Mardjono Reksodiputro, SH, MA. According to Dean’s Decree No. 49 of 1979 (October 20, 1979), the committee had to complete their duties within six months. Since the committee failed to meet the due date, personnel composition of the committee was changed and the term of appointment was extended with Dean’s Decree 52 and No. 63 1980 and led by the same chairman. The committee finally completed the task on January 16, 1981 with a proposal of curriculum, faculty members and division of three study programs. The next task was assigned to a new committee, chaired by Dr. Koesnadi Hardjasoemantri, SH, with Dean’s Decree No. 82 of 1981 (January 19, 1981), which then he was appointed as Coordinator of Legal Studies, Faculty of Postgraduate Universitas Indonesia (Current: Postgraduate Program, Universitas Indonesia).
As for postgraduate program with doctorate level (Stratum-3), Doctoral Program of Legal Studies was established since the issuance of Regulation Rector of the Universitas Indonesia Number 061 / SK / R / UI / 1983 dated July 19, 1983 on the Implementation of Doctoral Education at the Universitas Indonesia. Doctoral Program is part of the Postgraduate Program in Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia, the program was operated according to Dean’s Decree of Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia No. 82 / SK / D / FH / 1/81 dated January 19, 1981. Initially, implementation of this program is under Postgraduate Program, Universitas Indonesia, then based on UI Rector Decree No. 313 / SK / R / U / 1999, regarding Status of Postgraduate Program Universitas Indonesia. After Government Regulation No. 60 1999 came into effect, management of Doctoral Program is under Faculty of Law.
In a framework of expanding education access in Universitas Indonesia to accommodate high school graduates outside regular track or for those who plan on studying in afternoon / evening classes, Undergraduate Parallel Program was opened. Extension Programs which was existed before then discontinued, meanwhile, Undergraduate Parallel Program only accept students who are already in the workforce and graduated from high school more than three (3) years. In principle, Undergraduate Parallel Program has similar quality of education with Regular Program whether curriculum, study load, period of study and facilities; the differences are only concerning afternoon class schedule, payment of Tuition Fee and Initial Development Fee. Undergraduate Parallel Program is implemented according to Rector Decree of Universitas Indonesia No. 0090 / SK / R / UI / 2010 regarding the Operation Permit of Undergraduate Parallel Program Universitas Indonesia dated 9 February 2010. Undergraduate Parallel Program had been opened since 2010 as a substitute for the extension program that had been closed. The program primarily aims to give an opportunity for high school graduates, though it is also offered to people in the workforce or professionals who want to pursue law school.
In a framework of global business development, legal field cannot be overlooked. International business transactions required implementation of legal knowledge, both theoretically and practically. International Undergraduate Program (Kelas Khusus International—KKI) was established to meet these challenges by preparing the graduates with formidable ability in the world of international business law.
KKI program is a single degree program that provides opportunities for students who are eligible for student-exchange program or study-abroad at several universities abroad partnered with Universitas Indonesia. Among the partner universities that joined the cooperation with Faculty of Law, Universitas Indonesia are Utrecht University, University of Groningen, Erasmus University, Leiden University, National University of Singapore, and University of Technology Sydney. In order to expand its global network, the program also opens possibilities for foreign students who come from different corners of the world to follow either as a student or as a full student with student-exchange status.
KKI program was opened by Faculty of Law, Universitas Indonesia since 2010-2011 academic year by Rector Decree of Universitas Indonesia No. 0424 / SK / R / UI / 2010 regarding Management Permit of International Undergraduate Program Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia.
List of Deans who had served Faculty of Law is as follows:
- R. Djokosoetono, S.H. (alm. 1950-1962);
- Soejono Hadinoto, S.H. (alm. 1962-1964);
- R. Subekti, S.H. (1964-1966);
- Oemar Seno Adji, S.H. (alm., 1966-1968);
- R. Soekardono, S.H. (alm., 1968-1970);
- Padmo Wahjono, S.H. (alm., 1970-1978);
- S.J. Hanifa Wiknjosastro, S.H. (alm., 978-1984);
- Mardjono Reksodiputro, S.H., MA (1984-1990);
- Dr. Ch. Himawan, (alm., 1990-1993);
- R.M. Girindro Pringgodigdo, S.H. (alm., 1993-1997);
- Dr. Sri Setianingsih Suwardi, S.H., M.H. (official dean; 1997-1999);
- Abdul Bari Azed, S.H., M.H. (1999-2003);
- Hikmahanto Juwana, S.H., LL.M., Ph.D. (2004-2008);
- Safri Nugraha, S.H., LL.M., Ph.D. (alm., 2008-2011);
- Siti Hajati Hosein, S.H., M.H. (official dean; 2011-2014).
Currently Dr. Edmon Makarim, S.Kom., S.H., LL.M is serving as the Dean of Faculty of Law Universitas Indonesia.