The limited access to legal aid for asylum seekers and refugees living in limbo of Indonesia has given rationale for the genesis of community-based refugee paralegals in Greater Jakarta. The context of living in perennial uncertainty, waiting for durable solutions, and the traces of securitization of refugee issues have consequences on the increasing of domestic legal problems faced by asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia. The study examines how refugee paralegals contribute to broadening the access to justice for their community, using three interpretive frameworks, namely (a) legal analysis to identify and analyse significant refugees’ legal rights, (b) legal consciousness to reveal the images of law and strategies chosen by paralegals, and (c) legal translation to unfold paralegals’ potentials and roles as “translators” to refugees’ legal rights. The analysis of online semi-structured interviews with eleven paralegals disclosed the themes that were indicative of their legal consciousness and their roles in legal translation as well. Their contribution to improving better access to justice for their community provided insights on the “living law” and their role as “translators” to the refugees’ legal rights.

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Handmaker, Jeff
Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)
International Institute of Social Studies

Susinto, Thomas Aquinas Maswan. (2021, December 17). Legal consciousness of community-based refugee paralegals in Greater Jakarta: contestation in-between. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from