Adat Law and Legal Pluralism in Indonesia: Toward A New Perspective?


Adat law is part of Indonesia's legal system with unwritten characteristics. To some extent, it embeds with religious values. As a country with pluralist societies, adat law plays an important role in Indonesia that increasingly adds the critical discourse of legal pluralism since it originates from indigenous values based on habits to execute from the older generation. This study aimed to analyze the contextual development of adat law in Indonesia through a historical perspective and its applicability to its emerging positivization in the form of state law. It emphasized the recent development of transforming adat law into state regulation through by-laws with the following prospects and challenges. This study used socio-legal method research, a cross-disciplinary approach in nature through the form of analysis to the normative and contextual issues of adat law. This paper concluded that constituting the state regulation contains the boundaries to implement adat law as the right of adat community, adat court, and the adoption of the adat values. The positivization has developed by adopting adat law to by-laws at the regional level of governments. By-law is assumed to have law enforcement that binds the community because it comes from the habits of the community. Therefore, it indicates a new paradigm in recognizing and protecting adat law, not through by-laws, in which both adat and state laws are different and could not be a unity law.

KEYWORDS: Adat Law, State Law, Legal Pluralism, Indonesian Law.

How to Cite
HAMIDA, Nilna Aliyan. Adat Law and Legal Pluralism in Indonesia: Toward A New Perspective?. Indonesian Journal of Law and Society, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p. 1-24, mar. 2022. ISSN 2722-4074. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 mar. 2023. doi:

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