The Asia Pacific Justice Forum was a two-day event that took place on December 8 and 9, 2022 in Jakarta, Indonesia and online.

The event focused on building partnerships for the rule of law and address regional rule of law issues, including judicial independence, healthy information ecosystems, and access to justice.

The World Justice Project produced the event in partnership with the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice (AIPJ2) and KEMITRAAN Partnership for Governance Reform.

The World Justice Project (WJP)’s mission in the Asia Pacific region is to create knowledge, build awareness, and stimulate action to advance the rule of law as the foundation of communities of justice, opportunity, and peace. The mission is carried out by 1) creating and disseminating knowledge about rule of law performance in the region and 2) engaging with governments, businesses, and civil society to use WJP data for policy development. Through a multidisciplinary approach of constructive engagement, WJP promotes greater rule of law adherence by governments and fosters home-grown cultures of the rule of law.

Attendees at the Asia Pacific Justice Forum included representatives of government, the private sector, intergovernmental organizations, the academy, and civil society from throughout the region, including Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, among others.

Watch Day 1

Watch Day 2


8 December
Day 1: Scoping the Justice Challenges in Asia Pacific

9:00 Opening Remarks and Keynote Statements

  1. Welcome Message & Snapshot of World Justice Project (WJP) 
  1. Speakers

9:40 Regional Asia Pacific Launch of the 2022 WJP Rule of Law Index

  1. Presentation of research findings of the 2022 Rule of Law Index

10:30 - 11:30 Panel Discussion of Regional Data from the 2022 WJP Rule of Law Index

  • Steven Thiru, Vice President for Australasia, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Malaysia
  • Laode M. Syarif, Executive Director of Kemitraan
  • Prashant Kumar, President, Bar Association of India
  • Victor Dawes, Chairperson, Hong Kong Bar Association
  • Chair/Moderator: Alejandro Ponce, Chief Research Officer, WJP

13:00 - 14:30 Interactive Session on Judicial Independence and the Rule of Law

  1. Best Practices & Innovations presentations 

     2. Interactive discussion

14:45 Presentation on How Technology can Strengthen Access to Justice by Jupitice, A Justice Technology Company, India

15:00 - 16:30 Interactive Session on Access to Justice for Minorities

  1. Best practices & innovations presentations 
  • Veronica Rios, Director, Global Associations & Strategic Partnership, LexisNexis Pacific 
  • Doreen Buettner, Access to Justice Specialist, UN Women, Bangkok
  • Muhammad Haedir, Director of Makassar Legal Aid (LBH Makassar)
  • Andi Takdir, paralegal and Head of People with Disabilities Indonesia Association (PPDI), Bone District, South Sulawesi
  • LBH Makassar, Indonesia
  • Q&A
  1. Interactive discussion
  • Dio Ashar Wicaksana, Co-founder and Executive Director, Indonesia Judicial Research Society, Indonesia
  • Ajay Shankar Jha "Rupesh," Executive Director, Public Defender Society of Nepal
  • Angkhana Neelapaijit, Member of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and Former Thailand National Human Rights Commissioner
  • Naosuke Fujita, Lawyers for LGBT and Allies Network
  • Chair/Moderator: Hannah Lim, Head of Rule of Law and Emerging Markets, LexisNexis Southeast Asia


9 December
Day 2: Finding Solutions, Working Together

9:30 – 11:30 Interactive Session on Smart Regulations for a Healthy Information Ecosystem

  1. Best practices & innovations presentations
  • Dr. Ethan Hee-Seok Shin, Legal Analyst, Transitional Justice Working Group, South Korea on disinformation laws
  • Co-Fact, a participatory fact-checking model, Thailand
  • Hyra Basit, Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan
  • Q&A
  1. Interactive discussion

11:30-12:00 Concluding Discussion on Final Reflections and Next Steps

  • Prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn, UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in Cambodia and Emeritus Professor, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand










Private Sector Partnership Members





Elizabeth Andersen: Executive Director, World Justice Project

Elizabeth "Betsy" Andersen is Executive Director of the World Justice Project, leading its global efforts to advance the rule of law. She has more than 20 years of experience in the international legal arena, having served previously as Director of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and its Europe and Eurasia Division (ABA CEELI), as Executive Director of the American Society of International Law, and as Executive Director of Human Rights Watch's Europe and Central Asia Division.  

Ms. Andersen is a member of the American Law Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of Trustees of Williams College as well as on the governing and advisory boards of several international non-profit organizations. She is the recipient of a number of awards for her work in the international rule of law field, including a Williams College Bicentennial Medal, the American Society of International Law Prominent Woman in International Law Award, and the American Bar Association Section of International Law World Order Under Law Award.

Ms. Andersen received a B.A. from Williams College, an M.P.A. from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. 

Muhammad Syarifuddin, Chief Justice of Indonesia

Muhammad Syarifuddin is an Indonesian justice who serves as the 14th and current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Indonesia since 30 April 2020. He also serves as the Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Indonesia for judicial affairs. He has previously served as the Supreme Court's head of supervision.


Prof. Margaret Satterthwaite, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

Professor Satterthwaite is an international human rights scholar and practitioner with decades of experience in the field. She is a Professor of Clinical Law at New York University School of Law, where she directs the Global Justice Clinic and serves as a faculty director of the Robert and Helen Bernstein Institute for Human Rights and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.

Her scholarship has focused on access to justice, legal empowerment, and methodological innovation in human rights, among other topics, and she has published several edited volumes and dozens of articles and book chapters. Professor Satterthwaite has worked with individuals and communities seeking to realize their rights around the world. She has litigated in international and domestic fora, including the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

She has worked for a variety of human rights organizations, including Amnesty International USA, where she co-founded and then directed the organization’s program to defend the human rights of those persecuted on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. She also worked with Street Law, Human Rights First, and the Haitian Truth and Justice Commission. She has also served as a human rights consultant and advising expert to the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and two UN Special Rapporteurs. She has been a member of the boards of directors of several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International USA, the Global Initiative on Economic and Social Rights, the International Service for Human Rights, and Digital Democracy.

Alejandro Ponce, Chief Research Officer, World Justice Project

Dr. Alejandro Ponce is the Chief Research Officer of the World Justice Project. He joined the WJP as Senior Economist and is one of the original designers and a lead author of the WJP Rule of Law Index. Dr. Ponce leads the research and data collection initiatives of the World Justice Project, from the administration of the WJP Rule of Law Index to the design and implementation of nationwide surveys in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the EU, and Mexico.

Prior to joining the World Justice Project, Dr. Ponce worked as a researcher at Yale University and as an economist at the World Bank and the Mexican Banking and Securities Commission. Dr. Ponce has conducted research in the areas of behavioral economics, financial inclusion, justice indicators, and the rule of law, and has been published in collected volumes as well as top academic journals such as the American Economic Review and the Journal of Law and Economics. He is a frequent speaker in international conferences and policy forums in the area of rule of law. He holds a B.A. in Economics from ITAM in Mexico, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.

Steven Thiru: Vice President for Australasia, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Malaysia

Steven Thiru is the Managing Partner of Messrs. Steven Thiru & Sudhar Partnership in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is a senior litigation lawyer and has been in practice for more than 30 years. His main areas of practice are General Litigation, Contract and Tort, Constitutional & Administrative Law, Corporate Law, Employment Law, Energy Law, and Native Title Law. 

Steven read law at the University of Leicester and graduated (LL.B (Hons)) in 1990.  He was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales at Middle Temple in 1991, and was admitted as an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya in 1992. Steven also holds a Masters of Law (LL.M) degree from University of Malaya (2000).

Steven was recognized as a highly recommended lawyer by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 and as a market-leading lawyer (Labour and Employment law) by the Asialaw 2017. He was ranked for “Dispute Resolution” by the Chambers Asia Pacific 2018. Steven was ranked by the Chambers Asia Pacific 2018 for Employment and Industrial Relations. He was categorized as a “Leading Individual for Dispute Resolution" by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019 and as a "Distinguished Practitioner" by Asialaw 2020 and 2021. 

Steven was the 31st President of the Malaysian Bar from 2015 to 2017. He is currently the Vice-President (Australasia) of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and one of the Vice Presidents of Lawasia.

Laode Syarif, Executive Director of Kemitraan

Dr. Syarif is an expert in international environmental law, good governance, transparency issues, particularly anti-corruption and legal and judicial reform. He is the Executive Director of Partnership for Governance Reform (KEMITRAAN), a leading Indonesian national organization in the issue of good governance in Indonesia.

He was the Commissioner of Indonesia Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for the period of 2015-2019. Before he joined the KPK, Dr. Syarif was a Senior Lecturer at Hasanuddin University. He has also served as one of the principal trainers of the Supreme Court of Indonesia in the area of Environmental Law and Judicial Code of Conduct since the early 2000s. He previously worked at the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law at Sydney University Law School and the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law, and served as the Executive Board of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law.

He obtained his Master degree in International Environmental Law at the Queensland University of Technology and his PhD in Law at the University of Sydney. Having over 25 years of experience, Dr. Syarif is well-mastered in issues pertaining to governance reform and the development sector in Indonesia. He was recognized by the Australian Government as the recipient of “Alumni of the Year 2018” and awarded as one of the recipients Global Advance Award by Advance.Org in 2019.

Dr. Syarif teaches at Hasanuddin University Law School and is a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney Law School, University of South Pacific Law School, National University of Singapore Law School, and Cebu University Law School. 

Prashant Kumar, President, the Bar Association of India

Prashant Kumar, was born April 20, 1969, New Delhi, India. After obtaining his Masters Degree in Economics in 1991 from Osmania University, Hyderabad, he did his LLB from CCS University in 1994 and LLM from the same university in 1996. He enrolled as Advocate with the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh in 1998, after completing his practical training. He has since been practicing as an advocate in India before the Supreme Court of India, High Courts and specialized tribunals. He regularly appears as a lead arguing counsel in international and domestic arbitrations.

He is currently the President of the Bar Association of India and Indian Law Foundation and has been a past President of Lawasia. He is the Convenor of India Committee and Founder Member of the BRICS Legal Forum and a Director on the Board of the International Legal Assistance Consortium, Sweden.

He was the member of Lawasia  fact finding mission to Pakistan on judicial crisis in 2008, he was the only international observer for the criminal trial of the 43rd Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. He addressed the annual convention of the Nepal Bar Association on Nepal’s constitution. He has twice co-chaired the Presidents of Law Associations of Asia (POLA) Summit in Sri Lanka and Mongolia besides being convenor of 2015 Summit in India, and has played a key role in devising the Agenda for the Summit.

Currently he is intensely involved in the project to establish Dispute Resolution Institutions Network for the Emerging Economies and BRICS, which is in advanced stages of being launched.

Victor Dawes, Chairperson, Hong Kong Bar Association

Victor is a commercial litigator with substantial experience in a wide range of commercial and chancery disputes including international arbitration, equity and trusts, probate, company law, and banking and financial disputes. 

Since the financial crisis in 2008, he appeared for a large number of financial institutions in the most significant mis-selling cases concerning a wide range of investment products: e.g. Selina Kwok v HSBC, DBS Bank v Sit, Chang v Bank of Singapore and Shine Grace v Citibank. 

Victor also has a substantial practice in high value trust disputes, most recently appearing in Herman Budihardjo v Di Gunawan and Yang Foo-oi v Wai-wai Chen.

As part of his ADR practice, Victor appears regularly as counsel in arbitrations and related court applications, and sits as arbitrator in a wide range of commercial disputes. He is on the HKIAC Panel of Arbitrator, the HKIAC Panel for Financial Services Disputes and the SHIAC Panel. He is also a member of the Proceedings Committee of the HKIAC. 

In July 2020, Victor was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the Securities and Futures Commission. Throughout his career, Victor acted regularly as advocate for both regulators and market participants. Recent cases include acting for the Stock Exchange in a number of judicial review proceedings regarding decisions of the Listing Appeals Committee. 

Victor is currently the Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association.

Helen Burrows, Director, International Programs, Australian Federal Courts

Helen is Director, International Programs with the Federal Court of Australia. She is responsible for the PJSI contract with New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and delivering on the Initiative's monitoring and evaluation strategy. Helen is a qualified solicitor with experience directing, managing and delivering bi/multilateral judicial development projects. She has worked for 20 years in Asia, Africa and the Pacific on rule of law, governance, access to justice, professionalism, procedural and substantive justice reform.

Jimly Asshiddiqie, former Chief of Constitutional Court of Indonesia and Professor of Law

Jimly Asshiddiqie currently serves as Chairman of the Honorary Board of Election Organizers (DKPP) of the Republic of Indonesia for the period 2012-2017. Previously served as Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia for the period 2003-2008 and Member of the Presidential Advisory Council (Wantimpres) of the Republic of Indonesia in 2010.

He obtained a law degree from the Faculty of Law, University of Indonesia (1982) and later became a lecturer at his alma mater. S-2 education (1987) was completed at the Faculty of Law UI (1987). Doctor of Law degree was obtained from the Faculty of Postgraduate UI, Sandwich Program in collaboration with Rechtssfaculteit Rijks-Universiteit and Van Voolenhoven Institute, Leiden (1990). In 1998, he was appointed as a Full Professor of Constitutional Law, Faculty of Law UI and trusted as Chairman and Person in Charge of the Postgraduate Program in Constitutional Law, Faculty of Law UI.

In addition to serving his alma mater, his devotion to the nation and state has never been interrupted. He served as Expert Advisor to the Minister of Industry & Trade, Expert Advisor to the Secretariat General of the MPR-RI, 2002-2003, Expert Advisor to the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Indonesia in the period 2002-2003, Member of the expert team of various draft laws in the field of law and politics, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, and Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the period 1997-2003.

Justice Shiranee Tilakawardane, former Supreme Court Justice of Sri Lanka, member of advisory board, Judicial Integrity Network of ASEAN

Her Ladyship, Hon. Justice (Ms.) Shiranee Tilakawardane is a Judge (Retd.) of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka.

In 1978, she was appointed as the first Woman State Counsel to the Attorney General’s Department in Sri Lanka and was also the first woman Judge appointed to the High Court, Admiralty Court, Court of Appeal and was the first woman President of the Court of Appeal. In 2003, Justice Tilakawardane was appointed to the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka where she also held the position of Acting Chief Justice.

She was a consultant to the Commonwealth secretariat, FPA, UNDP, ILO and is presently a Consultant to the Sri Lanka Judges’ Institute. Justice Tilakawardane is a National and International Arbitrator and recently received a certificate of completion for mediation from the Singapore International Mediation Center . She was both a Member and Chairperson (Sri Lanka) of the Asia Pacific Advisory Forum on Judicial Education on Equality and Human Rights Issues and serves as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Asia Pacific Forum of Gender Rights. She is also on the Advisory boards for the South Asian Regional Program on Equity(SARI-Q), the ASEAN region (UNDP) and National Centre for State Courts, Washington DC (International board).

Justice Tilakawardane is a key contributor to issues relating to Child rights and Women’s rights, Environmental law and Judicial integrity. She is the Deputy Chair to the Judicial Integrity Group.

Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, Executive Director, Cross Cultural Foundation, Thailand

Pornpen Khongkachonkiet is a human rights defender and the director of the Cross Cultural Foundation – an organization which monitors and documents cases of torture and ill-treatment in Thailand. She has been involved in various Human Rights issues both in Thailand and the region, including women’s rights, indigenous rights and preventing forced disappearances. Her work serves the public interest by ensuring that authorities are held accountable and pressuring authorities to unconditionally respect the Human Rights of all.

Veronica Rios, Director, Global Associations & Strategic Partnership, LexisNexis Pacific

Veronica Rios is the director of Global Associations and Strategic Partnership at LexisNexis Pacific. Since 2015, Ms Rios has been responsible for driving initiatives that assist developing and developed nations within the Asia Pacific region to strengthen the rule of law by leveraging the expertise and resources of LexisNexis. Through key projects led by Ms Rios, LexisNexis has created a tangible impact on quality of life for people in the Asia Pacific region. In 2017 she was named a Finalist in ‘Maverick of the Year’ category in the global Stevie® Awards for Women in Business.

Doreen Buettner, Access to Justice Specialist, UN Women, Bangkok

Doreen Buettner is a human rights and gender justice specialist with over 14 years’ experience advancing women’s access to justice in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Doreen currently manages UN Women’s Asia-Pacific regional program on Women’s Access to Justice, in partnership with the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) and International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). Doreen is leading the UN Women's regional office in developing a strategy for women’s access to justice in Asia and the Pacific. Doreen is based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Dio Ashar Wicaksana: Executive Director, Indonesia Judicial Research Society

Dio Ashar Wicaksana (Dio) has been working as Executive Director of Indonesia Judicial Research Society since 2019. Dio has been actively working in the field of research and legal advocacy since 2012. During his career, Dio has experience in research in the legal and social fields. 

Dio graduated from the UI Faculty of Law with a specialization program in Constitutional Law in 2012, then continued his education at the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Spain, receiving a socio-legal master’s degree.

In the field of research, Dio has been active in research on issues of judicial reform and the implementation of access to justice in Indonesia. Some of his writings have also been published in national media and journals. Apart from research, Dio is also actively involved in several strategic activities in policy formulation. Dio has experience as a member of policy makers related to judicial issues, as in 2019, Dio was the coordinator of a civil society consortium to compile an index of access to justice with the Indonesian National Development Planning Agency and also a member of the drafting of legal aid service standards at the National Legal Development Agency (BPHN). Currently, Dio is a member of the Access to Justice Working Group at the Indonesian Attorney General’s Office, with the task of providing policy assistance or strategic implementation related to the implementation of access to justice at the Indonesian Attorney General’s Office.

Ajay Shankar Jha: Executive Director, Public Defender Society of Nepal

Mr. Ajay Shankar Jha "Rupesh" is the Executive Director of Public Defender Society of Nepal (PDS-Nepal). Mr. Jha joined ILF-Nepal in 2008 after working for eight years as a private advocate. Besides providing direct legal representation as a trained defense lawyer, Mr. Jha is also actively involved in conducting a series of training to defense lawyers of Nepal. Mr. Jha has provided his expert suggestions on the draft handbook named "Early access to legal aid in criminal justice processes: a handbook for policymakers and practitioners" developed by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). And had also provided his expert view on the draft of "Model Law on Legal Aid in Criminal Justice System" developed by (UNODC). Jha has also served as the Chairman of the Janakpur Youth Club and was a founding member of the Mithila People Service Council. He obtained his Bachelors in Law from Tribhuwan University in 2000 & Legisum Laterum Masterom (LLM) in Criminal Law & Justice from Purbanchal University and is a member of the Nepal Bar Association. The leading role of Mr. Jha, made PDS-Nepal selected as top 30 in world justice project challenge for 2022.

Angkhana Neelapaijit: Member of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and Former Thailand National Human Rights Commissioner

Angkhana Neelapaijit is the former Chairwomen of Justice for Peace Foundation, an NGO that works on human rights and peace. Angkhana worked relentlessly to help victims of human rights abuses in Thailand especially in southernmost provinces where there is serious conflict and violence. The mission has made her one of Thailand's most prominent human rights defenders.

Her dedication has won her many several international human rights awards, they include the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights and the honored by the European Parliament as “Women Human Rights Defender” on 2006, an honor “De Chevalier De L'Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur” from the French President for her outstanding work in the human rights protection on December 2010. And on the human rights month December 2014, Angkhana Neelapaijit was honored by the UN Women as “Women of Achievement” and The Ramon Magsaysay Award 2019 from The Ramon Magsaysay Foundation, The Republic of Philippines. 

Angkhana used to be the member of Constitutional Drafting Committee and Member of Constitutional Assembly in 2007, the Member of Ad Hoc Committee on Drafting Gender Equality Act 2015. Angkhana Neelapaijit is the Commissioner - National Human Rights Commissioner of Thailand (NHRCT) from November 2015 to July 2019. 

On October 2021 to February 2022 Angkhana served as the Member of Ad Hoc Committee on Drafting Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearances Act, B.E. 2022 and on 1st May 2022 Angkhana was appointed to be the UN Expert and Member of UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID).

Naosuke Fujita: Co-Representative and Co-Founder, Lawyers for LGBT and Allies Network Japan

Naosuke Fujita is co-representative Director and co-founder of Lawyers for LGBT and Allies Network (LLAN), a Japanese non-profit organization of legal professionals whose mission is to realize a society where every person can be their true-selves through promoting constructive social dialogue of, and eliminating discrimination and prejudice against, sexual minorities.  Naosuke is a graduate of Waseda University Department of Law and University of Michigan Law School LLM. Naosuke founded LLAN following the coming out of his colleague at work during his time as General Counsel for Goldman Sachs Japan Co., Ltd. (March 2009 to December 2019) and currently serves as General Counsel for Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan. In June 2017 Naosuke was awarded the Most Innovative General Counsel Award by Financial Times in connection with his activities related to LLAN and is the editor and author of LLAN's "Guide to Creating an LGBT Friendly Workplace", an introductory guide designed to help Japanese corporations take their first step in creating an LGBTQ friendly workplace.

Hannah Lim, Head of Rule of Law and Emerging Markets, LexisNexis Southeast Asia

In her role as Head of Rule of Law and Emerging Markets, Hannah works with governments to identify areas where LexisNexis can, leveraging on technology, support the rule of law. In doing so, she aims to build meaningful partnerships with key stakeholders in the public and private sectors as well as international organizations. Hannah is passionate about exploring the impact that technology might have to the legal industry and to society generally, particularly in the context of the emerging markets in Asia. She enjoys researching, writing and presenting on this topic as well as connecting with other curious minds in this area. She also has a keen interest in the future of the legal profession and enjoys meeting with young lawyers over discussions on career paths and what the future might hold.

Prior to joining LexisNexis, Hannah was a corporate lawyer in Myanmar, developing the Myanmar legal practice of two Singapore law firms. Hannah read law in the University of British Columbia and is called to New York State Bar and the Singapore Bar. She is also a mediator accredited by the Singapore Mediation.

Dr. Ethan Hee-Seok Shin, Legal Analyst, Transitional Justice Working Group, South Korea on disinformation laws

Dr. Ethan Hee-Seok Shin teaches international law at the Catholic University of Korea. He is a researcher at the Institute for Legal Studies, Yonsei University, and a legal analyst for the Transitional Justice Working Group, a Seoul-based human rights documentation NGO. His areas of interest include transitional justice and human rights issues in the Asia-Pacific. He holds a Ph.D. in Law from Yonsei University, an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School, and a B.A. in Economics from Yonsei University.


Dr. Shashi Jayakumar, Singapore’s Representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

Dr Shashi Jayakumar was educated at Oxford University where he studied History (BA 1997, D.Phil, 2001). He has published in various peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes on topics relating to medieval history (the focus of his doctorate). He was a member of the Singapore Administrative Service from 2002-2017. During this time, he was posted to various Ministries, including the Ministries of Defence, Manpower, Information and the Arts, and Community Development, Youth and Sports. He was from August 2011-July 2014 a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. His research interests include extremism, cyber, social resilience, and political history.

Dr. Janjira Sombatpoonsiri: Assistant Professor and Project Leader, Institute of Asian Studies at Chulalongkorn University

Janjira Sombatpoonsiri is an Assistant Professor and Project Leader at the Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), and an Associate at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies. She has extensively researched civil society activism, pro-democracy movements, civic space, and recently digital repression in autocracies. She is the author of Humor and Nonviolent Struggle in Serbia (New York: Syracuse University Press, 2015). Her academic articles appear in several academic journals, including Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, Journal of Civil Society, Journal of Contemporary Asia, and Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. She is a member of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Civic Research Network and Digital Democracy Network; a visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Loughborough; an editorial board member of PROTEST Journal and the Journal of Nonviolence and Pacifism; and a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme Thailand.  She was a visiting fellow at the ISEAS Yusof-Ishak (Singapore, 2021-2022), the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (Taiwan, 2020), and the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (India, 2017). 

Aribowo Sasmito: Co-Founder, MAFINDO

Co-Founder of MAFINDO, currently the organization's Fact-Check Specialist. Also managing MAFINDO’s various media channels including the website, the database of fact-checked results articles. MAFINDO is a non-profit organization combating false information (or hoax as commonly called in Indonesia), literacy education, and social movements by training and convening with journalists and media, educating consumers of online media, and by building communities of online fact-checkers.

Jim Nolan: Legal Council, International Federation of Journalists – Asia-Pacific

Jim Nolan is Sydney barrister. He is a graduate in Arts and law and holds a Master’s degree in law from Sydney University Law School. 

Upon graduation from Queensland University, he came to Sydney and his working career commenced as an industrial officer and advocate for a number of media unions, now amalgamated as the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance [1973-1984].  He next held the statutory office of Executive Member of the NSW Privacy Committee [1984-1987].  In this connection he was involved in issues involving press freedom and the early development of privacy laws. 

During his period at the Bar in Sydney he appeared in all major industrial jurisdictions in Australia, state and federal - mainly for trade union clients. 

He has also a long standing interest in industrial, professional and legal matters affecting journalists in Australia and was a member of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance journalists’ ethics panel. 

He first traveled to Indonesia during 2004 to act as an observer for the International Federation of Journalists at the trials of Indonesian journalists in support of press freedom.  He has traveled on numerous occasions to Indonesia, Timor Leste and Malaysia to represent the IFJ Asia Pacific. He also publishes regularly on regional press freedom issues. 

John Nery: Journalist and Editorial Consultant, Rappler

John Nery is a journalist from the Philippines.

He is a columnist and editorial consultant at Rappler, the hard-hitting social news network, and a convenor of the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University, and a lecturer in media and politics.

He was previously with the Philippine Daily Inquirer; for 20 years, he served in a variety of capacities, but primarily as senior editor, editorial writer, and columnist. He represented the newspaper on the executive board of the Asia News Network from 2014 to 2018. 

He is the author of "Revolutionary Spirit: Jose Rizal in Southeast Asia," published in Singapore by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and in Manila by the Ateneo de Manila University Press. He was a Visiting Research Fellow in ISEAS, a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University, and a Society of Publishers in Asia awardee in opinion writing.

Prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn, UN Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in Cambodia and Emeritus Professor, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn was appointed as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia in March 2021. Professor Vitit is a Thai law Professor with longstanding experience working pro bono for the UN on human rights. He has helped the UN in a variety of positions, including as former UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Democratic People Republic of Korea, former UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, former Chairperson of the UN appointed Commission of Inquiry on the Ivory Coast, and former member of the UN appointed Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.

Professor Vitit is a Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. He is a graduate of Oxford University (M.A.,B.C.L. (Oxon.)) and Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Licence Speciale en Droit Europeen (Brux.)). He is also a Barrister at Law (the Middle Temple, London). For several years, Professor Vitit Co-Chaired the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism. He has published widely on International Law, Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, and Law and Development. He is the recipient of a number of awards, including the 2004 UNESCO Human Rights Education Prize. He was bestowed a Knighthood (KBE) in 2018.

Miriam Chinnappa, Human Rights Lawyer

Miriam Chinnappa is a human rights lawyer with over 20 years experience in the international justice development sector.  She is recognised for her technical and strategic expertise in designing, launching, managing and operationalising large scale rule of law and justice programs in crisis affected and transitional contexts. She has worked for United Nations, has been the regional lead for Avocats Sans Frontieres programs in Asia, and has spearheaded rule of law and justice programs for various international organisations and civil society organisations in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Her work is anchored in the firm belief that strengthening rule of law, justice and security systems is critical to work towards a just, fair, inclusive and peaceful society. This belief has shaped her steadfast efforts to secure large and medium scale funding and seed funding to pilot innovative justice programs that challenge deeply rooted structural barriers and oppressive social, economic and political power that entrench people in insecurity, poverty and inequality.

She was awarded the British Chevening Human Rights scholarship for International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law.

Miriam is currently retained by International Bridges of Justice to lead a large-scale criminal justice pro program.