SOAS University of London

School of Law

Mr Moritz Koenig

LLB (Maastricht), LLM (SOAS)
  • Research


Moritz Koenig
Mr Moritz Koenig
Email address:
Thesis title:
Colonial Law in Minangkabau. Legal Discourses and the Enframing of West Sumatran Social Worlds
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

Moritz' research concerns problems in Indonesian legal history and Dutch archival documentation. He argues that the modalities of 'textual' rule and archival forms played a key role in the jural colonization of the Indonesian archipelago. Moritz explores this relationship through lower court jurisprudence from Sumatra, and specifically Minangkabau. By investigating the transformation, categorization, and legalization of Minangkabau social worlds, he argues that colonial law functions as a specific type of being-in-the-world that frames one's understanding of self and others. Archival documentation of colonial law thereby enframes the world within a particular paradigm of being and relating to law. Reading along and against the grain of Dutch archival forms can however help us retrieve insurrectionary voices from Minangkabau whose ways of being-in-the-world can help disrupt archival officialese and highlight hybridized subjectivities in Sumatra's legal landscape.


Law of the Malay-speaking world; Indonesia; legal history; subaltern studies; anthropological theory.