HISTORY OF ALSA LC UGM
Where It All Started
Academically committed, socially responsible, internationally minded, and legally skilled. These four core values have been the very foundation to which members of the Asian Law Students’ Association, famously known as ALSA, thrives to this present day. Since its inception, ALSA has grown from a small student-initiated organization established in the ASEAN region to a prestigious legal entity that has attracted thousands of law school students all over Asia to learn, connect, and bond with each other.
ALSA was first established on 18 May 1989 by a group of law students from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand under the name of “ASEAN Law Students’ Association” during the ASEAN Law Students’ Conference in Jakarta. The establishment received support from the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Law Association, Asia Foundation, and even governments of ASEAN states. Furthermore, on 7th of September 2002, ASEAN Law Students’ Association officially affiliated themselves with “The International Law Students’ Association of Pecking University” (ILSA PKU), “International Department of Legal Aid Association of Peking University”, “Law Association Hong Kong University Students’ Union of the University of Hong Kong” (HKUSU), “Asian Law Students’ Association Japan” (ALSA Japan), “Asian Law Students’ Association Korea” (ALSA Korea) dan “Asian Law Students’ Association Taiwan” (ALSA Taiwan).
In the next decade, ALSA would merge with other law student organizations from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and China, leading to the establishment of “Asian Law Students’ Association” through the ratification of the Tokyo Agreement. The original members, along with newcomers Vietnam, Laos, Sri Lanka, Macau, Brunei Darussalam and Myanmar, constitutes the currently existing 16 national chapters of ALSA.
Early Beginnings in Yogyakarta
ALSA’s footprints in the prestigious Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) can be traced as far back as the year 1992. The chapter of the history book was first written when students Afie Henry and Novi Kooswardhani Brotodiningrat spearheaded the establishment of ALSA Local Chapter UGM (ALSA LC UGM) during the ALSA Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, as Novi became the second Chairperson of ALSA Indonesia. Their initiative to establish a local chapter in UGM, assisted by Boy Gemino and Joni Getamala, supported by students from batches 1992 and 1993, was solidified on 20 October during the 1993 National Conference held in UGM, which was witnessed by other ALSA-members Indonesian universities. The establishment of ALSA LC UGM was marked by several memorable events, most notably the appointment of Novi as the first Director, the appointment of Henry as the first Manager of Public Relations, and the appointment of Joni Getamala as the Chairperson, who simultaneously initiated ALSA’s first ever competition – the English Debating Competition – that has been held annually ever since (now known as ALSA Crushbone Competition).
During its early years, the journey of ALSA LC UGM was bittersweet. Aside from the ‘soon to graduate’ status of the first Board of Directors, effectively cutting off their duties short, the anemic growth of the organization was influenced by controversial views of the exclusive and capitalist nature the organization. The results were unfortunate; the local chapter did not have the capacity to organize major events nor did the local chapter was formally accepted or recognized as a member of ALSA Indonesia (for instance, ALSA LC UGM was not invited to the 1994 National Conference in Universitas Airlangga, as found by one of the Alumnus, Erlangga Ghaffar). Despite the downturns, however, Senate Chairman of UGM’s Faculty of Law Mahendra Adinegara advocated for the benefits of ALSA’s existence, primarily on the values of being able to speak bilingually and the opportunity to associate and to create new networks with law students all over Asia. Through his advocacy, ALSA LC UGM was once again recognized as a member of ALSA Indonesia and was also recognized as an organization operating in UGM’s Faculty of Law in 1998, as Hariyanto Yang was appointed as the Director.
ALSA LC UGM Through the Years
In the aftermath of the organization’s second recognition in 1998, ALSA LC UGM began growing steadily. Despite several minor setbacks, the organization was soon recognized as a force to be reckon with within the Faculty of Law community. The struggles endured in the early years were soon buried by the rapid development that culminated during the Faculty of Law’s General Assembly on 20 December 2008, where the persistent work of Alexander Honsus and his board received their fruit of labour, as ALSA obtained the status of a semi-autonomous institution. From that point, the future began to glow for the organization. This is shown by the popularity of ALSA LC UGM that skyrocketed amongst law students in UGM, evident from the 143 newly accepted members after the Organizing, Leadership and Management event (also known as the ALSA members initiation, OLMA).
Following the footsteps of Pinky Brotodiningrat, several ALSA-ians have dedicated their time and wellbeing to lead the local chapter to a brighter future. The following are names who greatly contributed to the development of ALSA LC UGM:
There is no doubt that the 26 years old ALSA LC UGM has produced a plethora of achievements, both academically and extracurricularly. From its rich, yet a humble start, history, members of the UGM Local Chapter had participated in various seminars, competitions, conferences and other events. Despite the initial struggles, members showed perseverance and patience in learning not just how to lead and develop the organization, but also achieving remarkable feats against other universities whilst enhancing their networking skills. Along with the assistance from UGM’s lecturers, ALSA LC UGM also received sponsorships from corporations through hosting different events and competitions.
Some of ALSA LC UGM’s remarkable feats can be demonstrated by the delegates’ achievements during the National Moot Court Competition (NMCC), and other avenues such as the Dean’s Cup Internal Moot Court Competition (PDFH), the Model United Nations (MUN), Contract Drafting, Debate Competitions, Mediation Competitions, English Competitions and many more. For the prestigious ALSA National Moot Court Competition, ALSA LC UGM has brought home many titles, such as the 2019 ALSA NMCC held in Universitas Jenderal Soedirman Purwokerto, in which the delegates managed to bring home three awards: First place, best memorials, and best judge.
With the team’s triumphant victory in the 2020 NMCC, ALSA LC UGM by far had won 6 ALSA NMCC titles, the most ever in the history of the competition since the renewal of the name ‘Piala Mahkamah Agung’. The details are as follows:
The formation of ALSA LC UGM on 20th of October 1993 was followed by the training and upgrading program, led by Pinky Brotodiningrat as Chairperson of the ALSA Indonesia National Committee.
ALSA LC UGM became one of the Local Chapters who participated in the first ALSA Indonesia National Meeting which was held in November 1993, with one of the agenda being the formulation of Bylaws or is well-known as AD / ART of ALSA Indonesia.
Finally, in May 1994 the 6th ALSC (ALSA Conference) was held in Jakarta in several places, at the ASEAN Secretariat Building, at the Supreme Court, at the Ministry of Environment and at the City Hall Office of the Governor of DKI. ALSA LC UGM was one of the participant among many other Local Chapters and National Chapters.