Colonial law as a form of unification of law in the manuscript of Surat perjanjian sultan ternate

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There have been few studies on legal aspects found in classical Malay manuscripts. Today, despite the fact that the discourse of law found in classical Malay manuscripts contains valuable knowledge about the history of existing law in a certain region and a particular period, the condition of classical Malay manuscripts is concerning. If there is no effort to improve the situation, Indonesia might lose one of the cultural heritages that contain ideas about law and how these artifacts brought change in a society. This research discusses the classical Malay manuscript Surat Perjanjian Sultan Ternate No. 42, a collection preserved by the National Library of the Republic of Indonesia (Perpustakaan Nasional Republik Indonesia). This manuscript contains law and regulation which were stipulated by the Dutch authority in Ternate region. This research aims to analyse the changes of law, the background of the change, the motive of the law, and the legal aspects found in the manuscript. The analysis is necessary to provide a picture of history, background, and changes in law stipulation and legal aspects applied in Ternate. This research uses a philological method and studies the manuscript with legal approach. The philological method consists of several phases. The first phase is tracing the manuscript catalogue with the purpose of checking the availability of the manuscript and choosing the manuscript which will be studied and transliterated. Additionally, catalogue tracing is also conducted to find out the location, the number, and the condition of a manuscript. The second phase is to describe the physical aspects of the manuscript and the content. The next phase is editing the text and making adjustment according to the manuscript condition. Once the manuscript editing is made, the content of the manuscript is ready to be read and analysed with a legal approach. The results of the study will contribute to interdisciplinary studies, especially in legal and philological fields. In addition, the research findings can provide the necessary data for investigating the background and motives in the changes of law stipulation that have taken place in various countries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDissecting History and Problematizing the Past in Indonesia
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781536193992
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Colonial law
  • Philology
  • Surat perjanjian sultan ternate no. 42


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