Dr. Danrivanto Budhijanto: Asia’s 1st Man To Get The Honor

I recently had a great opportunity and privilege to interview Dr. Danrivanto Budhijanto, S.H., LL.M in IT Law, through e-mail. Mr. Budhijanto is the first Asian who received  LL.M (master of laws) degree in IT Law from John Marshall Law School, Chicago. He’s now a Commissioner in Indonesian Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (BRTI)-Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and also a lecturer in Padjajaran University, faculty of law.

I shall now share, the contents of the e-mail I received, exclusively with GNFI readers.



1. To begin, could you tell us about what brought you there? What made you want to study in America?

The United States of America (USA), as the leading country in global electronic communications, especially via the Internet, has already dealt with most of the major cyber space legal issues and problems. For law schools, the challenge is to educate law students as future attorneys in an area of jurisprudence that is new and rapidly evolving. Within the twenty years, top law schools such as Harvard, Yale, the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, University of Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley have set up centers devoted to the study of, and the teaching of, Internet law. For these reasons, USA law schools are the most appropriate place for conducting study and research focusing in the development of cyber law.

2. Did you get any scholarship back then? If you did, what kind of scholarship was that? And what institution issued that scholarship?

I was awarded in 2002, a Fulbright scholarship from US Department of States in collaboration with AMINEF in Indonesia and Indonesia Economic Law, Institutional and Professional Strengthening (ELIPS II) from USAID-United States Agency in International Development.

3. Where were you studying?

My master of law study is in the John Marshall Law School (JMLS) Chicago. For many years, JMLS has served as a leader within the legal community in addressing issues of computer and information law and policy. JMLS began offering courses in computer law and privacy even before establishing the Center for Information Technology and Privacy Law in 1983. The leading national and international experts from practice and academia who serve on the Center’s advisory board and adjunct faculty enrich the degree programs and other academic activities of the Center for Information Technology and Privacy Law.

Many of students come to JMLS with substantial relevant experience of their own; students frequently learn from one another as well as from their professors. Indeed, interaction with professors and fellow students is a key component of the academic program. At the same time, however, the Center’s programs are designed to be as flexible as possible; most courses are offered in the evening or on weekends, and some are scheduled as intensive workshops and master classes.

The LL.M. (Master of Laws) in Information Technology Law provides lawyers and law school graduates with specialized knowledge in the law and policy of information, computers, and communications technology. The program’s substantive focus is the law and policy of information, computers and communications technology. The program is led by members of John Marshall’s full-time faculty – nationally and internationally recognized for their expertise in these areas. They are joined by a group of adjunct professors and lecturers who bring into the classroom practical knowledge and experience from their cutting-edge law practices. Visiting faculty from institutions around the world also contribute actively to the educational program.

The core curriculum includes courses on computer law, cyberspace law, information policy and intellectual property in digital environment. Students also select from a wide variety of elective courses, many of which will change from year to year to keep pace with rapid developments in technology and the law. An LL.M. in Information Technology Law is conferred upon the successful completion of 22 semester hours of credit, including four required courses as above mentioned, with a final cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher. I have taken 22 semester hours of credit including 3 hours credit for Master Thesis in Spring 2003.

4. What is so interesting about cyber law that makes you want to pursue a master degree in that particular field?

Global electronic communications have created new spaces in which distinct rule is will evolve and cut across territorial borders, creating a new realm of human activity and undermining the feasibility and legitimacy of applying laws based on geographic boundaries. The law of any given place must take into account the special characteristics of the space it regulates and the types of persons, places, and things found there. The law of cyber space will reflect its special character, which differs markedly from anything found in the physical world.

5. How long had you been there before finally graduated from the law school?

Before starting my study in JMLS Chicago in September 2002, I have the opportunity to have such adaptation with American academic atmosphere. The Fulbright via Institute of International Education (IIE) offered me to participate in pre-academic training in Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in California. The three weeks training in MIIS, provided us a full-compact package to know and understand the American class activities including but not limited class participation; note taking tips; research paper writing. After completing the master thesis defend seminar on June 2nd2003, finally I could take a breath and fulfilled my lounge with fresh air. Completing LL.M (Master of Laws) in two semesters (9 months) its might considering as a mission impossible, especially if we required writing a thesis and defending it before a professors panel.

6. What achievement did you get when you were graduated?

My degree is Master of Law in Information Technology and Privacy Law (LL.M in IT Law) from JLMS in Chicago and also the first Asian student with LL.M in IT Law degree in that time.

7. Before you, was there any other Asian student who pursued a master degree in cyber law?

In the Class of 2002, only me as an international student and other are American students. No Asian student recorded has a LL.M in IT Law degree in JLMS Chicago before 2003.

8. How does it feel when you received the achievement?

My achievement is for my late beloved Father; he was passed a way when I landed in a first time at Chicago. He had a true believed that to understanding cyber law is a must studied in US, because a rapid development of their technologies, business, industries and laws that regulate those kind of activities. And also all my teachers and professors that inspiring, motivating, and helpful to pursue my dream.

9. What have you done to improve cyber law in Indonesia?

After completing my master of law degree, I am fully involved in several legislative drafting such as Indonesian Cyber Law Act (Law No. 11 Year 2008 regarding Information and Electronic Transactions); Multimedia Convergence Bill; Information Technology Crime Bill. I am also served as a Commissioner in Indonesian Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (BRTI)-Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kementerian Komunikasi dan Informatika RI). After 3 years graduated from JMLS in Chicago, I am started my doctoral degree with topic of research is legal aspects of information and communication technology (ICT) convergence in the framework of Indonesian development. My doctoral degree completed in 2009 with an honor of summa cum laude.

10. What advice do you have to GNFI readers who want to be like you?

There is an absolute rule in excellent study, I am called the “2R + 1E” rule. The first R is References; the second R is Researches; and E for Experiences. Never try to study without references; then critically read and analyze the references with research approach; and involve in experiencing what you studied. In life, your future is reflected in your present footsteps.

[end of interview]

Thank you so much for a pleasant interview, Mr. Danrivanto! Your experience is truly an inspiring journey to your fellow Indonesian.

Photo Source: Private Collection, UNPAD

About author

Farah Fitriani

a single young woman full of spirit in making a better Indonesia, Bandung citizen, Law UNPAD'09 student, english teacher and a shopkeeper. you can contact her by mentioning @farafit in twitter or adding farahfitrianifaruq to have a little chitchat via GTalk.

View all posts by Farah Fitriani

  1. doni

    10 / 25 / 2010 9:43 am

    Nothing special about him. John Marshall law school is a tier 4 school. Nothin special as well. Being first asian can also mean there are no asian interested in this program or this school. There are aplenty amazing indonesian legal scholars making it big in the international scene.


  2. Firman

    11 / 5 / 2010 10:17 am

    pak danriv ganteng!!!





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