CPAS Seminar

CPAS Seminar Series

Thursday 1 June, Dr Rini Astuti will be presenting about forest fires on Indonesia’s plantations.

schedule Date & time
1 Jun 2023 | 12 - 1pm
person Speaker


Research Fellow Dr Rini Astuti
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Free, just bring your lunch. 

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Welcome to the CPAS 2023 Seminar Series!


About the talk --  Science in the Court: Expert knowledge and forest fires on Indonesia’s plantations

In Indonesia, forest fires inside plantation concession areas often become highly-charged and politically-contested events. In the aftermath of major fires, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry typically commissions expert witnesses to collect the evidence needed to bring companies to court and hold them accountable. Companies also assemble their own expert teams to counter the government’s allegations. Expert witnesses’ expertise, views, and practices are essential in informing court decisions; however, the work of these expert witnesses is under-researched. Drawing on theories of knowledge politics, this study finds that expert witnesses arrange and interpret scientific evidence—sometimes even contradicting widely accepted scientific understandings—to advance their client’s interests. Pro-industry experts have swayed key judicial proceedings, effectively legitimising the commercial plantations sector’s problematic land and fire management practices and minimising the industry’s accountability for their significant socio-ecological impacts.


Dr Astuti profile:
Twitter: @riniastuti


1.30 Green couch room, Peter Baume Building 42a, Acton ACT 2601

To join virtually, please reach out to Abigail Hils ( 

-35.275637687401, 149.11759302653

Upcoming events in this series

CPAS Seminar
14 Dec 2023 | 12 - 1pm

This Thursday, 14 December, will feature PhD Research Denis Karcher presenting on knowledge-exchange.

View the event