Public law reform in the name of better government has been embraced in varying incarnations since the mid-1980s by Indonesian legal academics, political scientists and, most recently, government officials. Setbacks are now opposed in the (largely) free press with ritual invocations positing a lack of political will. Transparensi is the cry, much as reformasi was in 1998. Civil society organizations are all the rage, as donors have slowly distanced themselves from government institutions, even while Indonesia’s 1945 Constitution has been amended four separate times since 1998. So why do we hear continual expressions of concern as to whether governmental and legal system reforms have truly taken root?