The Situation: What the Regent cannot do is overburden and abuse the villagers to the point that they start leaving the land, and this is what the evidence submitted by Max Havelaar suggests has been happening. The problem is that the Regent has a large family and has had difficulty providing for them while still meeting his obligations to the Dutch and maintaining himself in an appropriately noble style. He must do all of these things to succeed as a regent, but to do so without abusing the villagers has proven difficult. Moreover, Max Havelaar has proven to be an official who is much harder to deal with than previous administrators. Against the advice of his superiors and supporters, Max Havelaar has tried to protect the indigenous population in the Division of Lebak (located in the north of the island of Java). In particular, Havelaar has allowed villagers to conference with him secretly, giving them a safe forum to relate the abuses they are suffering at the hands of the Regent (Bhupati in Malay) of Lebak and his extended family. Havelaar has independently documented these abuses by observing the results as soon after they occur as possible, creating a massive dossier of evidence. This evidence has now been submitted to the Resident of Bantam and the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Since Havelaar has submitted an official complaint against the Regent of Lebak, as opposed to an informal complaint, a trial must take place in which Havelaar and the Regent respectively must defend and justify their actions. So too, however, must the Governor-General and the Resident of Bantam, for they have been presiding over an administration that has allowed abuses to occur.
Goals, The Regent of Lebak and his Family and Supporters: The Regent and his family and supporters simply want to maintain the status quo. They would like, in the ideal world, to have more villagers on their lands and more wealth, but if they simply maintain the status quo in an honorable way, then they would be satisfied. To maintain the status quo the Regent must be cleared of all charges and be left with his full complement of powers intact. In other words, he must be cleared with honor (which also means the dismissal of Max Havelaar, of course). To do this the Regent must have either the unanimous support of the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies and the Resident of Bantam or of a majority of the villagers of Lebak as well as explain to the Court's satisfaction that he and his family and supporters have behaved properly. The Regent of Lebak and (time permitting) his supporters must testify on the same day as but after Max Havelaar, on day 1 for the Regent, day 1or 2 for the Regent's supporters. The Regent and/or his supporters may choose to submit a promise of future good behavior towards the villagers if they think that this may support their case.
Advantages: The Regent and those in his family and his employ are all-powerful in the lives of the villagers. They can silence anyone who steps out of line and they have been doing so for some time (hence the copious evidence Havelaar has been able to collect!). Thus, the villagers may not support Max Havelaar if they think that the Regent and his family and supporters will change their ways. In addition, they know that the Dutch East Indies governmental hierarchy (the Resident and the Governor General) are in their corner. The reasons for this are two-fold. These two officials must be seen to be governing the Dutch East Indies 1) properly and 2) profitably. If the Regent of Lebak is disgraced in this trial there will certainly be consequences for these men and they know it.
Disadvantages: The Regent, his family and his supporters are aware that things cannot continue exactly as they have in the past. Some reforms are going to be necessary and the Regent needs to indicate his willingness to countenance reform without actually giving up any of his powers. The Regent must maintain all of his income and possibly even increase it based on the outcome of the trial, because his family is large and he is in competition with regents from neighboring Residencies. Making the case for maintenance or increase of his revenues even as the Division of Lebak is in decline will be difficult and the Regent and his followers must do so without denying the need for reform. Failure in this will mean that the Regent is demoted and loses his position in the Javanese elite. His family supporters would also be subject to prosecution in Dutch East Indies courts, a very disgraceful ending indeed.