Category: Law

Last week, Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to former Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mahfud MD during a visit to Melbourne Law School. In this Q&A, Mahfud reflects on a number of the controversial cases that came before the court during his tenure, as well as prospects for anti-corruption and bureaucratic reform under President Joko Widodo.

Over recent months, the public has again had reason to question the quality of judges serving in the Constitutional Court. Muhammad Tanziel Aziezi, from the Institute for an Independent Judiciary (LeIP), examines the selection process for Constitutional Court judges and outlines what needs to change to ensure that Indonesia has better quality judges and, consequently, better quality decisions.

For more than a year, the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) has been quietly working on plans to amend the 1945 Constitution for a fifth time, and reinstate the State Policy Guidelines (GBHN). Bivitri Susanti writes that although the term “state policy guidelines” might sound rather innocuous, the return of the GBHN could have grave political consequences.

Indonesia’s Constitutional Court will today hold a fifth hearing on a legal challenge to the Criminal Code that seeks to criminalise same-sex intercourse between consenting adults. PhD candidate Daniel Peterson writes that the Court’s approach when it upheld the Blasphemy Law in 2009 suggests that the outlook for Indonesia’s LGBT community is bleak.

Arcandra Tahar lasted just 20 days in cabinet, with the revelation that he also held US citizenship ending his stint as minister of energy and mineral resources. The former deputy minister of law and human rights, Professor Denny Indrayana, looks at the administrative errors that were made, and asks whether the incident will finally lead to action on multiple citizenship in Indonesia.

Divorces are becoming more common in Indonesia, and women are now responsible for 80 per cent of divorce applications. Dr Dina Afrianty writes that although Indonesian law requires husbands and fathers to pay child support and maintenance after divorce, women have few avenues for redress if their former husbands don’t pull their weight.

Indonesia has recently seen a surge in enthusiasm for capital punishment, with public officials lining up to declare their support. How can this be explained? Are officials just responding to public demands? Nurkholis Hidayat examines Indonesia’s embrace of the death penalty and looks at what it means for the justice sector.

Last month, the International People’s Tribunal on 1965 crimes against humanity provoked a predictably strong response in Indonesia. Associate Professor Katharine McGregor and Dr Jemma Purdey reflect on the tribunal and its consequences for the activists who participated.

The release of a police circular on the management of hate speech has sparked fears in some quarters of a return to the restrictions on freedom of expression seen under the New Order. But as Irfan Abubakar writes, if implemented as intended, it could help to prevent religious conflict.

Late last month, Aceh began enforcing its Shari’a Criminal Code, the Qanun Jinayat. Why are legislators so obsessed with regulating sex? And does the code make it an offence to be gay or lesbian in the province, as many media outlets have suggested? Hendri Yulius takes a close look at the Qanun Jinayat.

When Professor Adnan Buyung Nasution died on 23 September, Indonesia lost one of its foremost thinkers on law and human rights. Professor Tim Lindsey reflects on the life and achievements of the founder of the Legal Aid Institute (LBH).

Professor Todung Mulya Lubis is one of Indonesia’s most respected lawyers and a champion of human rights and judicial reform. Indonesia at Melbourne spoke to Pak Mulya about the future of reform in the justice sector and the controversial Jakarta International School cases.