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The Court and Judicial Power in Indonesia


The Court[1] of first instance, which is usually called the district court, exists in almost all capitals of regencies/mayoralties across Indonesia. Meanwhile, the appellate court, which is usually called the high court, exists in all provincial capitals in Indonesia.

Based on Article 24 point (2) of the Third Amendment of the 1945 Constitution and Article 10 point (1) of the Law No. 4 Yar 2004 on Judicial Power, the judicial power is held by the Supreme Court[2] and the Constitutional Court[3].

The authorities of the Supreme Court (Article 24 point (1) of the Third Amendment of the 1945 Constitution, Article 11 point (2) of the Law No. 4 Year 2004 on Judicial Power and the Law No. 14 Year 1985, which was renewed through the Law No. 5 Year 2004 on the Supreme Court) are:

· Reviewing legislations under a law against a law during an appeal at the Supreme Court,

· Declaring all legislations, which are lower than a law, illegitimate based on a reason that they are in contradiction with higher legislations,

· Examining and issuing rulings on appeals filed from all judicial institutions,

· Examining and issuing rulings on disputes on the authorities to try,

· Examining and issuing rulings on filed judicial reviews over court rulings, which have had final legal basis,

· Providing legal advices to the president in relation to pardon requests and rehabilitation.

The authorities of the Constitutional Court (Article 24C of the Third Amendment of the 1945 Constitution, Article 1 point (3) of the Law No. 24 Year 2003 on the Constitutional Court and Article 12 of the Law No. 4 Year 2004 on Judicial Power) are:

· Trying at the first and final instances, in which the ruling is final, to review a law over the Constitution,

· Issuing rulings on disputes over the authorities of state institutions, in which the authorities are given by the Constitution,

· Issuing ruling on the dissolution of a political party,

· Issuing rulings on disputes over the results of general elections,

· Issuing rulings on the opinions of the House of Representatives on alleged violations by the president and/or vice president in accordance to the Constitution.

The judicial power is free and independent as guaranteed by the Indonesian Constitution. The independence, however, has practically disappeared since a long time ago, particularly at the Supreme Court and judicial institutions under its authorities, for being intervened by either political, powerful or economic factors.


[1] The judicial power in Indonesia is regulated in the Law No. 14 Year 1970 on Judicial Power, which was renewed by the Law No. 35 Year 1999 and renewed again by the Law No. 4 Year 2004.

[2] The Supreme Court is regulated by the Law No. 14 Year 1985 on the Supreme Court, which was renewed by the Law No. 5 Year 2004.

[3] The Constitutional Court is regulated by the Law No. 24 Year 2003 on the Constitutional Court.

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