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Indonesia: Legislature Downplays Corruption Court

(July 8, 2009) It was reported on July 3, 2009, that Indonesia's House of Representatives, the lower house of the country's bicameral legislature, is not planning to take action soon to enact a law for an independent Corruption Court. (Irawaty Wardany, House Throws Spanner at Corruption Court Bill, JAKARTA POST, July 3, 2009, available at
.) Such a court had been established in 2002, but was found to be unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in 2006; work had been underway on a new law for the Court. Without new legislation, the Corruption Court may not go forward with pending cases. (See Constance Johnson, Indonesia: Corruption Court Bill in Negotiations, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, Dec. 17, 2008, available at //

Dewi Asmara, the chair of the special committee of the House on the Corruption Court bill, stated that there “is no need for the government to issue such a regulation, because there is no urgency at all. … Even if the government decides to issue a regulation, the House may not ratify it.” (Wardany, supra.) Describing the national police and the Attorney General's Office as having enough authority to deal with corruption issues, Asmara argued that the existing institutions should be used for such cases. However, she has also said that the House does not really wish to delay passage of a bill on the Court, but merely to be cautious. (Id.)

Expressing concern that the legislature would not act in time to save the Corruption Court, Todung Mulya Lubis of the organization Transparency International Indonesia stated, “[t]he fate of the Corruption Court is hanging on a really thin thread. … it is very important for the government to issue a regulation in lieu of law on the bill, as soon as possible.” (Id.)