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Law of Indonesia
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Law of Indonesia is based on a civil law system, intermixed with local customary law and Dutch law. Before the Dutch presence and colonization began in the sixteenth century, indigenous kingdoms ruled the archipelago independently with their own custom laws, known as adat (unwritten, traditional rules still observed in the Indonesian society).


Dutch presence and subsequent colonization of Indonesia for over three centuries has left a legacy of Dutch colonial law, largely in the Indonesian civil code and criminal code. Following independence in 1945, Indonesia began to form its own modern Indonesian law, modifying existing precepts. Dutch legal decisions maintain some authority in Indonesia through application of the concordance principle. The three components of adat, or customary law; Dutch law; and modern Indonesian law co-exist in the current law of Indonesia.

Hierarchy of legislations

Indonesian legislation comes in different forms. The following official hierarchy of Indonesian legislations (from top to bottom) is enumerated in Article 7 of Law No. 12/2011:

1. The 1945 Constitution (Undang-Undang Dasar Negara Republik Indonesia Tahun 1945 or UUD 1945);
2. Resolutions of the People's Consultative Assembly;
3. Acts (Undang-Undang or UU, also translated as Laws) and government regulations in-lieu-of Acts;
4. Government regulations;
5. Presidential regulations;
6. Provincial ordinances; and
7. City ordinances and Regency ordinances.

In practice, there are also presidential decrees, presidential instructions, ministerial regulations, ministerial decrees and circulars, all of which are legally binding and sometimes in conflict with each other.

Once a legislation is promulgated, a State Gazette of the Republic of Indonesia is issued by State Secretariat. Sometimes elucidation of the legislation or attached documents like charts accompany the main legislation in a State Gazette Supplement. The Government also produces State Reports to publish government and public notices as well as other ministerial regulations and decrees.

Source of law:

1. Written laws

As Indonesia is considered to prescribe to civil law system, the legal system is heavily reliant on statutory laws. Generally, all legislations explicitly mentioned in the official hierarchy of Indonesian laws (the hierarchy of legislations mentioned above) is legally binding and applicable as a source of law. Other legally binding legislations not included in the official hierarchy may be mentioned in the attached elucidation of the 2011 Lawmaking Act. Treaties ratified into an act also serve as a source of law.

Under Article 2 of the transitory provisions in the Constitution, all legislations and institutions made under Dutch colonial law will remain in place and in force, until new legislations and institutions are made to replace them. Legislations such as the Algemene Bepalingen are still in force (albeit with articles repealed with new legislations), and institutions such as the civil registry still operates to this day.

2. Unwritten laws
The term "Unwritten Laws" refers to laws not promulgated through official authority. There are concerns that Indonesian legal system grew increasingly positivist and overregulated, pushing the unwritten laws to irrelevance.c

Indonesian judiciary system has its constitutional root in the 1945 Constitution and further regulated in the implementing laws and regulations. The supreme court is highest judicial institution in Indonesia and constitutes the apex of this judicial organs vested with judicial power, as expressly stated in Article 24 of the 1945 Constitution.

Article 24 Indonesia Constitution

(1) The judicial power shall be independent and shall posses the power to organize the judicature in order to enforce law and justice.

(2) The judicial power shall be implemented by a Supreme Court and judicial bodies underneath it in the form of public courts, religious affairs courts, military tribunals, and state administrative courts, and by a Constitutional Court.

(3) Other institutions whose functions have a relation with the judicial power shall be regulated by law.

The elucidation (explanation note) to this article reads:

The judicial power is an independent power, which means free from the interference of the Government. In this connection the status of judges must be guaranteed by Law.

Articles 24 A (3) of the amended Constitution:

Candidates for Supreme Justice is recommended by a Judicial Commission to the Parliament for approval and then decreed by the President.

Prior to the third amendment of the Constitution in 2003. Supreme Court was the sole state institution in judicative branch. After the amendment, the structure of judicative power has undergone significant change. To date, there are three institutions sits under the judicative branch namely, the Supreme Court. Constitutional Court and Judicial Commission.

The Supreme Court remains as the apex of judicial power over the existing four court jurisdictions, namely, the general court (which hear and decide on common civil and criminal cases), Religious Court, State Administrative Court and Military Court.

Prior to the Law Number 35 of 1999, the administration of the court system was handled and supervised by the executive. This included the transfer, the promotion, and the remuneration of the judges. This system had been generally criticized of its potential abuse, to the independence of judiciary. By Law Number 35 of 1999 was replaced by Law Number 4 of 2004 on Judicial Power which further strengthen the independence of the judiciary.

The notion of Constitution to protect citizens from arbitrary acts is implemented by other subordinate regulations. Several universal human rights principles were adopted in the Law No. 4 of 2004 on Judicial Power, to guarantee judicial independence, fair and prompt trial, as well as in order to protect the rights of the accused and victims.


source: wikipedia and mahkamahagung.co.id
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