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The Indonesian Constitutional Court: Reconfiguring Decentralization for Better or Worse?

  • Simon BUTT (a1)
Abstract

After Soeharto stepped down in 1998, Indonesia began a radical decentralization program, one aspect of which was granting wide-ranging lawmaking powers to subnational governments. The national legislation establishing the decentralization framework gave power to the central government to review provincial-level laws, and, from 2014, for provincial governors to review city and county laws, and to invalidate them if they are inconsistent with national laws, morality, or public order. In 2017, the Constitutional Court declared these review mechanisms unconstitutional, deciding that these reviews should be conducted by the Supreme Court rather than the national or provincial executive governments. This decision reversed the trend of successive reforms from 2004 that had begun restoring political and legal power to the centre. It was also one of the most problematic in the Court’s history, as this article demonstrates. The legal reasoning was poor and incomplete, the Court appeared to be equally split (though the Court did not acknowledge this), and the consequences of the decision (which the Court did not appear to consider) are likely dire. The decision has caused great confusion, but despite its flaws may well lead to reforms requiring the Constitutional Court, rather than the Supreme Court, to review subnational laws.

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Professor of Indonesian Law, University of Sydney Law School.

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1. The first statutory bases for these reforms were Law No 22 of 1999 on Regional Government and Law No 25 of 1999 on Fiscal Balance between the Central and Regional Governments. The former was replaced by Law No 32 of 2004 on Regional Government, which itself was then replaced by Law No 23 of 2014 on Regional Government.

2. 2014 Regional Government Law, arts 249–250.

3. 2014 Regional Government Law, art 251.

4. Ayomi Amindoni, ‘Government Annuls 3,143 Bylaws’ The Jakarta Post (Jakarta, 13 June 2016)<www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/06/13/government-annuls-3143-bylaws.html>accessed 6 October 2018.

5. Constitutional Court of Indonesia, Decision No 137/PUU-XIII/2015 (delivered on 5 April 2017) [City/County Perda Review case]; and Constitutional Court of Indonesia, Decision No 56/PUU-XIV/2016 (delivered on 14 June 2017) [Provincial Perda Review case].

6. Butt, Simon and Lindsey, Tim, Indonesian Law (OUP 2018) .

7. For an excellent account of the reform process, and the reforms achieved, see Hosen, Nadirsyah, Human Rights, Politics and Corruption in Indonesia: A Critical Reflection on the Post Soeharto Era (Republic of Letters 2010) .

8. Tanzi, Vito, Fiscal Federalism and Decentralization: A Review of Some Efficiency and Macroeconomic Aspects (World Bank 1995) 295 .

9. Horowitz, Donald L, Constitutional Change and Democracy in Indonesia (CUP 2013) .

10. In this article, I use the word ‘Perda’ to refer to both a specific regional regulation, and regional regulations in general; and in both the singular and plural senses.

11. Anwar Nasution, ‘Government Decentralization Program in Indonesia’ (2015) Asian Development Bank Institute Working Paper Series No 601, 4<www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/201116/adbi-wp601.pdf>accessed 12 July 2018.

12. Booth, Anne, ‘Splitting, Splitting and Splitting Again: A Brief History of the Development of Regional Government in Indonesia Since Independence’ (2011) 167(1) Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 31 .

13. 2014 Regional Government Law, art 10 (1).

14. If the governor failed to invalidate a city or county Perda not meeting these criteria, the Minister could invalidate it.

15. Asshiddiqie, Jimly, Perihal Undang-Undang [About the Law] (Rajawali Pers 2010) 911 .

16. See art 100 of the 2011 Lawmaking Law, which states that various types of decisions that have the character of a regulation must be treated as a regulation, if issued before the enactment of the 2011 Lawmaking Law itself.

17. Arts 24C(1) and 24C(2) of the Constitution, and art 10 of Law No 24 of 2003 on the Constitutional Court (2003) Constitutional Court Law).

18. Butt, Simon and Lindsey, Tim, ‘Judicial Mafia: The Courts and State Illegality in Indonesia’ in Edward Aspinall and Gerry van Klinken (eds), The State and Illegality in Indonesia (KITLV Press 2010) 189 ; Pompe, Sebastiaan, The Indonesian Supreme Court: A Study of Institutional Collapse (Cornell Southeast Asia Program 2005) ; Pemberton, John, ‘Open Secrets: Excerpts from Conversations with a Javanese Lawyer, and a Comment’ in Vicente L Rafael (ed), Figures of Criminality in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Colonial Vietnam (Cornell Southeast Asia Program 1999) 193 ; Lev, Daniel S, ‘Judicial Institutions and Legal Culture in Indonesia’ in Claire Holt (ed), Culture and Politics in Indonesia (Cornell University Press 1972) 246 .

19. Butt, Simon, ‘Indonesia’s Constitutional Court – Conservative Activist or Strategic Operator?’ in Björn Dressel (ed), The Judicialization of Politics in Asia (Routledge 2012) 98 .

20. Haeril Halim, ‘Historic sentence for Akil’ The Jakarta Post (Jakarta, 1 July 2014)<www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/07/01/historic-sentence-akil.html>accessed 6 October 2018.

21. Kharishar Kahfi, ‘Former MK justice sentenced to 8 years in prison’ The Jakarta Post (Jakarta, 4 September 2017)<www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/09/04/corruption-court-to-issue-verdict-for-former-mk-justice.html>accessed 6 October 2018.

22. For statistics, see Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, ‘Recapitulation of Cases’ (Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia)<www.mahkamahkonstitusi.go.id/index.php?page=web.RekapPUU#>accessed 13 July 2018.

23. (n 5).

24. Asosiasi Pemerintah Kabupaten Seluruh Indonesia (APKASI).

25. Some of the applicants’ arguments fall beyond the scope of this article because they did not relate to city and county regulation invalidations, focusing instead on the county and city governments’ lack of exclusive responsibilities or jurisdiction. In any event, the Court did not consider the merits of these jurisdictional arguments because the constitutionality of the 2014 Regional Government Law’s division of jurisdiction had already been decided in a previous case: Constitutional Court of Indonesia, Decision No 87/PUU-XIII/2015 (delivered on 13 October 2016). The Court said that the reasoning there could be applied to this case.

26. City/County Perda Review case (n 5) 187.

27. ibid.

28. Of course, the claim that art 37(5) is unalterable cannot be maintained, given that its claim to unalterability can be removed by the same amendment procedures, also contained in art 37, that apply to any other constitutional provision.

29. City/County Perda Review case (n 5) 197.

30. ibid.

31. ibid 198.

32. ibid 199.

33. ibid 200.

34. ibid 201.

35. ibid 198.

36. ibid 204.

37. ibid 203.

38. ibid.

39. ibid 202–203.

40. ibid 205.

41. ibid 205–206.

42. ibid 206.

43. ibid.

44. ibid.

45. Art 251(8) of the 2014 Regional Government Law, which covered objections to invalidation of Perda before the Supreme Court, thereby lost its relevance, and was also invalidated: City/County Perda Review case (n 5) 206–207.

46. Art 24A(1) of the Constitution; art 20(2) of Law No 48 of 2009 on Judicial Power (2009 Judicial Power Law); art 31(1) of Law No 5 of 2004 (amending Law No 14 of 1985) on the Supreme Court (Supreme Court Law).

47. Art 31(2) of the Supreme Court Law, for example, states that the ‘Supreme Court is to declare a law below a statute invalid if it conflicts with a higher-level law.’ Similarly, the Elucidation to art 20(2) of the 2009 Judicial Power Law refers to ‘the Supreme Court’s judicial power to review legal instruments lower than a statute’.

48. Butt, Simon and Parsons, Nicholas, ‘Judicial Review and the Supreme Court in Indonesia: A New Space for Law?’ (2014) 97 Indonesia 55 .

49. City/County Perda Review case (n 5) 204.

50. ‘Kekuasaan Kehakiman Satu Atap, Anggaran MA Membengkak [Judicial Authority under One Roof, MA Budget Swells]’ (Hukumonline, 4 September 2004)<www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/hol11087/kekuasaan-kehakiman-satu-atap-anggaran-ma-membengkak>accessed 2 July 2018.

51. Mark A Graber, ‘Foreword: From the Countermajoritarian Difficulty to Juristocracy and the Political Construction of Judicial Power’ (2006) 65(1) Maryland Law Review 1. Of course, the Kelsenian view is that judicial review is legitimate because it is permitted by the Constitution – the ‘highest law’ or the ultimate source of legal legitimacy, which is assumed to express the will of the people. In this sense, ‘the erosion of legislative sovereignty [is simply] necessary to guarantee the normative superiority of the constitution through constitutional review’: Sweet, Alec Stone, Governing with Judges: Constitutional Politics in Europe (OUP 2000) 134135 .

52. Supreme Court of Indonesia, Decision No 51 P/HUM/2012, reviewing Central Sulawesi Governor Decision No 171/533/RO.ADM PUM-G-ST/2012, 1 October 2012 (delivered on 11 December 2014).

53. Supreme Court of Indonesia, Decision No 01 P/HUM/2014, reviewing Riau Governor Decision No 984 of 2013, 21 November 2013 (delivered on 7 January 2015).

54. Supreme Court of Indonesia, Decision No 14 P/HUM/2017, reviewing Article 2 of Jakarta Governor Decision No 640 of 1992 and Jakarta Governor Decision No 1934 of 2002 (delivered on 17 April 2017), 19; Supreme Court of Indonesia, Decision No 65 P/HUM/2014, reviewing Jakarta Governor Decision No 23 of 2003 (delivered on 7 January 2015).

55. See Law No 14 of 1985 on the Supreme Court, arts 56–65.

56. Interim Emergency Law No 1 of 2014, which invalidated Law No 22 of 2014 on Election of Governors, Regents and Mayors. See also Interim Emergency Law No 2 of 2014 and the amended provisions in the 2014 Regional Government Law that provided for direct regional head elections.

57. Law No 22 of 2014 on Election of Governors, Regents and Mayors, art 3.

58. See Constitution, art 22.

59. ibid art 22(2).

60. ‘Ini Bahayanya Jika Perpu Pilkada Langsung Ditolak DPR [This is the Danger if Direct Elections are Rejected by the DPR]’ (Detik News, 4 December 2014)<https://news.detik.com/berita/2767498/ini-bahayanya-jika-perpu-pilkada-langsung-ditolak-dpr>accessed 2 October 2018. The Indonesian Constitutional Court has long held the view that its decisions operate only prospectively. That is, a statute that is declared to be invalid is only invalid at the time the Court invalidates it. Any action taken under that law will itself be legal, at least until that law is invalidated: Simon Butt, ‘Judicial Review in Indonesia: Between Civil Law and Accountability? A Study of Constitutional Court Decisions 2003 – 2005’ (PhD Dissertation, Law Faculty, Melbourne University 2007).

61. City/County Perda Review case (n 5) 213.

62. ibid.

63. ibid 215.

64. ibid 216.

65. ibid 217.

66. ibid 214–215.

67. Maria Farida Indrati S, Ilmu Perundang-undangan: Jenis, Fungsi, dan Materi Muatan [The Study of Laws: Types, Function, and Content] (Kanisius 2007) 54–56.

68. City/County Perda Review case (n 5) 215.

69. ibid 217.

70. Butt, ‘Judicial Review in Indonesia: Between Civil Law and Accountability?’ (n 60) 200.

71. While statutes are formally printed in the State Gazette (Berita Negara), elucidations appear in a separate publication – the Appendix to the State Gazette (Tambahan Berita Negara).

72. Provincial Perda Review case (n 5).

73. See City/County Perda Review case (n 5) [3.12.4].

74. ibid 100.

75. This section draws on Simon Butt, ‘Constitutional Court Lets Local Governments Off the Leash’ (Indonesia at Melbourne, 4 July 2017)<http://indonesiaatmelbourne.unimelb.edu.au/constitutional-court-lets-local-governments-off-the-leash/>accessed 12 July 2018.

76. Patrialis Akbar was removed on 27 January 2017: Yustinus Paat and Eko Prasetyo, ‘Patrialis Akbar Dismissed from Constitutional Court’ (Jakarta Globe, 28 January 2017)<http://jakartaglobe.id/news/patrialis-akbar-dismissed-constitutional-court>accessed 12 July 2018.

77. Art 45(8) of the 2003 Constitutional Court Law, as amended by Law No 8 of 2011.

78. Provincial Perda Review case (n 5) 102.

79. Blane D Lewis, ‘Decentralised Government: Greater Demand Needed to Raise Service Quality in Indonesia’ (East Asia Forum, 22 April 2014)<www.eastasiaforum.org/2014/03/22/decentralised-government-greater-demand-needed-to-raise-service-quality-in-indonesia/>accessed 12 July 2017; Blane D Lewis and Daan Pattinasarany, ‘Determining Citizen Satisfaction with Local Public Education in Indonesia: The Significance of Actual Service Quality and Governance Conditions’ (2009) 40(1) Growth and Change 85.

80. ‘ICW: 350 Kepala Daerah Kena Korupsi, 78 Tertangkap Tangan [ICW: 350 Regional Heads Hit with Corruption, 78 Caught Red-Handed]’ Tempo.co (Jakarta, 7 January 2017)<https://nasional.tempo.co/read/833691/icw-350-kepala-daerah-kena-korupsi-78-tertangkap-tangan>accessed 12 July 2018.

81. In the first six years of decentralization, local governments established, between them, around one thousand new taxes and user charges (retribusi) per year. See Blane D Lewis and Bambang Suharnoko Sjahrir, ‘Local Tax Effects on the Business Climate’ in Neil McCulloch (ed), Rural Investment Climate in Indonesia (ISEAS 2009) 224, 231.

82. Pratikno, , ‘Exercising Freedom: Local Autonomy and Democracy in Indonesia, 1999–2001’ in Maribeth Erb, Priyambudi Sulistiyanto and Caroline Faucher (eds), Regionalism in Post-Suharto Indonesia (RoutledgeCurzon 2005) 20 ;

Ilyas Saad, ‘Implementasi Otonomi Daerah Sudah Mengarah Pada Penciptaan Distorsi dan High Cost Economy [The Implementation of Regional Autonomy Already Leads to Distortion and a High Cost Economy]’ in Decentralization, Regulatory Reform, and the Business Climate (US Agency for International Development Partnership for Economic Growth Conference, Jakarta, 12 August 2003); Bambang Brodjonegoro, ‘Fiscal Decentralization and Its Impact on Regional Economic Development and Fiscal Sustainability’ in Coen JG Holtzappel and Martin Ramstedt (eds), Decentralization and Regional Autonomy in Indonesia: Implementation and Challenges (ISEAS-IIAS 2009) 196; Agus Maryono, ‘Thousands of Bylaws Halt Investment: BKPM’, Jakarta Post (Jakarta, 26 October 2009).

83. Sukron Kamil and Chaider S Bamualim (eds), Syariah Islam dan HAM: Dampak Perda Syariah terhadap Kebebasan Sipil, Hak-Hak Perempuan, dan Non-Muslim [Shariah and Human Rights: The Impact of Shariah Bylaws on Civil Liberties, Women’s Rights, and Non-Muslims] (Center for the Study of Religion and Culture 2007).

84. ‘Komnas Perempuan Finds 421 Discriminatory Policies’ Tempo.co (Jakarta, 19 August 2016)<https://en.tempo.co/read/news/2016/08/19/055797156/Komnas-Perempuan-Finds-421-Discriminatory-Policies>accessed 12 July 2018.

85. David Ray, ‘Decentralization, Regulatory Reform, and the Business Climate’ in Coen JG Holtzappel and Martin Ramstedt (eds), (n 82) 150.

86. Kementerian Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia Republik Indonesia [Ministry of Justice], Direktorat Jenderal Peraturan Perundang-undangan [Directorate General of Legislation], and Direktorat Fasilitasi Perancangan Peraturan Daerah [Directorate for the Facility of Perda Drafting], Panduan Praktis Memahami Perancangan Peraturan Daerah [A Practical Guide to Understanding Regional Regulation Design] (5th edn, Direktorat Jenderal Peraturan Perundang-Undangan 2011); ‘Banyak Perda Abaikan Kaidah yang Berlaku [Many Regulations Disregard Applicable Norms]’ (Hukumonline 16 March 2012)<www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt4f62f0e755b55/banyak-perda-abaikan-kaidah-yang-berlaku>accessed 12 July 2017.

87. David Ray, ‘Decentralization, Regulatory Reform, and the Business (US Agency for International Development Partnership for Economic Growth Conference, Jakarta, 12 August 2003) 18.

88. Butt and Parsons (n 48).

89. Simon Butt, ‘Regional Autonomy and Legal Disorder: The Proliferation of Local Laws in Indonesia’ (2010) 32(2) Sydney Law Review 177.

90. Law No 39 of 1999 on Human Rights, arts 1(3) and 3(3).

91. Butt, ‘Regional Autonomy and Legal Disorder’ (n 89).

92. Ihsanuddin, ‘Mendagri Tegaskan Tak Ada Perda Bernuansa Islam yang Dibatalkan [Home Affairs Minister Affirms No Islamic Perda Invalidated]’ Kompas (Jakarta, 16 June 2016)<http://nasional.kompas.com/read/2016/06/16/14264701/mendagri.tegaskan.tak.ada.perda.bernuansa.islam.yang.dibatalkan>accessed 12 July 2018.

93. Of these, 1,765 were by-laws or executive orders invalidated or revised by the Ministry; and 1,267 were by-laws made by county or city administrations invalidated or revised by provincial governors. Included, too, were 111 Ministerial regulations or decisions: Fajar W Hermawan, ‘Daftar Perda Bermasalah Yang Dibatalkan Pemerintah [List of Problematic Perda that the Government Has Invalidated]’ (Beritagar.id, 22 June 2016)<https://beritagar.id/artikel/berita/daftar-perda-bermasalah-yang-dibatalkan-pemerintah>accessed 12 July 2018. See Prima Wirayani, Grace D Amianti and Haeril Halim, ‘Red Tape “Wardens” Legally Win’ Jakarta Post (Jakarta, 7 April 2017)<www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/04/07/red-tape-wardens-legally-win.html>accessed 12 July 2018; Sara Schonhardt, ‘Indonesia Aims to Cut Red Tape—and Investor Skepticism’ Wall Street Journal (New York, 7 January 2016)<www.wsj.com/articles/indonesia-aims-to-cut-red-tapeand-investor-skepticism-1452144911>accessed 12 July 2018.

94. As an example of unnecessary red tape, Widodo used the establishment of a power plant, which requires 59 permits and takes between 2–6 years. He claims, during his presidency, to have reduced this to 22 permits and 220 days: ‘Ada 42.000 Peraturan Menghambat, Presiden Minta Daerah Ikuti Standar Pusat [There are 42,000 Impeding Regulations, the President Asks the Regions to Follow Central Standards]’ (Hukumonline, 9 April 2016)<http://www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt5708b0e297a76/ada-42000-peraturan-menghambat--presiden-minta-daerah-ikuti-standar-pusat>accessed 12 July 2018.

95. Indonesia’s rank in 2016 was 109; Jokowi aimed to improve this to 40th: ‘2 Tahun Jokowi-JK, 3.143 Perda Dihapus dan 111 Permendagri Dibatalkan [2 Years Jokowi-JK, 3,143 Perda Removed and 111 Ministerial Decisions Invalidated]’ (Hukumonline, 27 October 2016)<www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt5811dd7a875b3/2-tahun-jokowi-jk--3143-perda-dihapus-dan-111-permendagri-dibatalkan>accessed 12 July 2018.

96. ‘3.143 Perda Bermasalah Dibatalkan, Ini Penjelasan Presiden [3,143 Perda Issues Invalidated, Here is the President’s Explanation]’ (Hukumonline, 13 June 2016)<www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt575ea1862a089/3143-perda-bermasalah-dibatalkan--ini-penjelasan-presiden>accessed 12 July 2018. Of course, these rankings refer only to the competitiveness of Indonesia as a nation, not of its subnational parts. While national officials might feel the need to respond to such rankings, subnational governments are less likely to, particularly if other subnational governments do not.

97. ibid.

98. See Bush, Robin, ‘Regional Sharia Regulations in Indonesia: Anomaly or Symptom?’ in Greg Fealy and Sally White (eds), Expressing Islam: Religious Life and Politics in Indonesia (ISEAS 2008) 174 ; Buehler, Michael, ‘Whodunit? Politicians Affiliated with Secular Parties Implement Most Syariah Regulations’ (2011) 12(1) Tempo 58, 5859 .

99. Serang Perda No 2 of 2010 on the Prevention, Eradication and Handling of Community Sicknesses.

100. ‘Begini Isi Perda Terkait Insiden Razia Rumah Makan di Serang [Here is the Substance of the Perda Related to Raids on Restaurant in Serang]’ (Hukumonline, 13 June 2016)<www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt575e7cbbeffa7/begini-isi-perda-terkait-insiden-razia-rumah-makan-di-serang>accessed 12 July 2018.

101. ‘Insiden Razia Rumah Makan, Ini Komentar Tiga Menteri [Restaurant Raids Incident, these are the Comments from Three Ministers]’ (Hukumonline, 13 June 2016)<www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt575e65c79a1fd/insiden-razia-rumah-makan--ini-komentar-tiga-menteri>accessed 12 July 2018.

102. ‘3.143 Perda Bermasalah Dibatalkan, Ini Penjelasan Presiden’ (n 96).

103. ‘Ada 42.000 Peraturan Menghambat, Presiden Minta Daerah Ikuti Standar Pusat’ (n 94).

104. See Kementerian Dalam Negeri, Republik Indonesia [Ministry of Home Affairs, Republic of Indonesia], ‘Daftar Perda/Perkada Dan Peraturan Menteri Dalam Negeri Yang Dibatalkan/Revisi [List of Invalidated/Revised Regional Regulations]’ (Ministry of Home Affairs 2016)<www.kemendagri.go.id/media/filemanager/2016/06/21/b/a/batal_perda_21_juni_2016.pdf>.

105. These Perda were invalidated because public civil registration services, including printing KTPs, birth certificates and death certificates must, by national law, be free for those who cannot afford it: See ‘3.143 Perda Bermasalah Dibatalkan, Ini Penjelasan Presiden’ (n 96).

106. For eg in 2004–2009, the central government invalidated 1,691 Perda, of which 1,066 imposed user charges, 224 imposed taxes and 179 regulated licensing: Butt, ‘Regional Autonomy and Legal Disorder’ (n 89); Butt and Parsons (n 48). In 2009 alone, the central government invalidated 830 Perda, all of which raised revenue: Nur Sholikin, ‘Efektivitas Executive Review Perda [Effectiveness of Executive Review of Perda]’ (Hukumonline, 6 June 2016)<www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt57550e5c2ad04/efektivitas-executive-review-perda-broleh--nur-sholikin->accessed 12 July 2018. In 2010, 407 Perda were invalidated; and in 2012, 824 underwent the ‘klarifikasi’ process, whereby the central government required regional governments to amend their Perda to avoid invalidation: Nina Susilo, ‘Ratusan Perda Hambat Investasi, Pemda Terlalu “Kreatif” Dan Kurang Komunikasi [Hundreds of Bylaws Hamper Investment, Local Governments Too “Creative” and Lack Communication]’ Kompas (Jakarta, 21 April 2016)<http://nasional.kompas.com/read/2016/04/21/11310911/Ratusan.Perda.Hambat.Investasi.Pemda.Terlalu.Kreatif.dan.Kurang.Komunikasi>accessed 12 July 2018.

107. Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional.

108. ‘MK Tegaskan Mendagri Masih Boleh Batalkan Perda Provinsi [Constitutional Court Confirms Home Affairs Minister Can Still Invalidate Provincial Regulations]’ (Hukumonline, 10 April 2017)<www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt58eb3eaf51dd2/mk-tegaskan-mendagri-masih-boleh-batalkan-perda-provinsi>accessed 12 July 2018.

109. Sri Lestari, ‘Mendagri Targetkan Hapus 1.000 Perda Bermasalah Per Bulan [Minister of Home Affairs Target Removal of 1000 Problematic Bylaws per Month]’ Kompas (Jakarta, 12 April 2016)<http://regional.kompas.com/read/2016/04/12/20200041/Mendagri.Targetkan.Hapus.1.000.Perda.Bermasalah.Per.Bulan>accessed 12 July 2018. Note, however, that estimates on the number of problematic Perda requiring review vary widely. For example, the Director General for Regional Autonomy at the Home Affairs Ministry told the media that at least 600 problematic Perda remained on the books and required invalidation: Rakhmat Nur Hakim, ‘Kemendagri Akan Perketat Kontrol Pembahasan Perda [Kemendagri will Tighten the Deliberations on Regional Regulations]’ Kompas (Jakarta, 10 April 2017)<http://nasional.kompas.com/read/2017/04/10/14231381/kemendagri.akan.perketat.kontrol.pembahasan.perda>accessed 12 July 2018.

110. To my knowledge, no empirical research has been conducted into whether these Perda invalidations have, in fact, improved the investment climate. Despite extensive searching, I have not discovered any reports of complaints about the invalidation of Perda. The available media reports generally contain complaints about Perda that have not been invalidated.

111. Fachri Fachrudin, ‘MA Siap Terima Dampak Putusan MK terkait Pembatalan Perda [MA Ready to Accept the Impact of the Constitutional Court Decisions related to Cancellation of Perda ]’ Kompas (Jakarta, 15 June 2017)<http://nasional.kompas.com/read/2017/06/15/15280191/ma.siap.terima.dampak.putusan.mk.terkait.pembatalan.perda>accessed 12 July 2018.

112. Challenging several Perda in a single case was attempted, unsuccessfully, in 2014 and 2015: Supreme Court of Indonesia, Decision No 51 P/HUM/2014 (delivered on 7 January 2015); and Supreme Court of Indonesia, Decision No 05 P/HUM/2015 (delivered on 30 March 2015). Of course, there are good reasons for the Supreme Court refusing to do this: Perda will generally be significantly different from each other, so might not be amenable to a joint hearing.

113. The Supreme Court has received between 10–15,000 new cases on average each year for the past decade: Mahkamah Agung [The Supreme Court], Laporan Tahunan 2016 [Annual Report 2016] (Mahkamah Agung 2017) 24.

114. ‘Putusan MK Berdampak Pada Program Deregulasi Sektor Investasi [The Constitutional Court’s Decision Affects Investment Deregulation Program]’ (Hukumonline, 6 April 2017)<www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt58e61b84aadce/putusan-mk-berdampak-pada-program-deregulasi-sektor-investasi>accessed 12 July 2018.

115. Muhammad Amin Putra, ‘Masalah Pembatalan Perda oleh Mahkamah Konstitusi [Problems of Invalidation of Bylaws by the Constitutional Court]’ (Hukumonline, 24 April 2017)<www.hukumonline.com/berita/baca/lt58fd70f334428/masalah-pembatalan-perda-oleh-mahkamah-konstitusi-oleh--muhammad-amin-putra>accessed 12 July 2018.

116. It bears noting, however, that executive reviews rarely, if ever, employed public interest or morality grounds as a basis for invalidation of any type of Perda: Butt, ‘Regional Autonomy and Legal Disorder’ (n 89); Butt and Parsons (n 48).

117. Interview with an Indonesian constitutional law academic (Jember, 11 November 2017).

118. Butt, Simon, ‘“Unlawfulness” and Corruption under Indonesian Law’ (2009) 45(2) Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies 179 .

119. Butt, ‘Regional Autonomy and Legal Disorder’ (n 89).

120. See generally Butt, Simon, The Constitutional Court and Democracy in Indonesia (Brill 2015) .

121. Butt and Lindsey, ‘Judicial Mafia’ (n 18).

122. Muhammad Amin Putra (n 115).

123. On the propensity of the Constitutional Court to amend provisions, rather than simply invalidate provisions, through issuing ‘conditional’ decisions, see Butt, The Constitutional Court and Democracy in Indonesia (n 120).

124. City/County Perda Review case (n 5) 212.

125. As mentioned, the Court invalidated art 251(8) of the 2014 Regional Government Law, because it had ‘lost its relevance’ with the majority’s invalidation of other parts of art 251: City/County Perda Review case (n 5) 206–207.

126. Nur Sholikin (n 106).

127. Fachri Fachrudin, ‘Soal Pembatalan Perda, Mendagri Disarankan Jalin Komunikasi dengan Kepala Daerah [About the Cancellation of Local Regulations, the Minister of Home Affairs Should Establish Communication with District Heads]’ Kompas (Jakarta, 17 June 2017)<http://nasional.kompas.com/read/2017/06/17/20192541/soal.pembatalan.perda.mendagri.disarankan.jalin.komunikasi.dengan.kepala.daerah>accessed 12 July 2018.

128. Kristian Erdianto, ‘Yasona Sebut Tiga Ribu Perda Bermasalah karena Banyak Pemda Tak Libatkan Kemenkumham [Yasona Says there are Three Thousand Problematic Perda because Many Local Governments Do Not Involve Kemenkumham]’ Kompas (Jakarta, 25 June 2016)<http://nasional.kompas.com/read/2016/06/25/03300091/Yasona.Sebut.Tiga.Ribu.Perda.Bermasalah.karena.Banyak.Pemda.Tak.Libatkan.Kemenkumham>accessed 12 July 2018. The Directorate General of Law and Human Rights reviewing almost 500 city and county Perda across Indonesia issued during 2005–2010 and reported that most failed to employ adequate legal drafting techniques: Panduan Praktis Memahami Perancangan Peraturan Daerah (n 86).

129. Nur Sholikin (n 106).

130. ibid.

131. Andi Saputra, ‘Timbulkan Konflik, Seluruh Uji Materi Peraturan Harusnya di Bawah MK [Sparking Conflict, All Review of Regulations Must Be Under the Constitutional Court] Detik.com (Jakarta, 14 November 2017)<https://news.detik.com/berita/3727139/timbulkan-konflik-seluruh-uji-materi-peraturan-harusnya-di-bawah-mk>accessed 12 July 2018.

* Professor of Indonesian Law, University of Sydney Law School.

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Asian Journal of Comparative Law
  • ISSN: 2194-6078
  • EISSN: 1932-0205
  • URL: /core/journals/asian-journal-of-comparative-law
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