Inauguration of Four New Supreme Court Justices
On 21 October 2014, Chief Justice, Hatta Ali, inducted and swore in four new Supreme Court Judges. The four new Supreme Court jusitces area Amran Suadi (Vice Chairman of the Religious High Court of Surabaya), Sudrajat Dimyati (Vice Chairman of the High Court of Pontianak), Purwosusilo (Director General of Religious Judiciary of the Supreme Court), and IS Sudaryono (Chairman of the State Administrative High Court of Medan). According to the Supreme Court spokesman Ridwan Mansyur , the four judges are the ones needed in the chambers of the Supreme Court; criminal, civil, religious, and administrative. At the moment, the court now has filled the void of 51 from a total of 60 needed judges.
The chosen Supreme Court Judges have went to a series of selection steps. The Judicial Commission has chosen 5 from 11 names of Supreme Court Judge candidates, which were given by the Supreme Court. Based on Constitutional Court Decision No. 27-PUU-XI/2013, the House of Representatives give their agreement on the candidates proposed by the Judicial Commission. One of the candidates, Muslich Bambang Luqmono (High Court Judge of PT Jayapura), was rejected by the House by the voting mechanism; 13 members accepted, 31 rejected, and 6 were abstained. (ED)
House of Representatives
House Must Immediately Select KPK Leadership
On October 13th 2014, The Leadership Selection Committee of the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi / KPK) has submitted their selection results to the President. Two proposed names to replace Busyro Muqqodas’ position are Busyro Muqqodas himself (current Vice Chairman of the KPK) and Roby Aria Brata (Chief of Foreign Affairs of the Cabinet Secretariat). Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the president-then said that suggested names as candidates should be put as priority by the House of Representatives. According to Article 30 paragraph (1) of the Law No. 30 Year 2002 on the Corruption Eradication Commission, the House will choose one of the two names after, as always, conducting a fit a proper test.
From many statements from the media, the House seems inclined towards a simultaneous election, done together with the exchange of 4 (four) other commissioners in early 2015. This discourse was immediately responded by the Civil Society Coalition for Anti Corruption, which is made up of Pusat Studi Hukum dan Kebijakan Indonesia (PSHK), Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), Masyarakat Pemantau Peradilan Indonesia Fakultas Hukum Universitas Indonesia (MaPPI FHUI), Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (YLBHI), and Indonesian Legal Roundtable (ILR); responded during a public discussion with “Choosing an Ideal KPK Leadership” as theme. Present House’s member during the discussion,: Patrice Rio Capella (National Democratic Party/ Partai Nasional Demokrat), Martin Hutabarat (Gerakan Indonesia Raya Party), and Ruhut Sitompul (Demokrat Party) conveyed the same messages. At the House, there is a still a different standpoint on the current selection process. The first opinion stated a preference that the selection should be held as it should be. The second opinion preferred the selection should be delayed until early 2015, meaning that the fit and proper test will be held simultaneously with the selection of the four other commissioners. On the other hand, the third opinion prefers that the selection should be done as soon as possible, but the inauguration of the chosen commissioners should be done at the same time with the four other commissioners in early 2015.
The Constitutional Court Decision No. 005/PUU-IX/2011 has stated that the tenure of Busyro Muqqodas as the KPK Leadership is four years. Therefore, the deadline will end by the end of this year. If the selection are going to be done simultaneously or the inauguration should be done at the same time in early 2015, there will be a vacant position in the KPK. According to Article 21 paragraph (1) of Law No. 30 Year 2002 on the Corruption Eradication Commission, the number of KPK Leaderships is 5 (five) person, therefore the KPK cannot function with less. In addition, if in such particular situation; Busyro Muqqodas’ tenure will be prolonged, what is the legal basis? Doesn’t it conflict with the Constitutional Court Decision? Also, when associated with collegial collective decision making, it is very easy to question the decision made by the KPK. To avoid further public speculation, the House should obey the Laws and the Constitutional Court Decision by conducting the KPK commissioner selections immediately. The selection will also act as a test on the commitment of the House towards strengthening the KPK and also towards corruption eradication. (MSG)
Constitutional Court Judge Selections from the Supreme Court and President
In the upcoming months, the configuration of the Constitutional Court will undergo several composition changes due to 2 judges that will end their first tenure. These judges are Hamdan Zoelva and Ahmad Fadlil Zumadi who will finish their tenure on January 6th 2015. Meanwhile, in the same year, Constitutional Court Judge Muhammad Alim will retire on 21 April 2015. In line with article 18 of Law No. 24 Year 2003 as amended by Law No. 8 Year 2011, Constitutional Court Judges are derived from three branches of power; 3 from the House of Representatives, 3 from the President, and 3 from the Supreme Court. These three institutions possess the authority to conduct selections if a Constitutional Court Judge of their choosing ends their tenure. The Supreme Court sent Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi as candidate and the House of Representatives gave Muhammad Alim, and the President appointed Hamdan Zoelva. From article 26 paragraph (3) of Law No. 8 Year 2011 on the Amendment towards Law No. 24 Year 2011 on the Constitutional Court requires state institutions that has authority in selecting judges to propose replacement names at least 30 days before the end of tenure.
As of this moment, the Supreme Court is extending the selection period due to the small number of applicants. As from the President, the selection process has not yet begun because the between the new Minister of Law and Human Rights just recently eppointed It is important to consider the Article 19 of Law No. 24 Year 2003 mandates a transparent and participative process in the Constitutional Court Judge selection. This provision is clarified in the explanatory section, that a Constitutional Court Judge candidate will be published in the mass media (print and/or electronic) so that the public will have the opportunity in providing input towards them. In practice, the above arrangements have been debated in the Patrialis Akbar appointment case. The selection process was deemed too obscure and lack participative; and were contested by several civil society organizations to the State Administrative Court. The Administrartive Court then revoked Patrialis’s appointment letter even though at the appellate level the decision was annulled. The absence of technical arrangements in Laws opens up opportunities for institutions with authority to propose names for Constitutional Court Judges to interpret themselves the selection mechanism, each with different standards.
Different institutional standards in selecting future justice could costly compromising the quality of the Constitutional Court. And meddling with the public expectation of qualified judges also will compromise the Constitutional Court image. In the future, there should be a same level of understanding and agremeent regarding a clear and firm standards between the House of Representatives, President, and Supreme Court for Constitutional Court Judges. (MS)