Courts in indonesia: A mix of western and local character

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The judicial system in Indonesia resembles that of other countries that have adopted modern, Western legal systems. This resemblance is a result of European influence tracing back to the period when the Netherlands colonized Indonesia. At the time, the Dutch government did not apply Dutch law to indigenous Indonesians but instead created a separate judicial system. Dutch influence ended soon after Indonesia declared its independence in 1945. Interestingly, however, the newly independent government retained the laws and institutions of the colonial period, including the judiciary. This may explain to some extent the resemblance of the Indonesian legal system to those of European countries. Structure of the courts The judicial system is centralized in the Supreme Court. All courts except the Constitutional Court remain within and under the Supreme Court’s structure. The first attempt to replace the law governing the court system was made in 1948. At the time, the government issued Regulation Number 19 concerning Judicial Bodies within the Republic of Indonesia (Peraturan tentang Badan-badan Pengadilan dalam Daerah Republik Indonesia), whereby the court system was structured into three tiers, namely, the District Courts (Pengadilan Negeri), the High Courts (Pengadilan Tinggi), and the Supreme Court (Mahkamah Agung). Unfortunately, the regulation never took effect, as the Dutch clamped down on the “secessionist movements” of the colony.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAsian Courts in Context
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9781107588813
ISBN (Print)9781107066083
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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