Indonesia’s Attorney General Lost its Power to Ban Books
Press Release: Indonesia’s Attorney General Lost its Power to Ban Books
The Indonesian Constitutional Court in a 7-1 ruling pronounced last Wednesday, October 13th, that the Indonesian Attorney General is stripped from its power to ban books. This ruling is an important breakthrough for the freedom of expression in Indonesia.
Last January, two lawyers from the Center for Law Information, Rahmat Bagja and Fatahillah Hoed submitted a petition to the Constitutional Court demanding the Court to revoke Law No. 4 PNPS 1963 which provides the legal basis to the Attorney General to ban books.
The lawyers successfully pleaded their case before the Constitutional Court. The Court decided in Wednesday that Law No. 4 PNPS 1963 was invalidated. In the future, banning of books will have to be conducted through a court proceeding.
Indonesia is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and has therefore, the international obligation to protect the freedom of expression. In the past, book banning has been used by the New Order authoritarian regime to tackle political dissents.
Jakarta, October 14th, 2010
Center for Law Information (CeLI)
Indonesia Law Report (ILR)
Picture: Mr Rahmat Bagja and Mr. Fatahillah Hoed at the Constitutional Court’s Judicial Review of Law No. 4 PNPS 1963