Constitutional Court's decision on Corruption gets mixed response

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Constitutional Court invalidated article 53 of the Law on the Commission on the Eradication of Corruption. Article 53 regulates the establishment and jurisdiction of a Corruption Court. The Constitutional Court said that the Corruption Court is unconstitutional as it violates the legal certainty and equality before the law principle.

Law experts have different views:

State Secretary Yusril Ihza Mahendra said the Constitutional Court's ruling posed a serious judicial problem, as those tried and convicted by the Corruption Court would have grounds for complaint if the court turned out to be unconstitutional. "Article 53 of the law on the KPK is clearly against the Constitution, but its existence has been extended for three years. This will be a problem for those who feel their rights have been violated," he said.

Anti-graft activists on Thursday blasted the Constitutional Court's verdict, calling it a "symbolic victory" for those involved in corruption. "The ruling is nonsense. The Corruption Court does not violate the Constitution. Its existence under the law on the KPK does not have any effect on its independence or impartiality," Bambang Widjojanto, who chairs the ethics department at Indonesian Corruption Watch, said at a news conference.

I also have my own view on the matter, which tends to be in the same position with anti graft activists. I have wrapped an article for the Jakarta Post discussing it. We will discuss it in this blog after it is published.