The Constitutional Court held a Celebration of its 4th Anniversary and the Inauguration of the Constitutional Court Building on Wednesday (15/8). The program was held in the hall of the new building of the Constitutional Court and attended by statesmen among others former President Megawati Soekarnoputri, former Chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia (MPR RI), Amien Rais, and former Chairman of the People's Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Indonesia (DPR RI), Akbar Tanjung. The three figures played their roles in the amendment of the 1945 Constitution and the formulation of Law Number 24 Year 2003 that helped bring about the establishment of the Constitutional Court. Also present in the program were former members of the Ad Hoc (PAH) III of the Working Committee of MPR RI, law practitioners, academicians and figures of the national press.


In his welcome speech, the Constitutional Court Chief Justice, Jimly Asshiddiqie described the ups and downs of the justices and staff of the Constitutional Court which, since its inception, had not had its own building so that they had to move their offices from one place to another. “But now, we are grateful for having our own building which is sufficiently representative,” expressed Jimly.


Never had Jimly imagined such a majestic building of the Constitutional Court. He also conveyed that since the beginning of the building's development, he had emphasized that the development process had to be free from corruption. On the result of the development he jokingly said, ”Without corruption, the building has turned out to be this beautiful”.


Meanwhile, former DPR Chairman, Akbar Tanjung, when requested to give his comments on the inception process of the Constitutional Court, admitted that when the Constitutional Court requested the approval of the DPR Chairman to use the area at the complex of MPR/DPR as the location for the development of the Constitutional Court Building, he and other DPR leaders at that time did not approve such request. According to Akbar, such disapproval was due to the fact that the Constitutional Court is a state institution exercising the judicial power with the authority to conduct judicial review of laws, whereas DPR is a law-making (legislative) state institution “If the two institutions were adjacent, what would the world say?” he jokingly said.


Former President Megawati, who was also invited to give comments on the historical moments for the establishment of the Constitutional Court, also expressed her pride for the success of the Indonesian nation to give birth to a state institution which becomes the guardian of the constitution. “Thus, we have now been equal to other developed countries which also have constitutional courts,” said Megawati. Furthermore, the former president who is also the General Leader of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) requested that the decisions of the Constitutional Court be immediately disseminated to the public in order to avoid prolonged controversies regarding such decisions.


On the occasion, former MPR Chairman, Amien Rais, gave his appreciation of the decisions that the Constitutional Court has issued so far, especially the latest decision which opens the opportunity for independent candidates to participate in the election of region heads. He also thanked the Constitutional Court for its attention to former state officials like him being invited to the magnificence of the Constitutional Court Building the first time before being used. Especially with the invitation of the Constitutional Court to such former national leaders to put their signatures on the inscription stone of the Constitutional Court Building, Amien felt honored in becoming a part of such historical moment. “If at some time in the future, my grandson goes on a study tour to the Constitutional Court, he will be able to say, ‘It was the late grandpa that signed the inscription stone of the Constitutional Court.’ It will surely become something he will be proud of among his friends,” he said jokingly.


During the celebration, former President Megawati, former MPR Chairman Amien Rais and former DPR Chairman Akbar Tanjung signed the inscription stone of the inauguration of the Constitutional Court Building. Former Presidents BJ Habibie and Abdurrahman Wahid, who were supposed to co-sign the inscription stone, were unavailable to be present.


The celebration was also jazzed up by an operetta about the Constitutional Court and its authorities performed by the students of the Jakarta Institute of Fine Arts. After the event, the invitees were invited to tour around the Constitutional Court Building. [ardli]

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 | 20:09 WIB 206