Students of Law School of Atma Jaya University of Yogyakarta Visit the Constitutional Court

Constitutional Court Justice Maria Farida Indrati received the visit by the Law School students of Atma Jaya University-Yogyakarta on Wednesday (3/11) in The Court’s Building.

Jakarta, MKOnline – For constitutional court justices, dissenting opinions in a case indicates the independence of the justices. This was conveyed by Constitutional Court Justice Maria Farida Indrati when receiving the visit of Law School Students of Atma Jaya University-Yogyakarta, on Wednesday (3/11) in The Court’s Building.

“In the Justice Deliberation Meeting (RPH), all justices are given the opportunity to express opinions (legal opinions). If any one of the justices has a dissenting opinion, he/she is allowed not to participate in further discussions. All these indicate the independence of justices,” she explained.

On that occasion, Maria explained the authority of The Court as set out in Article 24C of the 1945 Constitution, namely to decide upon dissolution of political parties, to hear authority disputes among state institutions whose authorities are regulated in the 1945 Constitution, to settle disputes over the results of general elections, and to decide upon cases of impeachment of the President and/or Vice President. “The most often exercised authority of The Court is to review laws and to settle disputes over the results of General Elections, both legislative elections and regional head elections. Meanwhile, for authority disputes among state institutions, The Court has received only 13 cases since 2003,” she said.

As to judicial review of laws, explained Maria, The Court relies on Law Number 24 Year 2003 regarding the Constitutional Court (the Constitutional Court Law). However, continued Maria, there is one article in the Constitutional Court Law which has been annulled by The Court itself through their Decision Number 066/PUU-II/2004 on the limitations of laws petitioned for review. 

“Had at that time I been already a constitutional court justice, I would have definitely been one who gave a dissenting point. The Court should have been allowed only to review laws prior to the amendment to the 1945 Constitution. Meanwhile the laws prior to the amendment should have been included in the domain of legislative review rather than the domain of judicial review. However, now there have been a lot of benefits of the decision; now all laws before the amendment can be petitioned to The Court especially with respect to articles related Human Rights,” she explained.

On that occasion, Maria also discussed the newest issue widely discussed by the media namely the alleged bribery in The Court. According to Maria, the transparency of The Court as a judicial institution to facilitate the people in accessing information on The Court has been widely misused by irresponsible parties. “For example, the inclusion of registered cases in The Court’s website have been used by many irresponsible people for blackmail purposes. In fact, no charge is required for bringing a case in The Court or free of charge,” she confirmed. (Lulu Anjarsari/mh)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010 | 14:01 WIB 160