Session II of International Symposium: Discussing the Democratization Practices of Legislation Process

Philippine Chief Justice Renato C. Corona in a discussion session about the Lawmaking Process of Democratization in Panel II in a series of activities of the International Symposium on the theme of the Constitutional Democratic State, Tuesday (12 / 7) at Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta.

Participants in each panel back into the room after the completion of the discussion in Session I. Panel begins promptly at 11:15 pm, on Tuesday (12 / 7) at Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta. In Session II, participants conduct discussion with the theme of Lawmaking Process of Democratization.

Discussion of this theme is done in three panels, namely panel 1-3. For Panel 1 there are three speakers, the Chairman of Legislation Board of House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia (DPR RI) Ignatius Mulyono, Chairman of the Tribunal do Recurso Timor Leste Claudio Ximenes, and Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Stasys Sedbaras.

Mulyono explain the composition of the Parliament which consists of nine factions is very difficult to formulate and obtain consensus at the time of formulating the provisions of law (the Act). "Much of the discussion of the Bill along with many members of Parliament who serves on several fittings Parliament, slowing the process of formation of the Act," he explained.

While the substance as a process of formation of the Act that is input from the community, according to Mulyono, is not always the same, it is often diametrically opposed. Thus, he argues, the House is often faced with a dilemma situation that is the difference of interests of sight. "It required wisdom and nature behavior from lawmakers in a discussion of the bill to produce a bill acceptable to all parties," he said.

Related to this, MKRI existence as a guardian of the constitution is considered very important. Test case of the 1945 Act on the Constitutional Court is one reflection of democracy. The Court examined whether there is any contradiction, both formal and material between the 1945 Act. In the event of any conflict then the Constitutional Court declared the Parliament with the task of forming the government as the Act is to improve the law through the mechanism of Legislation.

Meanwhile, Claudio Ximenes from East Timor told the importance of establishing and enforcing checks and balances on the newly established countries such as in the country. He sees the existence of such institutions is critical to the Court ensure the implementation of the function and role of each state institution shall be vested by the Constitution.

Stasys Sedbaras of Lithuania emphasizes the importance to further democratize the legislative process in his country. He said that the current Law on the Fundamentals of the Legislative Process is being compiled, the contents of which regulate the provision of procedural and substantive matters, including providing public access to the broadest possible to exercise control. "In any law-making, the draft must be entered first at the site of parliament to give members an opportunity to the public for input," he explained.

Dynamics of Legislation
It draws in the third panel with the speaker Philippine Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, Chairman of the House of Representatives of Law Commission Benny K. Harman, and also Vice President of the First House Morocco Mohammed Abbou. On that occasion, Benny K. Harman presented the paper with the title 'The Democratization of Lawmaking Process, Lessons from Indonesia'. In his explanation, he said that the 1945 Constitution did not adopt the system of separation of powers between the legislative and executive powers, because the law to hand over power to form the two state institutions, namely the Parliament and the President.

However, he said, the system brings the consequences and risks of state administration, especially if associated with the implementation of a presidential democracy in multi-party system. At least, there are two potential constitutional risks occur. First, the government becomes ineffective. "Second, the government in power has the potential to return to authoritarian," he said. However, he asserts, this is merely an analysis, not moved from the practice occurs.

In addition, he said, there are two possible consequences. First, the position of the House of Representatives and the President in terms of making laws just as strong. And second, in the discussion of a bill, the President is relatively no difficulty in decision-making process because the president is only one person.

Related to strengthening the role of MK and democratization in Indonesia, the presence of Court in the state system of Indonesia is an affirmation that the democratic system adopted is a constitutional democracy characterized by the supremacy of the constitution and not the supremacy of parliament. "The Court needs to maintain and enhance the sense of ownership of every citizen above the law," he said.

While the other speakers, Renato C. Corona, picked up a paper titled 'The Philippine Supreme Courts Role in Ensuring Checks and Balances'. He tells, in the Philippines there is no Constitutional Court, there is only the Supreme Court (MA). However, the Supreme Court in the Philippines has an almost equal authority with the Court in other countries. "The Supreme Court can make a judicial review of laws that conflict with the constitution," he said.

According to him, the presence of MA in the Philippines has also strengthened enforcement of the principles of democracy in his country. One proof of this, government agencies sometimes argue in depth about an issue. "Manifestation is normal," he said. According to him, this is evidence of a healthy democracy.

Got asked by one participant, Ni'matul Huda, related to whether in the Philippines there is a decision which states as constitutionally valid conditional on the Constitutional Court of Indonesia, Renato stated never. According to him, the Supreme Court decision is always absolute. "It is not allowed to make conditional decisions," he said.

The speaker of Morocco Mohammed Abbou describes the constitutional referendum in his country. In early July, Morocco is conducting a referendum on the constitution. He said, there are several key elements that are formulated in the new constitution. Some of them are related to the sovereignty of the nation and the constitution, independence and autonomy of state institutions, basic rights and obligations of citizens, women's equality with men, and confirms the recognition of human rights.

Principles of Democracy
Then, in the third panel session II is filled out by members of the Senate Thailand Prajit Rojanaphruk and Vice Chairman of the House Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Azwar Abubakar. Rojanaphruk on his presentation is to acknowledge the review of the system relating to the draft Organic in Thailand. In Thailand, continued Rojanaphruk, laws drawn up jointly by the parliament with a senate. Products of the bill will be submitted to the prime minister for approval before being signed by the King. "But if the prime minister to find a bill that contrary to the constitution, the prime minister will submit to the Constitutional Court. This process is referred to as the review process. Until filed with the king and certified in the State Gazette, "Rojanaphruk said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Parliament of Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Agency Azwar Abubakar described the process of making laws in Indonesia are regulated in Law Number 10 Year 2004. According to Abubakar, there are several principles in the formation of laws in Indonesia, including clarity of purpose, forming the appropriate organ suitability of the material and type of cargo, versatility, clarity, formulation, and openness.

"The principle of openness in the legislation is one of the principles of democracy. All members of the public have a right to give opinion in regulation. Countries provide opportunities for them in the Law 10/2004 which states the right to provide input in the process of drafting legislation. Democratization is also done through the free press guarantees of Law 40/1999 which convey information and public information disclosure. Each Act that created the House and signed by the President represents the people as one of the principles of democracy, "Abubakar said.

The theme of this symposium is "Constitutional Democratic State". Major theme of discussion is divided into three sub themes with a discussion of each theme in the three panels. Session I titled The Role of the Constitutional Court and Equivalent in Strengthening the Principles of Democracy (The role of the Constitutional Court and Similar Institutions in Strengthening Democratic Principles). Session II would be Lawmaking Process of Democratization and session III, The Mechanism of Checks and Balances among State Institutions. (Dodi Haryadi / Lulu Anjarsari / Shohibul Umam / Miftakhul Huda/

Thursday, July 14, 2011 | 13:52 WIB 237