Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat speaking as guest in a podcast by the Student Executive Body of the Law Faculty of Diponegoro University virtually, Sunday (9/12/2021). Photo by Humas MK/Ilham W.M.
Sunday, September 12, 2021 | 14:16 WIB
JAKARTA, Public Relations—Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat spoke virtually at podcast of the Law Faculty of Diponegoro University on Sunday morning, September 12, 2021 with presenter Hayyu Tyaranisa. He received questions, among others, on the Constitutional Court’s activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In carrying out its duties, functions, and authorities, the role of the Constitutional Court as modern and reliable judiciary must decline even amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Justice Arief said at the beginning of the interview.
He added that the Court utilizes information technology to support its duties. Court hearings are now available onsite and online. Amid the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the Court even resolved regional head election (pilkada) disputes smoothly and safely.
“Although a number of staff members were infected by COVID-19, some fell ill and recovered. However, sadly, a few members passed away from COVID-19,” he revealed.
Responding to a question about his experience while studying in the Law Faculty of Undip, Justice Arief said that he focused on the faculty since he was a freshman in 1975 until he became a dean, even until today where he assists doctoral students at the university.
“I observed significant difference between undergraduates in the 1970s and today. Back then, students of Diponegoro University, including the Law Faculty, were from Central Java and some were from the borders of Central Java and East Java,” he said.
However, he revealed, when he was the dean at the Law Faculty of Undip, the university had been well-known nationally and had students not only from the Java Island, but also many from outside of Java. He mentioned the extraordinary choir of the university, many of whose members were from North Sumatera and some from Maluku. The choir, he recalled, won national and even international competitions.
Justice Arief said that overtime, the university could compete with other well-known universities. Today, the university’s students come from all over the country. He saw this as a good indication of diversity.
He was then asked about his reason to study law. “I have always been interested in law enforcement cases. I admired figures such as Yap Thiam Hien, Suardi Tasrif, and Adnan Buyung, who inspired me to study law,” said the man who was born on February 3, 1956.
Justice Arief did not only focus on his studies but also followed activities outside of the campus actively, such as the Indonesian National Student Movement (GMNI). Within the campus, he once chaired the Student Council and the Student Executive Body. His experience in student organizations helped his leadership career in the Law Faculty of Undip as both a lecturer and a dean.
Responding to a question on his career trajectory, Justice Arief revealed that after graduating, he wanted to become an ASN (state civil apparatus) at the Directorate General of Immigration at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. However, upon suggestion by his university senior, Prof. Suhardjo, he accepted an offer to teach at the Law Faculty of Undip.
In several years, he became a professor and dean at the faculty. Then Prof. Jimly Asshiddiqie and Prof. Mahfud MD encouraged him to become a constitutional justice. He then consulted with Prof. Satjipto Rahardjo, who advised him to finish his tenure first. “At the time, Prof. Satjipto told me that the lecturer profession that I chose had a consequence that it would not make him rich materially,” he said.
After his tenure as a dean ended, he summoned the courage to apply for the constitutional justice position through DPR (House of Representatives) with overwhelming support, mainly from fellow constitutional law professors, including Saldi Isra from Andalas University.
“I remember that Mr. Harjono as a constitutional justice and Mr. Anwar Usman, now chief constitutional justice, often encouraged me to become leader of the Constitutional Court, to become deputy chief justice,” he recalled. His career advanced, from constitutional justice, to deputy chief justice, to chief justice. He also became president of the constitutional courts of Asia.
Justice Arief is now focusing on educating the younger generations. He aspires to encourage law enforcement among the younger generations, for good governance of Indonesia well, especially in law enforcement.
Then who are the legal figures who contributed to his career? Justice Arief explained that the late Prof. Sudarto, an extraordinary criminal law expert, gave him his knowledge of criminal law. The extraordinary national legal figure Prof. Satjipto Rahardjo, also contributed to his career.
“I also received knowledge in constitutional law by Prof. Sastro Suhardjo and learned about leadership from former Undip rector Prof. Moeljono S. Trastotenojo,” he stressed. Justice Arief also advised students to do their studies as well as possible, and to be active in various student organizations.
Translation uploaded on 9/24/2021 09:44 WIB
Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.