Secretary-General Opens All-Indonesia University Student Constitutional Debate Competition

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Secretary-General M. Guntur Hamzah opening the All-Indonesia University Student Constitutional Debate Competition XIV, Wednesday (11/17/2021) at the Pancasila and Constitution Education Center, Bogor, West Java. Photo by Humas MK/Teguh.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 | 15:11 WIB

BOGOR, Public Relations—Secretary General of the Constitutional Court (MK) M. Guntur Hamzah opened the All-Indonesia University Student Constitutional Debate Competition XIV on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at the Court’s Pancasila and Constitution Education Center (Pusdik), Bogor, West Java.

In his remarks, he said university students are stakeholders that receive the Court’s special attention, as they receive the baton in the race of the future of the republic. Youth and university students are an inseparable part of the history of the nation’s change. The pre-Independence, the Independence, and the Reform eras were marked by important, historical movements of the young generation.

Guntur believes the Court’s awareness of the importance of the youth in the direction of the state compelled it to participate in improving students’ understanding of Pancasila, the Constitution, and constitutional issues.

“After all, the enforcement of constitutional justice cannot be realized by relying solely on state institutions, but must also be supported by the citizens, in this case the students, the younger generation, in understanding and exercising their rights and obligations,” he said virtually from Pusdik.

Moreover, continued Guntur, citizens in a constitutional democracy have an important role in participating in and guarding the administration of the state and government so that they are in accordance with the principles of constitutional government. Law enforcement, the Constitution, and the implementation of a democratic Pancasila- and law-based state require constitutional awareness. This is the background for the Constitutional Court’s a university student constitutional debate competition every year. The Court encourages substantive ideas for learning about democracy and civic values. 

Debate Culture on Campus

Guntur hoped the students would learn from programs such as the debate in order to prepare for future constitutional dynamics and become a new generation who take part in various fields—judicial, legislative and executive. Hopefully students would also be prepared for discussion and debate and be able to distinguish constructive criticism from hate speech or personal attacks.

He also hoped the debate competition not be seen as a mere routine. He hoped after completing this competition, the students would get used to discussion, building logical arguments, looking at data and facts holistically, and ultimately participating in public discourse with quality constitutional narratives, where everyone has the right to rational opinions and criticism with data and facts that can be accounted for. This culture is what the Court has been trying to encourage.

He also expressed appreciation for the development of a debate culture that is inseparable part of the lives of students on campus. This is marked by the increasing number of constitutional debate competitions and debate communities being formed in universities.

“Of course, this is very encouraging as students, the younger generation have been active in studying and exploring the issues in this country. Hopefully the alumni of this debate competition can make a real contribution to the development of the legal world in Indonesia in the future,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, in his report, the Acting Head of the Pancasila and Constitution Education Center Imam Margono said that this year’s debate was the fourteenth that the Court organized.

He said that 138 teams had competed in the elimination round. “Out of those, 126 teams passed the administrative and document selection. They are 40 teams from the west regions, 38 from the central, and 48 from the east,” he explained.

Twenty-four teams passed the elimination round: Airlangga University, Andalas University, Brawijaya University, Diponegoro University, Esa Unggul University, Gadjah Mada University, Hasanuddin University, the Islamic University of Indonesia, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University of Yogyakarta, Hidayatullah State Islamic University, the University of Jember, Khairun University, Muhammadiyah University of Malang, Padjajaran University, Pelita Harapan University, Raden Intan University of Lampung, the University of Riau, Sebelas Maret University, the University of North Sumatera, Syiah Kuala University, the University of Tanjungpura, Tarumanagara University, Trunojoyo University, and Udayana University.

The elimination round of the debate competition will take place on Wednesday-Friday, November 17-19, 2021. The elimination until the semifinal rounds will take place hybrid (onsite and online), where the participants will participate virtually while the jury online from Pusdik, Cisarua, Bogor.

The jury consists of law experts, academics, and practitioners from well-known universities all across Indonesia. The jury will decide the competition with objective assessments. 

Writer        : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Nur R.
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 11/19/2021 17:06 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.