President Presents Two Experts at Hearing on Papua Special Autonomy Law
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The judicial review hearing of Law No. 21 of 2001 on the Special Autonomy for Papua Province, Tuesday (5/17/2022). Photo by Humas MK/Ifa.


Tuesday, May 17, 2022 | 15:10 WIB

JAKARTA, Public Relations—Another judicial review hearing for Law No. 2 of 2021 on the Second Amendment to Law No. 21 of 2001 on the Special Autonomy for Papua Province (Papua Special Autonomy Law) was held by Constitutional Court (MK) on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. The hearing for case No. 47/PUU-XIX/2021 had been scheduled to hear the Government’s experts—former constitutional justice of 2003-2008 H.M. Laica Marzuki and constitutional law expert Fahri Bachmid. At the previous hearing on Monday, March 28, 2022, the president had presented two constitutional law experts, Yusril Ihza Mahendra and M. Rullyandi.

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Legal Certainty 

H.M. Laica Marzuki in his testimony explained 3 main things in relation to the Papua Special Autonomy Law. “First, in the context of protecting and upholding dignity and worth, affirming and protecting the basic rights of indigenous Papuans, whether in the economic, political, social, cultural realms, legal certainty is necessary,” he said before Chief Justice Anwar Usman and the other constitutional justices.

Second, he added, in the context of accelerating development and improving the quality of public services as well as the sustainability of development in Papua, it is necessary to make efforts to optimize revenue management in implementing the Papua Special Autonomy Law in an accountable, efficient, effective, transparent, and targeted manner as well as to carry out regional structuring for Papua Province.

Third, Law No. 2 of 2001 was established based on Article 18D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution, which states that the state recognizes and respects special regional government units regulated by law.

Marzuki said the three main things were the basic idea and revision of Law No. 21 of 2001 on the Special Autonomy for Papua Province.

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Regional Autonomy

Presidential expert staff Fahri Bachmid said in his testimony that regional autonomy in the constitutional context of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) was the division of power in the region by adhering to the rules of the NKRI, with certain limits of authority and the provisions of several articles in the 1945 Constitution.

“In addition, it provides rules for the implementation of regional autonomy with the principles of symmetrical and asymmetrical decentralization. The fundamental basis for the implementation of said autonomy is the division or delegation of power to the regions, both provinces and regencies/cities,” he explained.

He believed that this division of power is intended so that each region can develop easily and services from all sectors of the community’s needs can be provided quickly.

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Law No. 2 of 2021 on the Second Amendment to Law No. 21 of 2001 on the Special Autonomy for Papua Province (Papua Special Autonomy Law) was challenged materially by the Papuan People’s Assembly (MRP), represented by Timotius Murib (Chairman), Yoel Luiz Mulait (Vice Chairman I), and Debora Mote (Vice Chairman II) in case No. 47/PUU-XIX/2021.

At the virtual preliminary hearing on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, the Petitioners argued that Article 6 paragraph (2), Article 6A, Article 28, Article 38, Article 59 paragraph (3), Article 68A, Article 76, and Article 77 of the Papua Special Autonomy Law have violated their constitutional rights as indigenous Papuans (OAP). The Petitioners are the cultural representations of indigenous Papuans for the protection of their rights based on respect for customs and culture, for empowering women, and strengthening the harmonious life of religious communities, who have a direct interest in the a quo law.

They believe there are clauses in the amendment to the a quo law that actually harm the Petitioners’ interests and constitutional rights in particular and those of indigenous Papuans. The changes and addition of new norms in Article 6 paragraphs (4) and (5) of the a quo law on the position, composition, duties, and authorities, rights, and responsibilities of the leadership membership and apparatuses of the Papuan People’s Representatives’ Council (DPRP) and the Regency/City Legislative Council (DPRK) in accordance with the provisions of the legislation have actually led to legal uncertainty.

“The deletion of Article 68 paragraphs (1) and (2) on the abolition of the formation of political parties and the change of the phrase ‘must’ to ‘can’ in Article 68 paragraph (3) of Law No. 2 of 2001 is clearly unconstitutional,” said Murib.

He also said that the fact that Article 77 remains has made the article multi-interpretive. The article regulates that proposals for the amendment to the Papua Special Autonomy Law may be submitted by the people of the Papua Province through the MRP and DPRP to the House of Representatives (DPR) or the Government in accordance with statutory regulations. He revealed that the amendment to several articles of Law No. 21 of 2001 is purely central government’s initiative, not a proposal by the Papuans.  

Writer        : Nano Tresna Arfana
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Andhini S. F.
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 5/18/2022 08:56 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.


Tuesday, May 17, 2022 | 15:10 WIB 16