Court Reviews Constitutionality of Two Halal Certification Institutions

Judicial review hearing of Law No. 6 of 2023 on the Stipulation of Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No. 2 of 2022 on Job Creation into Law petitioned by Halal Watch, Wednesday (5/17/2023) in the plenary courtroom. Photo by MKRI/Zahra.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — Provisions on the formation of the Halal Product Fatwa Committee as stipulated in Law No. 6 of 2023 on the Stipulation of Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No. 2 of 2022 on Job Creation into Law (Job Creation Law) was petitioned in the Constitutional Court (MK). The petition No. 49/PUU-XXI/2023 was filed by Indonesia Halal Watch. The preliminary hearing for the case took place on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 in the plenary courtroom.

In the petition, the Petitioner argued that Article 48 number 1, Article 48 number 19, and Article 48 numbers 20 and 32 of the Job Creation Law amended a number of articles in Law No. 33 of 2014 on Halal Product Guarantee (JPH), i.e. Article 1 number 1 point 10, Article 33A paragraphs (1) and (2), Article 33B paragraphs (1) and (2), and Article 63C paragraphs (1) and (2). Through legal counsel Syaeful Anwar, the Petitioner argued that the amendments to the articles in the JPH Law embodied in the Job Creation Law have violated his constitutional rights.

“In the background of our petition, in the articles that constitute changes in norms and also additions to norms, the Petitioner sees that there has been a shift from Indonesia adopting a symbiotic paradigm to an integralist paradigm. Therefore, the articles as mentioned in the petition are contrary to Article 28D, Article 29 paragraph (1), and Article 29 paragraph (2) of the 1945 Constitution,” Anwar said at the hearing chaired by Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah.

The Petitioner believes that Article 48 number 1, Article 48 number 19, and Article 48 numbers 20 and 32 of the Job Creation Law have created dualism in halal certification institutions. Initially, the institution authorized to issue halal certification was only the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) as stipulated in the JPH Law. However, with the articles being reviewed, another institution—the Halal Product Fatwa Committee under the authority of the Ministry of Religious Affairs—can now do so.

“Now then there is a dualism that is very detrimental to the Petitioner. This Halal Fatwa Committee has led to the absence of legal certainty, including the halal fatwas formed or issued by the Halal Fatwa Committee as stipulated in the Job Creation Law. There is no legal certainty because the products issued by the Halal Fatwa Committee are under the Ministry of Religion,” Anwar explained.

The Petitioner believes the halal fatwas issued by MUI are final, because the issuance of halal fatwas is the authority of a religious institution, i.e. MUI. Meanwhile, the Halal Product Fatwa Committee was formed by the Government and is responsible to the Minister, in this case the Ministry of Religious Affairs. This results in the issuance of halal certification being included as state administrative (TUN) objects. Anwar added that this would actually be a “problem” if cases of halal certification are examined by the state administrative court (PTUN) because the its judges are not familiar with the terminology and usul fiqh, the Quran and the Prophet’s hadith, which are the touchstones of the quality of halal or haram of any product.

Normatively and the data as mentioned above, Anwar added, related to the JPH Law, there is no “situation or compelling urgency in the field of halal certification.” Thus, the Petitioner requested that the Court declare the entire norm changes as mentioned above unconstitutional.

Justices’ Advice

In response to the petition, Constitutional Justice Manahan M. P. Sitompul advised the Petitioner to elaborate Indonesia Halal Watch’s legal standing in the petition and its constitutional loss due to the law in question. “Is there causality due to the enactment of the norm, which led to losses. There must be causa verband,” he said.

Meanwhile, Constitutional Justice Daniel Yusmic P. Foekh asked the Petitioner to observe the omnibus law, which combines several law. He also asked the Petitioner to elaborate the arguments clearly since they were previously rather confusing. “From the brief explanation earlier, [I] understand the gist. However, please elaborate in the petition,” he said.

Next, Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah as panel chair requested that the Petitioner consider the petitum in which it requested that the Court annul the provisions in question. He argued that it would eliminate the legal basis for the halal certification institution.

“If the petitum of this petition is granted, the norm will be eliminated. The plan is legal certainty to avoid overlap in the determination of halal products, but the basis can be lost. If it is lost, what will be the basis for and who will issue halal certification?” he asked.

Before concluding the session, Justice Guntur asked the Petitioner to revise the petition by 14 workdays. The revised petition must be received by the Registrar’s Office on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.

Author       : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : Tiara Agustina
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

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.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 | 16:42 WIB 229