MKRI Holds Special Plenary Session on 20th Anniversary
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Chief Justice Anwar Usman opening a plenary session to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Constitutional Court, Thursday (8/10/2023) in the plenary courtroom. Photo by Humas MK/Ifa.


JAKARTA (MKRI) — To celebrate its twentieth anniversary, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia (MKRI) held a special plenary session on Thursday, August 10, 2023 in the plenary courtroom. Distinguished guests attended the event, among which were MPR (People’s Consultative Assembly) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court M. Syarifuddin; Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Moh. Mahfud MD; DPR (House of Representatives) Commission III Chairman Bambang Wuryanto; National Police Chief Listyo Sigit; ambassadors of friendly countries; and participants of the International Chief Justice Forum (ICJF).

In his remarks., Chief Justice Anwar Usman revealed that on August 13, 2023, the MKRI would be twenty years old after the promulgation of Law No. 24 of 2003 on the Constitutional Court (MK). For two decades, it has been performing its duties and authorities as enshrined in the 1945 Constitution. “[This moment] marks the two decades of the Constitutional Court’s existence within the state administration of Indonesia,” he said.

Chief Justice Anwar said there had been discourse and debates among legal scholars and historians on the documents of world’s constitutions. Regardless, a constitution is defined as a consensus or agreement between the members or groups in society for noble purposes. The document reflects a country or nation’s civilization in writing or, unwritten, its practices or customs.

“The constitution as a basic law must be obeyed and implemented by all elements of the nation. Compliance with the constitution is a form of commitment and recognition of the agreed-upon basic law. Any disregard for it will threaten the nation’s values and it could even threaten the order of state life, create division, which could lead to the collapse of a nation’s civilization. Therefore, the importance of upholding the constitution is the next phase that is interesting to study,” he explained.

Furthermore, Chief Justice Anwar played an important role as one of the initiators of the formation of several regional and international organizations. The MKRI has also facilitated cooperation among constitutional jurisdictions and hosted various international events for world constitutional jurisdictions, such as the formation of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC), the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of the Islamic World (CCJ-I), the fifth congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) at the end of last year, the Indonesian Constitutional Court International Symposium (ICCIS), and more.

Chief Justice Anwar has also driven the relations between the constitutional jurisdictions of Asia and Africa (AACC and CCJA or the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa) in promoting the importance of upholding the constitution, law, and democracy amid increasingly complex global challenges. In fact, he added, in building cooperation with various constitutional jurisdictions in the world, the MKRI did not hesitate to provide training on the management of judicial administration to courts of friendly countries.

“The cooperation between the MKRI and various international institutions and constitutional courts in various countries reflects the fact that the Constitution and Constitutional Court of Indonesian actively participates in building constitutional civilization at the global level,” he said alongside the other eight constitutional justices.

President Supports MKRI

At the session, President Joko Widodo stated that the Government is prepared to support the MKRI in making innovations to realize a modern judicial system to support justice seekers, which is in line with the mandate of the Constitution.

“Within its jurisdiction, the Government is also prepared to support the MKRI in performing the heavy duty of guarding the simultaneous election of 2024, guarding the values of democracy in resolving electoral disputes quickly and fairly,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chief Supreme Justice M. Syarifuddin congratulated the MKRI for its twentieth anniversary and expressed hope that the MKRI would be stronger in guarding the Constitution. The MKRI is founded on three elements—the House, the Supreme Court, and the Government—in the nomination of its nine constitutional justices.

“Similar to its older fellow, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court has also faced many challenges in exercising its judicial authority. Social dynamics and technological advances have greatly impacted the development of law, but the Constitutional Court has proven that it can stand tall in guarding the constitutional democracy,” Syarifuddin emphasized.

After the special plenary session, the guests were presented with a performance of Reog Ponorogo, a folk dance from Ponorogo, East Java Province. The session also kicked off the series of international events that include the International Chief Justice Forum (ICJF), the Short Course of the AACC, and the 6th ICCIS that takes place on August 10-11 at Pullman Central Park Hotel, Jakarta.

Amid this celebration, the MKRI also launched the book “Dua Puluh Tahun Mahkamah Konstitusi: Memaknai Peradaban Konstitusi (Twenty Years of the Constitutional Court: Interpreting Constitutional Civilization), which reflects the MKRI’s role in exercising its constitutional authority for two decades. In addition, it reveals that the MKRI had handled 3,543 cases while exercising if four types of authority—1,702 constitutional review cases; 29 cases on authority disputes between state institutions; 676 election results disputes; as well as 1,136 regional head election results disputes.

As part of the celebration of its 20th anniversary, the MKRI will also host the ICJF entitled “Strengthening Democracy through Constitutional Jurisdictios: Past, Present, and Future.” Heads of nine constitutional jurisdictions—of Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Namibia, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkiye—and one such an organization (CCJA) attended the event. Meanwhile, the AACC Short Course is an annual forum for the association of constitutional jurisdictions in Asia to exchange ideas and insights. This year, the short course discusses “Democracy, Digital Transformation, and Judicial Independence.” Thirty-five participants from various countries will be participating in three sessions of the event and listening to fifteen speakers from various countries. For the 6th ICCIS on “Constitutional Court and Judicial Independence: A Comparative Perspective,” Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra was scheduled to deliver a keynote speech.

In the pinnacle of the anniversary celebration, on August 13, 2023 all constitutional justices and staff members of the MKRI will join a flag-hoisting ceremony led by Chief Justice Anwar Usman. At the ceremony, the MKRI will confer awards for distinguished civil servants who have provided most excellent support and services to the implementation of the MKRI’s constitutional authority. It will also confer civil servants’ long service medals Satyalancana Karya Satya (awarded to for loyal and faithful service and dedication in Indonesian civil services spanning decades) for civil servants in the Registrar’s Office and the Secretariat-General of the Constitutional Court for 10, 20, and 30 years of service.

Author       : Lulu Anjarsari P.
Editor        : L.A.P.
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.


Thursday, August 10, 2023 | 15:37 WIB 497