Students of SMA Bunda Hati Kudus Learn Court’s History
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The Court welcoming eleventh-grade students of SMA Bunda Hati Kudus, Thursday (9/14/2023). Photo by MKRI/Fauzan.


JAKARTA (MKRI) — The Constitutional Court (MK) welcomed eleventh-grade students of SMA Bunda Hati Kudus (BHK) on Thursday, September 14, 2023. Assistant to constitutional justice Erlina M.C. Sinaga delivered a presentation and welcomed them on their visit to the Court.

Erlina explained to the students that the basic idea of constitutional/judicial review of laws against the Constitution have existed long before the establishment of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia. It began, she revealed, when the United States Supreme Court canceled a law on appointment of Supreme Court justices in the case Marbury v. Madison. “This is the background of judicial review.”

In 1902, the Constitutional Court of Austria became the first judicial institution to perform constitutional review. Meanwhile, the idea of establishing a constitutional court in Indonesia emerged in the beginning of the independence. Mohamad Yamin, a member of the Investigating Committee for Preparatory Work for Independence (BPUPKI) proposed that a supreme court be established with the authority to review laws against the Constitution. However, the proposal was rejected by Supomo on the grounds that at that time Indonesia adhered to division of powers, not separation of powers.

The Constitutional Court was only established in Indonesia after the 1998 Reform movement, which resulted in the four-stage amendment to the 1945 Constitution. In the third-stage amendment, Article 24C was introduced. It contains provisions on the Constitutional Court, whose authority is to conduct judicial review of laws against the Constitution, to decide authority disputes between state institutions whose authority is granted by the Constitution, to decide the disbandment of political parties. In addition, it is obligated to pass a decision on the opinion of the House of Representatives (DPR) on alleged violations of the Constitution by the president and/or the vice president.

Next, Erlina spoke about the constitutional rights of Indonesian citizens as stipulated in the 1945 Constitution. These constitutional rights are that the petitioners who come to the Constitutional Court fight for, such as rights in education. She revealed that a teacher submitted a petition to review the State Budget (APBN) Law related to the education budget. Although the petition was rejected, the Court held that the APBN Law was unconstitutional if the education budget was not in line with the Constitution, which is 20%.

Erlina also explained that the public can access the Court’s decisions a short moment after they are pronounced at a ruling hearing. The decisions, hearing schedule, and information related to cases can be accessed on the Court’s website (in both Indonesian and English).

Author       : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Nur R.
Translator  : Nyi Mas Laras Nur Inten Kemalasari/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, September 14, 2023 | 14:31 WIB 161