Justice Manahan Talks National Moratorium on Health Emergency

Constitutional Justice Manahan M. P. Sitompul giving a public lecture at the Law Faculty of Sultan Agung Islamic University, Semarang, Friday (9/22/2023). Photo by MKRI.

SEMARANG (MKRI) — Constitutional Justice Manahan M.P. Sitompul delivered a public lecture on “Emergency Constitutional Law and Economic Recovery” at the Law Faculty of the Sultan Agung Islamic University (Unissula), Semarang on Friday morning, September 22, 2023. Unissula rector Gunarto, Law Faculty dean Bambang Tri Bawono, lecturers, head of the Court’s National Affairs Division Yossy Adriva, and 200 freshmen attended this collaborative event between the Constitutional Court and Unissula.

In the beginning of his lecture, Justice Manahan cited the legal principle of salus populi supreme lex, which means that public safety is the highest law. When the state is in emergency, it must save the public.

“This legal principle is the forerunner of the birth of emergency administrative law, especially in relation to health emergencies, so the government can deviate from the Constitution to prioritize the protection of public health and safety,” said the alum of USU (University of North Sumatera).

He highlighted that emergency administrative law is created when the government gives an extraordinary response to threats.

“As stated by experts such as [former constitutional justice] Jimmy Asshiddiqie, when emergency law applies, it suspends the normal functioning of a government, allowing government authorities to suspend civil liberties and even the fulfillment of human rights,” he said.

Justice Manahan also explained that in state administrative law, there is discretion for officials or state administrative bodies to take action without being fully bound by the law.

“Health emergency serves to ensure the protection of the public, which was threatened by COVID-19. Meanwhile, a civil emergency serves to ensure the government is running well and not disrupted by the civil actions,” he stressed.

In terms of economic recovery, he said, the government is obliged to use discretionary authority to protect public interest and take actions to achieve greater goals and to prioritize the protection of public interest.

At the end of his lecture, Justice Manahan proposed a national moratorium in relation to health emergency.

“The concept of a national moratorium is a comprehensive and integrative step in overcoming the economic impact of the pandemic where the state provides efforts to protect the public by providing relief and ease in economic recovery so that people can still survive,” he explained.

Unissula rector Gunarto expressed his appreciation for the public lecture. “We are very grateful for the constitutional justice’s presence at Unissula, especially in the new academic year, because the freshmen can learn directly from the expert,” he said.

The next public lecture was delivered by Rakhmat Bowo Suharto, a law lecturer. He discussed the theoretical aspect of emergency constitutional law and the economy during pandemic and non-pandemic circumstances. A student asked a critical question regarding the pandemic emergency law and economic recovery. After receiving responses and explanations from both speakers, moderator Winanto concluded the lectures with a group photo session.

Author       : MMA
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
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.

Friday, September 22, 2023 | 20:16 WIB 138