Ethics Council Gives Justice Anwar Usman Written Warning for Ethics Violation

The ruling hearing of the Constitutional Court Ethics Council chaired by I Dewa Gede Palguna, Thursday (3/28/2024). Photo by MKRI/Bayu.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — Constitutional Justice Anwar Usman (the reported justice) is proven to have committed a violation against the propriety and decency principles point 1 “Constitutional justices must avoid inappropriate behavior and image in all activities” and point 2 “As servants of the law who are constantly in the center of public attention, constitutional justices must accept personal restrictions that they may consider burdensome and must accept them willingly and behave in line with the dignity of the Court.” For that reason, the Constitutional Court Ethics Council (Majelis Kehormatan Mahkamah Konstitusi or MKMK) handed down a written warning in Decision No. 02/MKMK/L/11/2023.

The decision for cases No. 01/MKMK/L/003/2024 petitioned by Zico Leonard Djagardo Simanjuntak, No. 02/MKMK/L/003/2024 by Alvon Pratama Sitorus and collagues; and No. 05/MKMK/L/003/2024 by Harjo Winoto against the former chief justice was delivered by chairman I Dewa Gede Palguna. The ruling hearing took place on Thursday, March 28, 2024 in one of the Constitutional Court’s (MK) panel courtrooms.

Next, Ethics Council member Yuliandri delivered the Council’s legal and ethics opinion on the reported justice relating to his press conference to refute the ethics sanction handed down in Decision No. 02/MKMK/L/11/2023 and to his lawsuit to the Jakarta state administrative court against the Decree of the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia No. 17 on 2023 on the appointment of chief justice for 2023–2028 dated November 9, 2023.

The reported justice’s rebuttal, which shows his disobedience to the Ethics Council Decision No. 02/MKMK/L/11/2023, Yuliandri said, constitutes a violation of the code of ethics and conduct of constitutional justices. This has resulted in the loss of public trust in the Constitutional Court, whereas public trust and support is absolutely necessary for the effectiveness of the implementation of Constitutional Court decisions.

Justice Arief Did Not Violate Ethics

Ethics Council secretary and member Ridwan Mansyur delivered the legal and ethics opinion on cases No. 03/MKMK/L/003/2024 by Andhika Ujiantara and No. 05/MKMK/L/003/2024 by Harjo Winoto against Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat.

The Ethics Council held that Justice Arief’s status as the current chairman of the Alumni Association of the Indonesian National Student Movement (PA GMNI) is not a violation of the code of ethics and conduct of constitutional justices since it was sufficient to declare him having violated the Sapta Karsa Hutama (constitutional justices’ code of ethics and conduct) merely because he chairs a civil society organization.

Justice Saldi Unaffiliated with PDI-P

In case No. 04/MKMK/L/003/2024, Andi Rahadian reported Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra for giving a dissenting opinion to Constitutional Court Decision No. 90/PUU-XXI/2023. The Ethics Council held that in this matter, the maxim res judacata pro veritate habetuur applies, meaning “an adjudicated thing is regarded as the truth.” The reported justice’s dissent covered two issues: decision-making that was related to procedural law and substance of the case. It is not an issue for a justice to discuss a different point of view unrelated to the subject matter of the case, such as the procedural law.

“Because in essence, a justice’s dissenting opinion is a form of personal independence and part of the independence of judicial power. Thus, the Complainant’s arguments regarding this issue legally groundless and must be set aside,” said Council secretary/member Ridwan Mansyur.

He also stressed that the allegation of the reported justice’s affiliation with the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) did not have sufficient basis and was only based on an online article where the chairman of the West Sumatera PDI-P central executive board (DPP) was quoted to have mentioned the reported as a known figure from the region.

“Therefore, the Complainant’s argument was insufficient to prove the reported justice’s affiliation with PDI-P in relation to his nomination as a vice-presidential candidate. In addition, the reported justice refuted the [allegation and this] became an important consideration in judging the truth. As such, the Ethics Council did not find sufficient evidence to declare that there has been a violation of the code of ethics and conduct of constitutional justices as the Complainant claimed,” Ridwan Mansyur said from a panel courtroom in the Constitutional Court’s second building.

Also read:

Court to Officially Establishes Permanent Ethics Council

Ethics Council for 2024 Term Takes Oath

Ethics Council Clarifies Reports on Alleged Violations of Justices’ Code of Ethics

Ethics Council Clarifies Constitutional Justice’s Alleged Ethical Violation Report

Ethics Council and Constitutional Justices Strengthen Synergy of Functions and Duties

Ethics Council Holds Preliminary Hearing on Justices’ Alleged Ethics Violations

The Court announced the plan to establish a permanent Ethics Council on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. Based on the Constitutional Court Regulation (PMK) No. 1 of 2023 on the Constitutional Court Ethics Council, the Ethics Council shall consist of three people comprising one constitutional justice, one public figure, and one academic with background in law. Their term of office spans January 8 to December 3, 2024.

Constitutional Justice Ridwan Mansyur represents active constitutional justices, I Dewa Gede Palguna (constitutional justice for 2003-2008 and 2015-2020) represents public figures, while Yuliandri as an academic from Andalas University represents academics with a background in law. 

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Nur R.
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, March 28, 2024 | 12:20 WIB 50