The early history of the practice of judicial review dates back to the case of Daniel Lawrence Hylton v. the United States Government in 1796 handled by the Supreme Court of the United States under the leadership of William Paterson. In this case, the Supreme Court rejected the lawsuit for the judicial review of the 1794 Tax Law on Carriages filed by Hylton, citing that the law did not conflict with the Constitution, thus rendering the congress’ action constitutional. That means that the Supreme Court had actually reviewed the law even though the decision did not revoke it. Furthermore, when the Supreme Court of the United States led by John Marshall handled the case of Marbury v. Madison in 1803, the United States Constitution did not regulate the granting of authority to conduct judicial reviews to the Supreme Court. However, by interpreting the oath of office that required the Court to always uphold the Constitution, John Marshall considered the Supreme Court authorized to declare any laws as contrary to the Constitution. That was the start of judicial review authority that today is associated with the Constitutional Court.
In theory, the Constitutional Court was first introduced in 1919 by Austrian philosopher of law Hans Kelsen (1881–1973). He stated that the constitutional implementation of legislation could be effectively guaranteed only if a body other than the legislative was assigned with the task of examining whether or not a legislative product was constitutional, and not to put it into effect if it was deemed unconstitutional. Therefore, there was a need to establish a special body, referred to as the Constitutional Court.
When traced in the history of the compilation of the 1945 Constitution, Hans Kelsen's idea regarding judicial review appeared to be in line with the proposal put forward by Muhammad Yamin in the meeting of the Investigating Committee for Preparatory Works for Indonesian Independence (BPUPKI). Yamin proposed that the Balai Agung (or the Supreme Court) be granted the authority to "compare laws"—essentially the authority to conduct judicial review. However, Yamin's proposal was refuted by Soepomo on the grounds that firstly, the basic concept adopted in the Constitution being drafted was not that of separation of power, but rather, distribution of power, secondly, the duty of the constitutional justices was to apply laws, rather than to review laws; and thirdly, the justice’s authority to review laws was contradictory to the concept of supremacy of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR). Consequently, the idea of judicial review of laws against the Constitution proposed by Yamin was not adopted in the 1945 Constitution.
Within the course of the constitutional history of the Republic of Indonesia, the need for a judicial review mechanism was increasingly felt. The need could only be fulfilled after the Reform Era, which resulted in amendments to the 1945 Constitution in four stages. In the Third Amendment to the 1945 Constitution, Article 24C was formulated. It contained provisions concerning the Constitutional Court. To specify and follow up on the mandate of the Constitution, the Government and the House of Representatives discussed the bill on the Constitutional Court. After some discussions, finally the bill was agreed upon by the Government and the House of Representatives and was passed in the House’s Plenary Session on August 13, 2003. On the same day, the Law on the Constitutional Court was signed by President Megawati Soekarnoputri and promulgated in the State Gazette, referred to as the Law Number 24 of 2003 concerning the Constitutional Court (State Gazette of 2003 Number 98, Supplement to the State Gazette Number 4316). Indonesia became the 78th country that established the Constitutional Court and also the first country in the world to form the institution in the 21st century. August 13, 2003 was agreed by the constitutional justices as the day of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia.
In accordance with the provisions of Article 24C paragraph (3) of the 1945 Constitution, each of three state institutions—the House of Representatives, the President, and the Supreme Court—nominated three constitutional justices. The constitutional justices nominated by the House of Representatives were Prof. Dr. Jimly Asshiddiqie, S.H.; Dr. H. Harjono, S.H., MCL; and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Achmad Roestandi, S.H. The President nominated Prof. Abdul Mukthie Fadjar, S.H., M.S.; Prof. H.A.S. Natabaya, S.H., LLM;and I Dewa Gede Palguna, S.H., M.H. The Supreme Court nominated Prof. Dr. H. M. Laica Marzuki, S.H.; Maruarar Siahaan, S.H.; and Sudarsono, S.H.
The first nine constitutional justices for the period of 2003–2008 then deliberated to elect a chief justice and a deputy chief justice. As a result, Prof. Dr. Jimly Asshiddiqie, S.H. was elected as the chief justice and Prof. Dr. H. M. Laica Marzuki, S.H. as the deputy chief justice.
In carrying out their constitutional duties, the constitutional justices need both general and judicial administrative support from the government apparatus. The initial general administration support was provided by the Secretary General of the People’s Consultative Assembly, with whose approval a number of staff members were assigned to provide support to the constitutional justices—with Head of the Parliamentary Bureau for Assembly Session, Drs. Janedjri M. Gaffar being appointed Acting Secretary General of the Constitutional Court from August 16, 2003 to December 31, 2003. Subsequently, on January 2, 2004 President Megawati Soekarnoputri designated Anak Agung Oka Mahendra, S.H. as definitive Secretary General of the Constitutional Court. On August 19, 2004 Drs. Janedjri M. Gaffar was appointed the new Secretary General of the Constitutional Court replacing Oka Mahendra who resigned from his position due to his health condition.
Along with that, the Registrar’s Office of the Constitutional Court was also established to provide assistance to the Constitutional Court in carrying out its duties and authorities in judicial administration. The Registrar was in charge of handling various things such as the registration of petitions filed by petitioners, examining the completeness of petitions, recording complete petitions in the Constitutional Cases Register Book, as well as preparing and assisting with the implementation of the Court's hearings. Marcel Buchari, S.H. was designated Acting Registrar, later replaced definitively by Drs. H. Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi, S.H., M.Hum.
The subsequent phase of the Constitutional Court’s history was the delegation of cases from the Supreme Court to the Constitutional Court as of October 15, 2003, marking the commencement of the Constitutional Court’s operational activities as one of the branches of judicial power pursuant to the provisions of the 1945 Constitution. This also marked the end of the Supreme Court’s authority in exercising the authorities of the Constitutional Court’s as mandated by Article III of the Transitional Provisions of the 1945 Constitution.
After completing their five-year term, the constitutional justices of the first tenure (2003–2008) had passed decisions in 205 cases out of the total 207 cases registered. These included 152 cases of judicial review (PUU), 10 cases of Institutional Authority Dispute (SKLN), and 45 cases of General Election Results Dispute (PHPU). In addition to the progress of case resolution, in first five-year term, the Constitutional Court also succeeded in introducing itself to the public as a new state institution resulting from the Reform Era, through various meetings with various elements of society, especially the universities. In addition, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia was also introduced to the international community through various forum meetings with countries all over the world.
Another notable highlight under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Jimly Asshiddiqie, S.H. was the construction of physical infrastructures in the form of a modern judicial building. The construction of the Constitutional Court building was adapted to the needs and duties of the constitutional justices. Chief Justice Prof. Dr. Jimly Asshiddiqie, S.H. often said that the duties of constitutional justices are only three: hearing cases, reading, and engaging in discussions. Therefore, the courtrooms of the Constitutional Court were designed not only to display the Court’s authority but also to provide a sense of comfort for the parties present at the hearings. In addition to the magnificent courtrooms, on the 5th and 6th floors a library was also built, complete with an open garden that could be used for discussion or simply for reading. Prof. Dr. Jimly Asshiddiqie, S.H. intended to develop this library to become the most complete modern constitution library in Asia. To further complement its use for reading and discussing, the workspace of each constitutional justice was provided with bookshelves and a conference table complete with a projector.
The first five-year term of the constitutional justices ended on August 16, 2008. Prior to the end of the term, three constitutional justices retired. They were Lt. Gen. TNI (Ret.) H. Achmad Roestandi, S.H., who later was replaced by Prof. Dr. Mohammad Mahfud M.D., S.H.; Prof. Dr. H. Mohammad Laica Marzuki, S.H., who was replaced by Dr. H. Mohammad Alim, S.H., M.Hum.; and Soedarsono, S.H., who was then replaced by Dr. H. Muhammad Arsyad Sanusi, S.H., M.Hum.
The retirement of Prof. Dr. H. Mohammad Laica Marzuki, S.H. left the deputy chief justice position vacant. The constitutional justices then held a Justices’ Deliberation Meeting to elect a new deputy chief justice. Consequently, Dr. Harjono, S.H., MCL. was elected unanimously as deputy chief justice.
At the end of the five-year term of the first constitutional justices of the Constitutional Court in August 2008, the six other constitutional justices ended their tenure. Subsequently, the President nominated Prof. H. Abdul Mukthie Fadjar, S.H., M.S. (for the second time); Prof. Dr. Achmad Sodiki, S.H.; and Prof. Dr. Maria Farida Indrati, S.H. the house of Representatives nominated Prof. Dr. Jimly Asshiddiqie, S.H. (for the second time) and Muhammad Akil Mochtar, S.H., M.H. The Supreme Court nominated Dr. Maruarar Siahaan, S.H. (for the second time). The second term of the Constitutional Court saw three former constitutional justices and six new justices.
With such composition, in an open election for Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice through voting, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Mahfud MD, S.H. was appointed chief justice and Prof. H. Abdul Mukthie Fadjar, S.H., M.S. was appointed deputy chief justice. Both were sworn in on August 19, 2008. The appointment of new chief justice and deputy chief justice was then followed by that of the Registrar. Drs. H. Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi, S.H., M.Hum., who had served as Registrar for five years was replaced by Dr. Zainal Arifin Housein, S.H., M.H., who was appointed on January 6, 2009.
The second five-year term (2008–2013) saw many changes of constitutional justices. Prof. Dr. Jimly Asshiddiqie, S.H. resigned on November 1, 2008 and was replaced by Dr. Harjono, S.H., MCL. who was sworn in on March 24, 2009. Meanwhile, Prof. H. Abdul Mukthie Fadjar, S.H., M.S. and Dr. Maruarar Siahaan, S.H. entered their retirement age in early January 2010 and were replaced by Dr. Hamdan Zoelva, S.H., M.H. and Drs. H. Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi, S.H., M.Hum., who were sworn in on January 7, 2010.
The replacement of Prof. H. Abdul Mukthie Fadjar, S.H., M.S. left the deputy chief justice position vacant. When the constitutional justices held an open selection of deputy chief justice through voting, Prof. Dr. Achmad Sodiki, S.H. was elected.
That was the composition of the second period of constitutional justices. Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Mohammad Mahfud M.D, S.H., the Constitutional Court became the center of public attention mainly because of its decisions that were considered breaking through deadlocks in constitutional law and putting forward the principle of substantial justice. The Court’s decisions were stimulating academic discourses in constitutional law (HTN), which prompted the birth of constitutional law studies in various universities and similar inter-university organizations. In addition, several advocate associations and alliances of non-governmental organizations specializing in constitutional law emerged. The public's enthusiasm for the development of constitutional law was positively welcomed by the Constitutional Court, which then established the Pancasila and Constitution Education Center in Cisarua, Bogor, which was inaugurated on February 26, 2013. The Court's positive response was also reflected in the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Constitutional Court and universities and the granting of annual constitutional awards for civic education teachers at the national level.
During this period, the Constitutional Court also accepted the delegation of authority from the Supreme Court to hear disputes over the results of regional elections. Based on Law Number 22 of 2007 concerning the Implementation of General Elections whose general provisions state that the regional election equals the general elections, lawmakers then granted the Constitutional Court the authority to hear election results disputes through Law Number 12 of 2008 concerning the Second Amendment to Law Number 32 of 2004 concerning Regional Government.
The Constitutional Court played a greater international role through its involvement in establishing The Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC) that was declared in Jakarta in 2010. The association was formed during the 7th Conference of Asian Constitutional Court Justices on July 12–15, 2010, which was hosted by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia. Afterward, on July 11–12, 2011, the Constitutional Court held an international symposium on Constitutional Democratic State with participants from 23 countries in attendance. The international role of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia was marked by the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Constitutional Court on July 10, 2012 to confirm the news about the role of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia.
In the second half of the second term, there were changes to the Registrar and constitutional justices. On February 1, 2011, the position of Registrar was handed over from Dr. Zainal Arifin Housein, S.H., M.H. to Kasianur Sidauruk, S.H., M.H. while in April 2011, Dr. H. Muhammad Arsyad Sanusi, S.H., M.Hum. resigned and was replaced by Dr. Anwar Usman, S.H., M.H. Two years after, in April 2013, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Mahfud M.D, S.H. ended his tenure as a constitutional justice and was replaced by Prof. Dr. Arief Hidayat, S.H., M.S. Shortly after, Prof. Dr. Achmad Sodiki, S.H. also ended his term as constitutional justice on July 22, 2013 due to retirement.
The end of Prof. Dr. Moh. Mahfud M.D, S.H.’s tenure left the position of chief justice of the Constitutional Court vacant. In the open selection through voting, Dr. H. M. Akil Mochtar, S.H., M.H. was elected chief justice and sworn in on April 5, 2013.
Until the end of the second term, it was noted that the Constitutional Court had managed to handle 1,470 cases—consisting of 641 judicial review cases, 24 institutional dispute cases, 116 legislative and presidential elections results dispute settlement cases, as well as 689 regional election results dispute settlement cases.
The third five-year cycle (2013–2018 term) began on August 13, 2013. The constitutional justices who had ended their terms was replaced or re-elected. The House of Representatives nominated Dr. H. M. Akil Mochtar, S.H., M.H. for the second time, while the President proposed Prof. Dr. Maria Farida Indrati, S.H. for the second time, as well as Dr. H. Patrialis Akbar, S.H., M.H. as Prof. Dr. Achmad Sodiki, S.H. successor Dr. H. M. Akil Mochtar, S.H., M.H. was re-elected as chief justice and Dr. Hamdan Zoelva, S.H., M.H. as deputy chief justice through voting. However, the tenure of Dr. H. M. Akil Mochtar, S.H., M.H. as chief justice of the Constitutional Court did not last long because of his involvement in a bribery case on 2 October 2013 related to the settlement case of the Gunung Mas District election results dispute, which ended with his dishonorable discharge. Dr. H. M. Akil Mochtar, S.H., M.H. was replaced by Dr. Hamdan Zoelva, S.H., M.H. as chief justice of the Constitutional Court through a deliberation meeting for consensus. In the same meeting, Prof. Dr. Arief Hidayat, S.H., M.S. was elected deputy chief justice. Both were sworn in on November 6, 2013.
The constitutional justices were selected again by the House of Representatives when Dr. H. Harjono, S.H., MCL, ended his period in mid-March 2014. The House nominated Prof. Dr. Aswanto, S.H., M.Sc., DFM, and Dr. Wahiduddin Adams, S.H., M.A. as substitutes for Dr. H. Harjono, S.H., MCL. and Dr. H. M. Akil Mochtar, S.H., M.H. respectively.
The leadership of Dr. Hamdan Zoelva, S.H., M.H. as chief justice of the Constitutional Court lasted until January 2015, when his tenure as constitutional justice ended. During the relatively short tenure, there were several significant events. Firstly, the Constitutional Court issued a decision that the public deemed quite shocking, removing the settlement of regional election results dispute cases from the authority of the Constitutional Court because in the Constitution, regional election (pilkada) was not part of the general elections (pemilu). Subsequent arrangements regarding the settlement of election results dispute were left to the legislators. Secondly, the Constitutional Court established the Ethics Council of Constitutional Justices in order to maintain the dignity and nobility of constitutional justices. Thirdly, the Constitutional Court built the Center for Constitutional History and Documentation that was inaugurated in December 2014. Fourthly, at the international level, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia was elected President of AACC for the 2014–2016 tenure.
When Dr. Hamdan Zoelva, S.H., M.H. ended his tenure as constitutional justice, the President replaced him with Dr. I Dewa Gede Palguna, S.H., M.Hum., who was sworn in on January 7, 2015 together with Dr. Suhartoyo, S.H., M.H.,who was nominated by the Supreme Court to replace Dr. H. Ahmad Fadlil Sumadi, S.H., M. Hum. Three months later, the Supreme Court nominated Dr. Manahan M. P. Sitompul, S.H., M.Hum. to replace Dr. Muhammad Alim, S.H., M. Hum., who entered his retirement age.
The chief justice position left vacant by Dr. Hamdan Zoelva, S.H., M.H. was then filled by Prof. Dr. Arief Hidayat, S.H., M.S. who was elected through a consensus, while the position of deputy chief justice of the Constitutional Court was entrusted to Dr. Anwar Usman, S.H., M.H. Both were sworn in on January 14, 2015.
Under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Arief Hidayat, S.H., M.S., the Constitutional Court once again was given the authority to settle the disputes over regional election results through Law Number 8 of 2015 concerning the Amendment to Law Number 1 of 2015 concerning the Stipulation of Government Regulation in Lieu of Law Number 1 of 2014 concerning the Election of Governors, Regents, and Mayors into Law. The authority was temporary as a special court on the regional election had not been formed. With this authority, the Constitutional Court handled regional election dispute cases, which was carried out simultaneously and gradually starting from 2015.
The early days of leadership of Prof. Dr. Arief Hidayat, S.H., M.S. witnessed the secretary general of the Constitutional Court. Dr. Janedjri M. Gaffar, who had served as secretary general for almost 12 years, being replaced by Prof. Dr. Guntur Hamzah, S.H., M.H. on August 31, 2015. In addition, on April 11, 2017, Prof. Dr. Saldi Isra., S.H., M.P.A. was appointed constitutional justice, replacing Dr. H. Patrialis Akbar, S.H., M.H. who was dishonorably discharged for his involvement in a bribery case related to the judicial hearing of Law Number 41 of 2014 concerning the Amendment to Law Number 18 of 2009 concerning Animal Husbandry and Animal Health.
Chief Justice Prof. Dr. Arief Hidayat, S.H., M.S. as President of AACC had held several international events in Jakarta. In 2015, the Constitutional Court held the Head of Board Meeting of Asian Constitutional Court leaders within the AACC on August 14, 2015. Among the things discussed at the meeting was the need for a permanent secretariat for AACC. The event was then followed by the International Symposium on Constitutional Complaint on August 15–17, 2015. In the same year, the Constitutional Court held a Short Course on the Mechanism in Conducting Constitutional Authorities in Indonesia on December 1–6, 2015.
A year later, on August 8–14, 2016, the Constitutional Court held the third AACC congress in Bali. The congress failed to elect a new president so the AACC presidency held by the Chief Justice of the Republic of Indonesia was extended for another year. Another important event decided at the congress was the appointment of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia and the South Korean Constitutional Court as AACC's permanent secretariats. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia became AACC Permanent Secretariat for Planning and Coordination and the South Korean Constitutional Court became AACC Permanent Secretariat for Research and Development. In addition to that, the Turkish Constitutional Court took on the role of the Human Resources Training and Development Center. Furthermore, on August 8–10, 2017 the Constitutional Court held another AACC meeting in Solo, Central Java, with several agendas including the meeting of the secretaries general of the AACC members, the AACC President election, and an international symposium on The Constitutional Court and the State Ideology. One of the results of the meeting was the election of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Malaysia as President of AACC for the 2017–2019 term.
Arief Hidayat’s services chief justice for 2015–2017 term ended. Then, in the election of the new chief justice of the Constitutional Court on July 14, 2017, Arief Hidayat was re-elected as chief justice for the 2017–2020 term unanimously. During the second leadership of Arief Hidayat, the Constitutional Court held an international symposium to commemorate the 14th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia. The symposium was held on August 7–9, 2017 in Solo, Central Java. President Joko Widodo was present to officially open the symposium, which was held in conjunction with the Board of Members Meeting of the AACC.
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia was chosen to represent Asia to join the Bureau of the World Conference of Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) for the 2017–2020 term. The election of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia was stipulated in the General Assembly of the 4th Congress of the World Conference of Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) in Vilnius, Lithuania, on September 12, 2017. Halfway through Arief Hidayat's second term as Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, his term as constitutional justice ended. However, the House of Representatives agreed to re-nominate Arief Hidayat as a constitutional justice. On March 27, 2018, Arief Hidayat was sworn in as constitutional justice for the 2018–2023 term in the presence of President Joko Widodo at the State Palace.
The end of Arief Hidayat's term of office as constitutional justice also marked the end of his tenure as chief justice of the Constitutional Court althoughit had not been 2.5 years into his second tenure as chief justice. This was in accordance with the Constitutional Court Law and Article 2 paragraph 6 of PMK Number 3 of 2012 concerning Procedure for the Election of Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court. Therefore, the Constitutional Court held the election of a new Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court to replace Arief Hidayat.
Considering that Arief Hidayat had been appointed chief justice of the Constitutional Court twice, based on Article 4 paragraph (3a) of the Constitutional Court Law and Article 2 paragraph (6) of PMK Number 3 of 2012, it was declared by all the constitutional justices during the Justices' Deliberation Meeting (RPH) that Arief Hidayat was no longer eligible to be elected chief justice of the Constitutional Court.
The election of chief justice of the Constitutional Court for the 2018–2020 term held on April 2, 2018 resulted in the appointment of Anwar Usman as chief justice of the Constitutional Court for the 2018–2020 term. As Anwar Usman was deputy chief justice of the Constitutional Court at the time, the Constitutional Court immediately held a deliberation meeting for the election of deputy chief justice of the Constitutional Court for the 2018–2020 term. In the election, Constitutional Justice Aswanto was appointed Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court accompanying Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Anwar Usman.
On August 13, 2018, along with the commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court, Constitutional Justice Maria Farida Indrati ended her tenure as constitutional justice. Maria Farida completed two terms, or 10 years, in the Constitutional Court as constitutional justice. Maria Farida was the only female constitutional justice who successfully completed 2 terms of office. She first served as constitutional justice from August 16, 2008 to August 13, 2013. Toward the end of her term in August 2013, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono nominated her again. Maria Farida then served for a second time from August 13, 2013 to August 13, 2018. During 10 years of service, her many ideas and academic discourses contributed to the Constitutional Court’s rulings. In fact, Maria Farida was the constitutional justice who most often had concurring opinions or dissenting opinions in the Constitutional Court's decisions.
When Maria Farida ended her tenure on Monday, August 13, 2018, Prof. Dr. Enny Nurbaningsih, S.H., M.Hum. was sworn in as constitutional justice in the presence of President Joko Widodo at the State Palace. Enny Nurbaningsih was nominated and elected by President Joko Widodo after the Constitutional Justice Selection Committee formed by the President gave recommendations on the candidates for constitutional justice deemed qualified after a series of previous selection processes. In addition to Enny, Prof. Dr. Ni'matul Huda, S.H., M.Hum. (Professor of Universitas Islam Indonesia, Yogyakarta) and Prof. Susi Dwi Harijanti, S.H., L.LM., Ph.D. (Law Professor of Padjadjaran University, Bandung) was proposed. Eventually, President Joko Widodo selected Enny Nurbaningsih.
Through Presidential Decree Number 134/P of 2018 concerning Honorable Discharge and Appointment of Constitutional Justices Nominated by the President on August 10, 2018, Enny Nurbaningsih officially assumed the position of constitutional justice for the 2018–2023 term. Enny Nurbaningsih was a Law Professor at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, as well as Head of the National Law Development Agency (BPHN), Ministry of Law and Human Rights.
Along with Enny’s promotion as constitutional justice, she left her post as head of BPHN to another official. Starting her work as constitutional justice, Enny Nurbaningsih expressed her readiness to act independently and impartially and to hold on to the 1945 Constitution keeping to her oath of office before President Joko Widodo. This was highlighted considering that before taking office as constitutional justice, she was part of the Government, especially in preparing draft bills. This, according to Enny, would not compromise her independence and impartiality. In fact, the position is a challenge for her to truly be able to carry out her duties and authority as a constitutional justice who must uphold law and justice founded on the 1945 Constitution.
On Tuesday, August 14, 2018, Constitutional Justice Enny Nurbaningsih promptly fulfilled her obligation by serving as Member of the Panel of Justices along with Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat as Chairperson of the Panel of Justices and Constitutional Justice Suhartoyo as Member in Case No. 71/PHP.BUP-XVI/2018 concerning the Election Results Disputes of Paniai Regent on the agenda of hearing the respondent's answer, statement of the relevant party, and statement of Paniai District Elections Supervisory Committee.
In the connection related with the exercise of the authority to decide upon disputes over the results of the regional head election, MK had decided 279 cases of the regional head election from the total of 641 regional head elections in length of year 2015—2018. In details, in the year 2015, MK resolved 147 cases, 60 cases in year 2017, and 72 cases in year 2018.
In 2018, there were 171 regional head elections held in unison. 72 cases of regional head election disputes had been submitted to MK to be handled. From that amount, 67 cases were the Mayor/Deputy Mayor election disputes and 7 cases were the Governor/Deputy Governor election disputes. After passed the process of hearing, the court made all its decisions. In details, 2 cases have been granted, 6 cases declined, 61 cases could not be accepted, 2 cases failed, 1 case has been withdrawn. The 2 cases that have been granted were the Mayor/Deputy Mayor election disputes of Deiyai Region with the decision Number 35/PHP.BUP-XVI/2018 and the Governor/Deputy Governor election disputes for Maluku Utara province with the Decision Number 36/PHP.GUB-XVI/2018. In running its authority for handling the regional head election disputes, MK succeed for guarding the democracy.
On the same year, Chief Registrar, Kasianur Sidauruk entering his retirement period. MK started to make some process for the selection of the Chief Registrar position. As the result, Muhidin, who previously served as the 1st Junior Registrar was elected to be the Chief Registrar of MK. Based on president Decree Number 3/M of 2019 concerning the Dismissal and Appointment of Registrar Staff in the Registrar’s Office and in the Secretariat General of the Constitutional Court, Muhidin officially replaced Kasianur Sidauruk as the Chief Registrar of MK. Muhidin gave his oath of office on 31st of January 2019.
On March 2019, two Justices, Aswanto and Wahiduddin Adams had entering their end of tenure. Based on the President of the Republic of Indonesia Decree Number 19/P of 2014, dated 20th of March 2014, Aswanto and Wahiduddin Adams start their tenure on 21st of March 2014 after they gave their oath of office at the Presidential Palace in the presence of the President of the Republic of Indonesia. Therefore, the tenure of Aswanto and Wahiduddin Adams as the Justice should be ended on 21st of March 2019.
According to the Article 26 the Constitutional Court Law mentioned that within the 6 months period before the end of the Justice tenure end, the Constitutional Court shall send some notification to the institution who filed the Justice. MK had sent, first, letter Number 2204/KP.07/09/2018 concerning the Notification of Expiration Tenure of the Justice on behalf of Prof. Dr. Aswanto, S.H., M.Si., DFM. For the period 2014—2019, dated 17th September 2018 and second, Letter Number 2205/KP.07/09/2018 concerning the Notification of Expiration Tenure of the Justice on behalf of Dr. Wahiduddin Adams, S.H., M.A. For the period 2014—2019, dated 17th September 2018 addressed to DPR, as the institution who filed Prof. Dr. Aswanto, S.H., M.Si., DFM. And Dr. Wahiduddin Adams as a Justice.
DPR carry out the mentioned letter by initiating the selection process for the Justice candidates. That process resulting DPR unanimously chose and re-filed Aswanto and Wahiduddin Adams as the Justice for the period 2019—2024. On Thursday, 21st March 2020, located at the presidential palace, Aswanto and Wahiduddin Adams gave their oath of office in the appearance of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo for the period 2019-2024. The inauguration based on the President Decree Number 32/P Tahun 2019, dated 20th March 2019.
Meanwhile, along with Aswanto tenure as the Justice ended, his tenure as the Deputy Chief Justice also ended. Aswanto has been elected on 2nd of April 2018 as the Deputy Chief Justice for the period 2018—2020 accompanying Anwar Usman as the Chief Justice. With the end of it, MK initiated the election for the Deputy Chief Justice.
On Friday, 22nd of March 2019, a Private Plenary Meeting of the Justices was initiated to elect the Deputy Chief Justice. Nevertheless, the meeting decided to be continued on Monday, 25th March 2019. Wherefore, the Deliberation Meeting did not succeed so the election was taken by voting in the Open Plenary Meeting of the Justices. In the beginning, two of the Justices, Aswanto and I Dewa Gede Palguna had the same result, 4 votes for each of them whilst 1 vote abstained. Based on the election procedures, the second election should be initiated, yet, the result remained the same, 4 votes for each candidate and 1 vote abstained. Based on the rules, the third election is needed. Yet before that, I Dewa Gede Palguna withdraw from candidacy. As a result, the meeting assigned Aswanto as the Deputy Chief Justice for the period 2019—2021.
Based on the MK Law, he has to give his oath of office. Therefore, on Tuesday 26th of March 2019 MK initiated the Special Plenary Meeting with the agenda the Oath of Office from the Elected Deputy Chief Justice for the period 2019—2021. He began his tenure as ruled in the MK’s Decision Number 3 of 2019 dated 25th of March 2019 concerning the Assignment of the Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia for the period 2019—2021.
At the year 2019, MK implement its authority to decide upon disputes over the results of the national election in unison. That was the first time of the Indonesian political and democracy history that the national election was held in unison. On 17th of April 2019, the plebiscite of the national election was initiated. For the mentioned event, MK had done several preparations mainly on the six aspects, namely regulation, human resources, facilities and infrastructures, information system based on ICT, technical guidance of proceeding for the stake holders, the application, and strengthening the culture of integrity for all MK components.
At the unison national election, MK received 1 application for the president and vice president election dispute applied by the candidate H. Prabowo Subianto and H. Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno and 260 applications for the legislative members election disputes. MK succeed in completing all cases in accordance with the provisions of the legislation. Yet, MK succeed in completing the cases for the president and vice president election disputes in 14 days of work since it registered. The decision was held on Thursday, 27th of June 2019. MK decided to decline the application. MK opined that the arguments from the applicant were not proven. As for the 260 cases for the legislative members election disputes, MK succeed in completing all the cases in 30 days of work since it registered. In 260 cases of the legislative members election disputes there were 533 electoral areas were questioned in MK. The mentioned cases decisions were decided on 6th—9th of August 2019. From 260 decisions, 104 cases declared to be declined, 101 cases were not acceptable, 43 cases were withdrawn, and 12 cases were granted. MK succeed in completing all cases in fair, peace, and dignified.
In the process of implementing the authority to decide upon the unison of the national election disputes 2019, MK applied the principle of the openness. All the court processes were using the technology based on ICT, measured, and firmed. The openness principle or transparency for MK was a full initiative to erase the stigma of a dark alley in the judiciary system due to a process that tends to be closed. MK firmly reject closure. Transparency is a basic capital for MK to realize a clean, modern, and transparent justice system. All the court are open, meaning that it can be access by the public both directly and through the media. The trial can be seen in real time by almost all domestic television stations and a number of foreign television stations. No less than 130 mass media, domestic and foreign, covered and reported the trial in MK. In fact, the trial can be watched via live streaming through MK website and MK’s YouTube.
In the process of hearing trial over the general election disputes, the Indonesian World Record Museum (MURI) gave the awards for a world record in 3 aspects, namely (1) the longest non-stop judicial trial; (2) most court files; and (3) the most transparent judicial process. The world record for the longest non-stop judicial trial was given for the plenary session of MK on June 19th—20th, 2019 with the agenda of Hearing the Statement from the Experts and Witnesses for the Cases of the 2019 Presidential Election Disputes. In MURI’s Record, the trial which lasted 19 hours 52 minutes non-stop was the trial with the longest duration in the history of the judiciary trial. Furthermore, for the most cases files aspect, MURI recorded as a world record hence it was supported by the existence of 11.360 boxes cases of files in the process of handling the 2019 general election disputes. For the most transparent judicial process aspect, the award was given hence the trial in MK was open for the public, easily accessible, covered by hundreds of domestic and foreign mass media, yet broadcast live, among others through live streaming in MK’s website, televisions, and social medias.
MK closed its gait in 2019 with brilliant achievements. In 2019, MK exercised its 3 constitutional authorities, namely (i) examining, adjudicating, and deciding cases of judicial review of 1945 Law; (ii) adjudicating cases of the unison of the national election disputes, (iii) deciding on cases of disputes over the state institutions authority.
For the judicial review cases in 2019, there were 85 cases registered and 37 cases registered in 2018 which continued its examinations in 2019. Meaning, there were 122 cases of judicial review that had been processed by MK throughout 2019. The number is slightly more compared to 2018. There were 49 cases registered in 2017 and 65 cases registered in 2018. So that in 2018, MK handled 114 cases of judicial review.
From 122 cases that MK handled in 2019, up until December 2019, 92 cases had been decided. Thus, entering 2020 there were 30 cases in 2019 that still in the process of examinations. From 92 cases that had been decided by MK, 4 cases decided with the petition granted, 46 cases were rejected, 32 cases were not accepted, 2 cases were dropped, and 8 cases were withdrawn by the applicant.
To examine, hear, and decide upon the judicial review cases, during 2019, MK had held 87 times panel session with the preliminary examination agenda, 77 times panel session with the agenda to examine the revision of the application, 81 times panel session with the agenda of witness/expert examinations, 104 times plenary session with the agenda of decision/provision pronouncement, and had also held 257 times Judge Consultative Meeting (RPH).
From the total number of trials, there were 243 times of applicants present at the hearing, the related party attended 32 times, and as for the DPR present or gave their statement at the hearing for 30 times, whereas the government (representing the President) present and/or gave their statement at the hearing for 92 times.
Regarding the frequencies of the laws being reviews, from a total of 118 cases, there were 51 laws that were petitioned for judicial review to MK. In the notes, there were 5 laws with the most frequently tested, namely:
- Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning General Elections. It was reviewed for 18 times.
- Law Number 19 of 2019 concerning Second Amendment to Law Number 30 of 2002 concerning the Corruption Eradication Commission, reviewed 9 times;
- Law Number 8 of 1981 concerning Criminal Procedure Law, reviewed 5 times, and
- Law Number 5 of 2014 concerning State Civil Apparatus, Law Number 1 of 2015 concerning Establishment of Government Regulations in lieu of Law Number 1 of 2014 concerning Election of Governors, Regents and Mayors, and Law Number 31 of 1999 concerning Eradication of Corruption Crimes as amended with Law Number 20 of 2002 concerning Amendment to Law Number 31 of 1999 concerning Eradication of Corruption, each of where reviewed 4 times;
In 2019, there was one case of dispute over the authority of state institutions, which was the case submitted by the Petitioners, Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Hemas, Farouk Muhammad, and Nurmawati Bantilan. Regarding this case, MK had decided with the ruling not having the authority to hear the Petitioner's petition.
An important achievement was also related with the average period for completing the examination of judicial review case. In accordance with the records, in 2019, the average period of completion of each judicial review case was 59.39 working days or 1.98 months /case. As comparison, in 2018, the average period of completion of each judicial review case was 69 working days or 3.5 months/case. This means that with effort and commitment, MK has achieved the aim to expedite the time period for the completion of the judicial review case.
In the early year of 2020, two Justices has ended their tenure. Dr. Suhartoyo, S.H., M.H. and Dr. I Dewa Palguna, S.H., M.Hum. both ended their tenure on 7th of January 2020. Suhartoyo is the Justice applied by the Supreme Court for the period of 2015—2020. The Supreme Court has re-applied him in reason that he has fulfilled the criteria as a Justice for MK. Whilst, I dewa Gede Palguna was the Justice applied by the President for the period 2015—2020. Different with Suhartoyo, I Dewa Gede Palguna has had his second tenure. For his first tenure 2003—2008, he had been applied by the DPR. In accordance to Article 22 the Constitutional Court Law, it is mentioned, “The tenure of the Justice is 5 (five) years and may be re-applied 1 time for their next tenure.” In order to substitute I Dewa Gede Palguna, the President held a series of mechanism to elect a Justice for MK.
To substitute I Dewa Gede Palguna, the President formed the Committee for the Selection of the Constitutional Justice (Pansel) through Presidential Decree Number 118/P of 2019 on November 8th 2019. Pansel consist of 5 (five) experts, namely Harjono, Maruarar Siahaan, Alexander Lay, Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej, and Sukma Violetta. After conducting the selection, Pansel handed over 3 (three) names of candidates to be the Constitutional Justice. Beside Daniel Yusmic, there were Suparman Marzuki, Commissioner of Judicial Commission for the period 2013-2015 who is a lecturer in the Law Faculty of the Islamic University of Indonesia (UII) Yogyakarta and Ida Budhiati, Member of the Honorary Board of the Election Organizers (DKPP). She also served as Commissioner of the General Election Commission for 2012—2017 period. from the three names, President Joko Widodo gives his credence to Dr. Daniel Yusmic Pancastaki Foekh, S.H., M.H. to carry out the mandate as a Constitutional Justice replacing Palguna. Daniel Yusmic was a lecturer in the Law Faculty of Atmajaya Indonesian Catholic University.
On 7th of January 2020, Suartoyo and Daniel Yusmic gave their oath of office as a Justice in the appearance of the President. They gave their oath of office at the Presidential palace. Suhartoyo’s appointment as Constitutional Justice is regulated in presidential Decree Number 141 of 2020 concerning the Appointment of Constitutional Justice originating from the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the appointment of Daniel Yusmic is regulated in presidential Decree Number 1 of 2020 concerning the Termination with Respect and Appointment of Constitutional Justice Proposed by the President. On the same day, after the oath of office pronouncement, MK held a farewell ceremony for Constitutional Justice at MK’s building. In the mentioned event, a congratulatory greeting and a welcoming ceremony for Daniel Yusmic and Suhartoyo as well as a farewell ceremony for I Dewa Gede Palguna was initiated.
On the 28th of January 2020, MK initiated the Special Plenary Meeting for the first time with the agenda the Submission of Annual Report. This meeting was held to fulfill the mandate of Article 13 the Constitutional Law. In that stipulation mentioned, the Constitutional Court must submit a periodic report to the public especially regarding the cases handled by MK, whether the registered cases, the cases that still on the process of examination or the cases that has been decided, as well as the financial management, and other administrative tasks. In previous years, the Submission of Annual Report was carried out, yet not in hearing forum. Annual reports were usually submitted openly through press conferences or activities specially for the mentioned agenda. Starting in 2020, the Annual Report Submission were held in hearing session. As for the information, in the Constitutional Court Regulation Number 1 of 2020 concerning Trials, the Constitutional court may initiate a non-judicial hearing through a special plenary meeting session. These meetings were initiated for the agendas such as the oath of office for the Chief/Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court or the Submission of the Annual Report.
The Special Plenary Meeting that was held on 28th of January 2020 at the Plenary Court Room of MK was attended by President Joko Widodo, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Hatta Ali, and the Chairman of DPR Puan Maharani. There were also in presence some ministers from the Cabinet of Indonesia Maju, the first Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Jimly Asshiddiqie, former Justices of the Constitutional Court, and other non-ministerial officers. In the mentioned Special plenary Meeting, the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court delivered his speech for the 2019 Annual Report. Afterward, president Joko Widodo entered the Podium to give his speech. Joko Widodo expressed his appreciation for MK’s 2019 achievements. Including the gait and active role of MK in international relations which also makes Indonesia more respected in the global field.
Beside his speech pertaining the cases handled by MK, whether the registered cases, the cases that still on the process of examination or the cases that has been decided, the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court also delivered MK’s 2019 achievements, including Public Award for the Good performance from the Constitutional Court included as the 1st winner of the ANRI Awards, Fair Opinion Without Exception (WTP) Opinion on the audit report Result 2018, KPAI Award 2019, public Information Openness Awards 2019 as Informative Public Agency, award from the Ministry of Finance as a state institution since 2014—2018 maintained its Fair Opinion Without Exception of the Constitutional Court Financial Statements (13 consecutive times since 2016) in his presentation. MK also received Charter Award of prime and Excellent Service Predicate on the Result of 2019 Public Service Evaluation conducted by the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucracy Reform.
Also delivered in his speech regarding MK’s effort to strengthen its system as a modern and transparent judiciary institution that does not merely ruling the constitutional cases, but also provides and easy access for people to access court and justice. The constitutional Court also conduct the good governance of modern justice institution by utilizing technology, information and communication optimally. MK provides an ICT-based applications and services both to support case handling and general administrative support. To support the cases handling there are some application, such as SIMPEL (Electronic Application Information System), SIMPP (Case Management Information System), Case Tracking, e-Minutation, e-BRPK, and others. Whilst for general administrative support services, there are Whistle Blowing System (WBS) Application, Electronic Signature (BSSN) and other applications.
MK has also applied (1) SIVIKA (Information and Verification Financial System), SIGAPP (Employee Salary Information System) e-Kinerja to measure employee performance, e-SOPP so that the internal process and activities are more orderly and easier, Archive Tracking Application Constitutional Court Letter System, and a number of other applications. What is encouraging that MK has implemented and continues to develop SIKD (Dynamic Filing Information System) which already has the electronic Signature Certification Technology that is ready to be developed integrated with other ministries/institutions. Many institutions or ministries have come to MK to conduct comparative studies related to the SIKD application which considered very effective.
In 2020, MK once again preparing to exercise its constitutional authority, including to face potential disputes over the result of regional head elections. In this 2020, 270 election will be held. As for the details, the Election of Governor/Deputy Governor in 9 provinces, Election of Regent/Deputy Regent in 224 districts, and Election of Mayor/Deputy Mayor in 37 cities. The unison local election in 2020 should have attended by 269 regions, yet it become 270, due to the Repeated Election of Mayor/Deputy Mayor of Makassar.
Corona Virus Disease 2019 or Covid-19 has been claimed as Pandemic. More than 212 countries around the globe have been infected by this disease. Millions of people were positive of this virus and some were dead because of it, including Indonesia. De facto, Covid-19 has caused many problems in health and life condition. The number of deaths due to Coronavirus has increased and spread through regions and countries. It is also impacted the political, economic, social, cultural, welfare, and security conditions of the Indonesian Citizens. On March 31st, 2020, de jure, President Jokowi established the Public Health Emergency Condition caused by the Covid-19 through the presidential Decree Number 11 of 2020 concerning Determination of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Community Health Emergency (Covid-19). Covid-19 has caused extraordinary things in people’s life.
In the Pandemic condition of Covid-19, MK as a judicial institution must take quick steps as well as taking part in reducing the spread of Covid-19. Regarding case handling services, based on the Justices’ Deliberation Meeting (RPH) on Monday, March 6th, 2020, it is concluded that there will be no trial activities in MK starting on Tuesday, 17th of march 2020, unless it is determined otherwise by the court. Further, the evaluation continues by taking in to account the development of actual situation.
The Constitutional Court has been closed since 17th of March 2020 from all of its public activities. Pertaining the work management system, in principle, the Justices and the officers of MK have been instructed to carry out their basic duties and official functions by working from home (WFH) or with the shifting system based on their individual working unit need. Therefore, MK’s officers were continue working from their home and should not be go out/do the activities outside their residential place, except for the very urgent reasons. Along with this, direct services to the public that required direct contact from MK’s officers were also removed. Unless, it is specified otherwise with certain restrictions. It is hoped that the public use electronic-based service applications that have provided by MK.
MK also postponed all activities which presented nor involved many participants, both for activities that held in MK and other places. For this reason, MK activities with the collaboration from various elements of society such as, public lecturers, seminars, FGDs, technical guidance, coordination meetings, visiting the Court, and other similar activities were temporarily suspended. Therefore, all official travel activities of Justices and officers, both domestics and abroad were temporarily suspended nor canceled. This policy was adopted by MK in prioritizing the safety interests of all parties and surely without reducing the need to provide the excellent and optimal services to the public, especially for the justice seekers.
During the pandemic of Covid-19, MK received numbers of applications by online system. 3 (Three) of them were testing the government regulation in Lieu of Law Number 1 of 2020 (Perppu 1/2020) concerning state Financial Policy and Financial Stability System for Handling Coronavirus Disease 19 (Covid-19) and/or in Order to Deal with the Threats that Endanger the National Economic and/or Financial Stability System. Related with the request for the Perppu test, MK decided to hold the Preliminary Hearing on April 28th, 2020 at 10.00 AM. This was the first trial that MK held during the Pandemic.
The Panel Session was chaired by Justice Aswanto, accompanied by Justice Wahiduddin Adams and Daniel Yusmic. The hearing was attended by three applicants held in the Plenary Court Room of MK with reference to the provisions of PSBB period, including physical distancing by following the Health protocol involving the Covid-19 Task force. The presence of the Applicants was limited up to five people in the court room, which may include, the Principals and their Attorneys. Before entering the court room, the body temperature from both the Justices and the Applicants were checked and all should put on their masks and gloves. Hand sanitizer were available, etc. sessions for other cases during the pandemic have also been scheduled with the similar pattern.
In the pandemic of Covid-19, Justice Manahan MP Sitompul gave his oath of office as a Justice for the period 2020—2025 in the appearance of the President Joko Widodo. at the Presidential Palace, Jakarta, on 30th of April 2020. The end of his tenure was on April 28th, 2020. Yet, Manahan was re-applied by the Supreme Court for the period 2020—2025.
The Covid-19 protocol applied very strict for the oath of ceremony. All the guests should wear their face mask and keep their distance. Manahan MP Sitompul has been re-assigned as the Justice based on the presidential Decree Number 42/P of 2020 concerning Re-Appointment of Constitutional Justice submitted by the Supreme Court. After he gave his oath of office, Manahan signed the minutes. Manahan accompanied by his wife, Hartaty C.N Malau. They received congratulations from the President followed by other guests and the procedure of Covid-19 were applied also in that congratulatory event.
With the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, the phase of 2020 Regional Head elections has been changed likewise. KPU decided that the three phases which should have been initiated on July—September could not be applied and it is resulting the delay. Ther9e are 3 phases that have been postponed, namely, the inauguration of the voting committee (PPS), the verification of prospective candidates for PPDP recruitment, also matching and researching of voter data.
It implied in the election which should be initiated on September 2020 has also been delayed. For that reason, on may 4th, 2020, President Jokowi established the Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) Number 2 of 2020 concerning the Third Amendment to Law Number 1 of 2015 concerning the Establishment of Government Regulation of Lieu of Law Number 1 of 2014 concerning Election of Governors, Regents, Mayors become the Act. The Perppu was set on May 4th, 2020. This Perppu will act as a legal umbrella for the postponement and the implementation of 2020 regional head election which has been shifted for September to December 2020. It is mentioned in one of the clauses of the Perppu, if the election could not be initiated on December, so it should be re-scheduled after the pandemic of Covid-19 ends. This provision created to anticipate if the pandemic of Covid-19 still exist and it would be impossible to initiate the election in such condition.
The enactment of this Perppu gave impact for MK that has the authority to decide upon disputes over the result of the election. With the postponement of the election time, it will impact on the change of phases disputes over the election result in MK. If the election held on December 2020, it might be very possible that the phases of handling the disputes over the result election will be handled by MK in late December 2020 or in early 2021 adjusting to the election phase up to the establishment and the announcement of the election result by KPU.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, on August 14, 2020 the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), House of Representatives (DPR), and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) held a hybrid (online and on premise) plenary session, under strict health protocol, with a state speech by President Joko Widodo. Some of the DPR and DPR members attended the session at the DPR/MPR building, while others virtually from their respective residences. In the speech, the president expressed his appreciation for the Constitutional Court, its speed and meticulousness in hearing cases. He also praised the Court for continuing to improve its services through technology. It was said to have succeeded in accelerating case settlement and expand the scope of its international relations. It has also actively initiated and coordinate various regional and global events to make Indonesia’s legal system a reference for world democracies. For the Court, the speech was an important statement by the president on its real conditions. It motivated the Court to maintain and even improve its performance both in and out of its courtrooms.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court holds hearings in its courtrooms under strict health protocol, which applies to the constitutional justices, the officers at the hearing, and the litigating parties. A temperature check is applied to everyone who enters the Court’s buildings. Mask and gloves are mandatory. Hand sanitizers are provided. The Court also puts a limit on the number of people that can enter the courtrooms to only a total of five—of both attorneys and petitioners. The Court also provide the litigating parties with the option to attend the hearing virtually, while the constitutional justices preside over the hearing in person inside the courtroom.
In response to the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) that the Jakarta governor reenacted on September 14, 2020, the Court took a firm measure to hold all hearings virtually. All litigating parties attend the hearing virtually while the constitutional justices preside over the hearing in person inside the courtroom.
To the Court, such virtual hearings are nothing new as it has implemented it since 2009, first through video conference facilities. The Court has also accommodated this method through the Constitutional Court Regulation Number 18 of 2009 on the Guidelines for Electronic Filing of Petition and Video Conferencing Examination.
This shows the Court’s experience with the use of IT for remote hearing. This led the Court to have confidence in implementing remote hearing amid the pandemic, which is part of the implementation of e-Court that it had worked toward since over a decade ago. The remote hearing completes and integrates various technology-based infrastructures, such as court recording and transcription, case tracking, and e-Minutation.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court also prepared to settle disputes over the 2020 regional election, which took place on December 9, 2020. The Court prepared two regulations as guidelines. On july 24, 2020, the it issued the Regulation Number 4 of 2020 on the Stages, Activities, and Schedules for the Dispute Cases Over the Governor, Regent, and Mayor Election. Then, on September 17, 2020 it issued the Regulation Number 5 of 2020 on the Procedural Law of the Settlement of the Dispute Cases Over the Governor, Regent, and Mayor Election. Afterward, the Court prepared socialization and technical assistance programs for its stakeholders in relation to the regional elections, in order to anticipate the upcoming cases.
On September 29, 2020, Law Number 7 of 2020 on the Third Amendment to Law Number 24 of 2003 on the Constitutional Court was promulgated after receiving the president’s stamp of approval the previous day. The new law concerns the tenure of the chief constitutional justice, which is currently held by Dr. Anwar Usman, S.H., M.H.
Article 4 paragraph (3) of the law reads, “The Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court shall be elected from and by the constitutional justices for a tenure period of 5 (five) years as of the date of appointment of the Chief justice and Deputy Chief Justice.” Meanwhile, Article 87 letter a of the law reads, “The constitutional justice currently serving as the Chief Justice or Deputy Chief Justice shall keep serving as the Chief Justice or Deputy Chief Justice until their tenure expires under the provisions of this law.” The constitutional justices deliberated in response to the law on October 1, 2020 and decided that Dr. Anwar Usman, S.H., M.H. continue as the Chief Justice for 2020-2023.
The next day, the decision was written into the Decree Number 1 of 2020 on the Amendment to the Constitutional Court Decree Number 2 of 2018 on the Appointment of the Chief Constitutional Justice for 2018-2020. Since the decree was issued, Dr. Anwar Usman, S.H., M.H. officially continued his office as the Chief Justice for 2020-2023.
On November 11, 2020, at the Presidential Palace, President Joko Widodo handed awards and decorations to 68 national figures, including six constitutional justices. Based on the Presidential Decree No. 118/TK/TAHUN 2008 on the Award of the Bintang Mahaputera dated November 6, 2020, Chief Justice Anwar Usman, Deputy Chief Justice Aswanto, and Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat were awarded the Bintang Mahaputera Adipradana. Meanwhile, Constitutional Justices Wahiduddin Adams, Suhartoyo, and Manahan M. P. Sitompul were awarded the Bintang Mahaputera Utama.
The Bintang Mahaputera Adipradana was awarded to Justice Anwar Usman for his service as chief justice in 2018-2021, to Justice Aswanto for his service as deputy chief justice for 2018-2021 and constitutional justice for 2019-2024, and to Justice Arief Hidayat for his service as chief justice for 2015-2018 and constitutional justice for 2018-2023. Meanwhile, the Bintang Mahaputera Utama was awarded to Justice Wahiduddin Adams for his service as constitutional justice for 2014-2019 and 2019-2024, for Justice Suhartoyo for his service as constitutional justice for 2015-2020 and 2020-2025, Justice Manahan M. P. Sitompul for his service as constitutional justice for 2015-2020 and 2020-2025.
Previously, on August 2020, Secretary-General M. Guntur Hamzah was awarded the Bintang Jasa Nararya decoration following the Decree of the President Number 51, 52, and 53/TK/TH 2020 dated June 22, 2020, and Number 79, 80, and 81/TK/TH 2020 dated August 12, 2020. The decoration for the secretary-general and 53 other figures were awarded by President Joko Widodo in person at the ceremony of the 75th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence at the Presidential Palace on August 13, 2020, under strict health protocol.
The Council for Designations, Awards, and Decorations proposed the decorations on the basis of Law Number 20 of 2009, which regulates such awards and decorations. The criteria for such awards and decorations are an extraordinary achievement in pioneering and developing the nation’s education, economy, social, arts, cultures, religions, law, health, agriculture, maritime. Environment, and/or other fields as well as in various fields that benefit the progress, welfare, and prosperity of the state and nation.
The Constitutional Court's Pilars Representing the Number of Constitutional Justices