Comparative law and justice/Indonesia

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Basic Information[edit]

Flag of Indonesia

Indonesia is part of Southern Asia. It is an island located between the Indian and the Pacific Ocean.The area of Indonesia is about 1,904,569 sq km. 1,811,569 sq km is land and the rest is water. If you want to compare that to a state in the United States it would be a little less than three times the size of Texas. It is made up of around 17,00 Islands. Indonesia is a neighboring country to Timor-Leste, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea. The climate is tropical with very humid, hot weather. One major city is Jakarta, which is also Indonesia's capital. The population here is 9.121 million people. The population of Indonesia is 242,968,342 people; 28.1% are between the ages of of 0-14, 66% between the ages of 15-64, and only 6% over 65 years old. Indonesia is a very diverse area. They have eight main ethnic groups. Javanese makes up 40.6% of Indonesia's population. The Sundanese makes up 15%, the Madurese makes up 3.3% of the population, the Minangkabau makes up 2.7% of the population, the Betawi makes up 2.4%, the Bugis make up 2.4%,the Banten only make up 2%,the Banjar make up 1.7%,while the left over 29.9% of the population's ethic background is categorized as other or unspecified. The main language spoken in Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia. This is the country's official language. other languages that are spoken here are English, Dutch and Javanese. Indonesia has four main religions. This is made up of 86.1% Muslim, 5.7% Protestant, 3% Roman Catholic, and 1.8% Hindu The last 3.4% of the population is considered other or unspecified. Some key industries that Indonesia has are petroleum and natural gas, textiles, apparel, footwear, mining, cement, chemical fertilizers, plywood, rubber, food. Their key agriculture is rice, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, rubber, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, copra; poultry, beef, pork, eggs. Some things that Indonesia exports are oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood, textiles, rubber imports- machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, food products. [1]

Location of Indonesia

Indonesian History[edit]

In 1602 the Dutch established the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and became the dominant European power. Following bankruptcy, the VOC was formally dissolved in 1800 and the government of the Netherlands established the Dutch East Indies as a nationalized colony. The first people that lived in Indonesia were the ancestors of the Malays, Javanese and other Malayo-Polynesian groups.

For most of the colonial period, Dutch control over these territories was tenuous; only in the early 20th century did Dutch dominance extend to what was to become Indonesia's current boundaries. The Japanese invasion and subsequent occupation during WWII ended Dutch rule and encouraged the previously suppressed Indonesian independence movement. Between 1942 and 1945 Indonesia was ruled by Japan. Two days after the surrender of Japan on August 15 1945, Sukarno, an influential nationalist leader, declared independence and was appointed president. The Netherlands tried to reestablish their rule and a bitter armed and diplomatic struggle ended in December 1949, when in the face of international pressure, the Dutch formally recognized Indonesian independence.

Sukarno moved from democracy towards authoritarianism, and maintained his power base by balancing the opposing forces of the Military, Islam, and the Communist Party of Indonesia. An attempted coup on 30 September 1965 was countered by the army, who led a violent anti-communist purge, during which the PKI was blamed for the coup and effectively destroyed. Between 1965-1968, at least half a million "communists" were slaughtered. The head of the military, General Suharto, out-manuevered the politically weakened Sukarno and was formally appointed president in March 1968. Official President Sukarno was deposed and placed under home arrest and surveillance until he died. Suharto's New Order administration was supported by the US government and encouraged foreign investment in Indonesia, which was a major factor in the subsequent three decades of substantial economic growth. Suharto was aware of the slaughter of "communists" but did not do anything to stop it thus making him complicit in the killings. United States, UK, Australia were also complicit in the slaughter. CIA delivered all sorts of information to the communist murderer because united States was afraid more Asian countries like Vietnam will become communists during cold war era. Indonesia's armed forces leader like Sarwo Edhie Wibowo & death squad leaders like Anwar Congo, Adi Zulkadry, Safit Pardede thought they were killing "the communists" just for fun. In July 2016, International Tribunal (court) ruled that Indonesia as a country bears responsibility for the slaughter. In 1997 and 1998, however, Indonesia was the country hardest hit by the East Asian Financial Crisis. This increased popular discontent with the New Order and led to popular protests. Suharto resigned on 21 May 1998. He died on January 27 2008, after being disconnected from life supporting mechanisms. In September 2000, an Indonesian court dismissed the Government's landmark corruption case against former President Suharto after an independent team of doctors declared him medically unfit to stand trial. The ruling was a major setback for Indonesia's democratically elected government, which sought to bring the ailing, 79-year old, former dictator to justice for human rights abuses and other crimes committed during his brutal reign of 31 years.

In 1999, East Timor voted to secede from Indonesia, after a twenty-five-year occupation, which was marked by international condemnation of repression and human rights abuses. The Reformasi era following Suharto's resignation, has led to a strengthening of democratic processes, including a regional autonomy program and the first direct presidential election in 2004. Political and economic instability, social unrest, corruption, and terrorism have slowed progress. Although relations among different religious and ethnic groups are largely harmonious, acute sectarian discontent and violence remain problems in some areas. A political settlement to an armed separatist conflict in Aceh was achieved in 2005. Indonesia remains largely a muslim country and abortion in Indonesia remains illegal.

Economic Development, Health, and Education[edit]

Life expectancy in Indonesia is pretty similar between males and females. Males average life expectancy is 73.69 years and for females it is 68.53 years. The infant mortality here is 28.94 deaths per 1,000 live births. Most people in Indonesia have an average education level of thirteen years in school. This is the same for males and females. The literacy rate for males is higher than females. 94% of males can read while only 86.8% of females. Indonesia's economic development is 1.033 trillion GDP. The GDP per capita is $4,300. The highest 10% of the populations income is 32.3% of the income, while the lowest 10% of population's income is only 3%. [2]


Indonesia Constitution The president is elected by a majority vote. When they are elected into office, this is for a five year period. After those five years are up the president is able to be reelected if he chooses he wants to be. In order to become a president you must be an native born in Indonesia.

Judicial Review[edit]

The supreme court in Indonesia is the final court to look things over. this court is called the Mahkamah Agung and has no power of the judicial review. Once they make a decision it is final. The constitutional court does have power for judicial review. [3]

Courts and Criminal Law[edit]

Indonesia has 8 main types of courts. These types of courts are general, industrial relation dispute courts, fishery, religion, state administrative, military, tax and constitutional. Most disputes appear before general court. Industrial relation dispute courts take care of settling disputes that have to deal with employment. the fishery court is similar to the industrial relation dispute court but it deals with subjects that are more serious. The state administrative court is designed to challenge the public administrative. The military court is used when crimes are done by a soldier or someone in the military. when their is a problem between a tax payer and a taxing authority the tax court jumps in to fix it. Lastly the constitutional court deals with constitutional problems and their decisions can not be appealed.[4] The law in Indonesia is that there is an assumption of innocence until you are proven guilty. When it comes to the courts thought they are not one hundred percent honest. Sometimes they take bribes in order for the grant of bail. [5] In Indonesia advocates are the same as our lawyers in the United States. Usually they are private practiced. They do have to go through legal training though. [6] Foreign lawyers are not allowed to come to Indonesia and practice their law. even though this is said, many foreign lawyers do practice law in Indonesia [7] Indonesia has a republican type of government. Like the United States they have three main branches; the judicial branch, the legislative branch and the executive branch. Indonesia does have a constitution that was established in august of 1945 after they declared independence. This constitution had had many amendments up until 2002.[8]


Only one part of Indonesia uses corporal punishment. This is in the Aceh Province. This punishment does not apply to anyone of Christian religion. It usually happens in front of a Mosque. Corporal punishment is allowed to men and women but is not allowed for juveniles. The kind of corporal punishment is canning, which leaves bruises and welts on the persons body. Corporal punishment is usually used to punish people for gambling or alcohol use. This is not seen often but it is still around.[9] A juvenile in Indonesia is considered anyone under the age of 18. From January until May of 2003 approximately 4,325 juveniles were held in jail throughout Indonesia and about 84% of them were in adult prisons. When it comes to juveniles the judge has three options. The first is that the judge can choose to send the juvenile back to his parents without any punishment. The judge can also choose to send the child to a government institution but not punish them. Last the judge can consider the juvenile guilty and punish them. These juveniles may be punished by some sort of fine, being put in jail or a detention facility, or some kind of supervision.[10] The prison conditions in Indonesia are dirty and very overpopulated. There is poor health care while in prison and maybe people suffer from HIV. [11]

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Law Enforcement[edit]

Indonesia fits into the taxonomy of types of police structure as a decentralized multiple coordinated structure. This means that there are many local forces not just one main force. The military and the police used to work together, but since 1999 the police and the armed forces are now separate. 3% of the GDP in Indonesia join their military. The requirements to join are that you have to be 18 years old. You also have to be active for two years and in the reserve until you are 45 years old. [12]The police officials in Indonesia are very close to the community. their mission is to keep the people safe and have a bond with them. The people of Indonesia respect the police officers and help them out whenever possible. [13] There is some corruption in Indonesia. when asked in 2010, 45% of police officials have admitted to accepting some kind of bribe.[14]

Crime Rates and Public Opinion[edit]

Many crimes in Indonesia go unreported, but Indonesia's crime rate is rising due to increasing urbanization. So while looking at crime rates they tend to be lower than the actual crime that is going on there. Some of this could be blames by the poor law enforcement they have.[15] Indonesia crime is considerably high in area of tourism. These crimes are not huge crimes more along the lines of credit card fraud or pickpocketing. Robbery is also a crime that tends to occur in Indonesia.[16] The intentional homicide rate per 100,000 for Indonesia is 8.9. In comparison to the United States we are at about 5.6[17] In 2002, Indonesia found that around 49,500 prostitutes were under the age of 18. [18]

Family Law[edit]

Under the Marriage Laws of Indonesia a marriage is not official unless the female is over the age of 16 and the male is over the age of 19. Even if they are over this age but under 21 they must have parents consent in order for a marriage to be recognized. If you get divorced in Indonesia and you are a female you must wait 100 days before you are able to remarry. Also in Indonesia all marriages must be performed in a religious ceremony before they are recognized by the Civil Register Office. [19] Polygamy is allowed in Indonesia under religions that support it as long as you have permission by your wife and judicial permission. You also have to be financially able to support more than one family, and you must treat both wives and children equally. [20] A divorce may happen by either partner in Indonesia, but only if the other partner has committed adultery, Alcoholism, addiction to drugs, a gambling problem, or cannot support the family.[21] Inheritance in Indonesia is usually male dominant. Most inheritance goes to children or the spouse of the deceased. [22] Regarding adoption in Indonesia the adoptive child must be of the same religion of the adoptive parent. If the religion of the child is not known then they are considered to be Muslim.[23] For people in the United States it is pretty difficult to adopt a child from Indonesia. There is a pretty strict adoption law that is followed. Couple from the US trying to adopt must actually live in Indonesia for two years and also be between the ages of 30 and 45. There are also requirements that say the couple must be married for five years. They can have an adopted Indonesian baby or if they already have children the mother must not be able to have anymore. The adoptive parents must also believe in God and appear at a court hearing. The child that is being adopted must be under five years of age and the child must be in company of a welfare program.[24]

Human Rights[edit]

In Indonesia there is a right to freedom of religion. Recently in Indonesia the freedom of minority religious groups has not been protected by the government or the police, and recently around 114 people have been arrested because of their views. [25] Also in Indonesia people have human rights. This states that all people have a right to life and freedom of torture or bad treatment. These human rights sometimes are violated by the police officers. Examples of this are use of unnecessary firearms, torture or inhuman treatment or punishment, and lack of protection against minority groups. [26]

Works Cited[edit]