Commentary on Indonesian Judicial Reform

Hikmahanto Juwana, professor of law at the University of Indonesia, recently penned a commentary in The Jakarta Post about judicial reform in Indonesia. He makes a distinction between system reforms, which he believes are on path, and personnel reform, which is floundering. In essence, he sees the major problem to judicial reform as recruiting qualified and honest judges, as well as gathering sufficient evidence to punish corrupt judges. He advocates more administrative mechanisms to punish wayward judges. Lisa Hilbink’s book about judges under Chile shows the danger that senior judges can manipulate internal disciplinary mechanisms in order to influence the rulings of lower judges. Still, given how desperate the situation in Indonesia’s judiciary has become, such measures might be warranted. At the very least, it appears this latest judicial corruption scandal has more people talking about the problem at higher levels.

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