Limit justice to save justice

According to The Jakarta Post, the Indonesian House is considering reforms to the Supreme Court law. One of the proposed reforms is particularly interesting: limiting litigants’ right of appeal. In recent years, the Supreme Court’s caseload has reached phenomenal levels, as high as 17,000 per year. Some of these are relatively minor cases requiring only per curium decisions, but still they bog the court down. As Ronald Rofiandri from the Center for Legal and Policy Studies (PSHK) noted, “Not all cases should be brought to the appellate court, for example, divorce cases.” Reducing the court’s workload could go a long way to ensuring that it spends the necessary time on the more important cases in its docket. It could also potentially reduce corruption by reducing rent-seeking opportunities (after all, fewer cases means fewer litigants to extort). In short, this could be one feasible reform that could lead to a dramatic improvement in Indonesia’s notorious judiciary.

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