Usually, when we are considering nominees to the Supreme Court, we’re concerned about the judge’s education, competence, and integrity. Now, Bandung’s Parahyangan Catholic University Professor Arief Sidharta, a member of Indonesia’s Judicial Commission, proposes we should also consider a nominee’s sense of culture. In interviewing candidates, he asks them about their knowledge of art and singing. Arief defends his unorthodox focus by noting:
“It’s about appreciating cultural values, like singing,” he said. “People who appreciate art and culture tend to be more sensitive to what’s going on in their surroundings, and this is exactly the quality that we need in our legal practitioners.”
It’s an interesting argument, and certainly not one that graces the pages of comparative judicial politics scholarship. It’s also nice to hear something about Indonesia’s courts besides the rampant corruption.