A few weeks ago, I’d mentioned that Palembang District Court Judge Daming Sanusi was criticized for having made an impolitic joke about rape during his “fit and proper test” before the DPR. Daming has since withdrawn his candidacy but the Judicial Commission has announced its desire for the Supreme Court to try him for ethics violations. According to The Jakarta Post, the Supreme Court has refused, stating that Daming has already issued a “sincere apology.”
The Commission is continuing its campaign, but, because of the Constitutional Court decision in 2006, it lacks the power to enforce ethics standards and prosecute judges itself. There are no constitutional issues at stake in the current dispute between the JC and SC thus far, but the dispute is important as a sign of whether and how Indonesia can deal with wayward judges. Given the public outrage over the incident, it’s possible the JC can mobilize public opinion on its behalf.