My past few posts about Indonesia have mentioned surveys about corruption and the extent of the problem. A new survey by the Indonesian Legal Roundtable suggests that the judiciary’s reputation remains low – amongst the lowest of all government institutions in the country. According to ILR, only 23% of respondents believed judges could not be bribed. 32% believed that businessmen could easily influence the judiciary, while 30% believed political parties could influence the judiciary.
Of course, perception doesn’t always equal reality. These results don’t necessarily tell us the extent of corruption in the judiciary. However, courts do rely upon public opinion for institutional support and depend upon citizens to file cases. With such low confidence ratings, there’s a real risk that, rather than spurring judicial reforms, dissatisfaction with the courts will spur apathy.
For the record, ILR does not mention the Mahkamah Konstitusi and it appears most Indonesians don’t immediately think of the MK when asked to evaluate “the judiciary.” The latest polls I’ve seen about the MK (still several years old) suggest that a majority of people have confidence in the court, but large numbers of people still aren’t fully aware of it or what it does.