|No booze for you…|
A week ago, the Indonesian Supreme Court struck down a presidential decree that had prevented local governments from banning the sale of alcohol. The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) filed the initial challenge.
According to The Jakarta Post, FPI, know for its more hardline tactics, had also been involved in raiding nightclubs and stores that sold alcohol. It’s views on alcohol are probably in the minority in Indonesia. However, in the case FPI focused its argument on the fact that the presidential decree hampered local autonomy. In essence, FPI made a federalism argument.
The Supreme Court had had the power to review the constitutionality of administrative regulations even under the Suharto regime, but has rarely exercised it. This latest case is the first major decision in which the court exercised judicial review, and almost certainly the most significant in terms of setting limits on executive power. Is also significantly comes soon after the court received a new chief justice (M. Hatta Ali) and several new justices.
Time will tell if this decision signals a greater willingness to strike down administrative regulations.