Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Aging Supreme Judges

According to our country's legal system, the Supreme Court is the highest Court of Law, therefore last resort to obtain ordinary legal remedy for any disputes, in Indonesia. As such the Supreme Judges should consists of highly respectable persons whose seniority & quality are above average Indonesians.

Perhaps that's the reason why the Government & the Parliament (DPR) have insisted on extending the retirement age of the Supreme Judges from 67 to 70 years old, in spite of public protests that the life expectancy of average Indonesians is only around 65 years old.

However, it seems that things does not always work out the way one wants them to be.
That's what I thought when I read the news about the collapse of Vice Chairman of the Supreme Court Harifin A. Tumpa (66) when he inaugurated six new Supreme Judges and five new Head of High Courts on 30 December 2008.
In this regards, The Jakarta Post quoted Illean D.A Sari of the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) as saying that the health of a Supreme Judge will have a strong effect on the upholding of justice. She said that people at the age of more than 65 are prone to illness and would effect the handling of cases at the Supreme Court. Whereas a Political Expert of University of Indonesia Lili Romli questioned the purpose of extending the age of the Supreme Judges. He suspected a Hidden Agenda behind this decision.

Due to the above unfortunate fact, I sincerely hope that although Supreme Judges can hold their job until they are 70 years old, however in order to safeguard the smooth processing of Cassation cases, it would be better if the Candidates Supreme Judges would be much younger.


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