Friday, July 16, 2010

Lawyers' Protest Against the Supreme Court

Last Wednesday, one hundred lawyers of the Congress of Indonesian Advocates (KAI) held a violent protest at the Supreme Court in Jakarta.

The protest was sparked by a statement by the Chief of the Supreme Court Harifin A. Tumpa on 24 June which only recognized the Association of Indonesian Advocates (Peradi) as the only Bar Association in Indonesia, thereby causing uncertainty on the legitimacy of lawyer licenses issued by other lawyer/ advocate organizations in Indonesia.

The lawyers came at around 10 a.m to meet Harifin, but was denied by the Court's officers who shut all  entrance gates. Angered by this bad reception, the lawyers forcefully opened the gate and made their way inside the Court lobby, shouting and bring down the photo of Harifin from the wall and kicked it..

The lawyers calmed down after Harifin and other Supreme Judges finally agreed to meet them. According to the Chairman of KAI Indra Sainun Lubis, the Supreme Court shall revise its decision within one week.He also warned that if the Court failed to do that 3,000 lawyers will demonstrate.

On the next day, the Court has submitted an official report with the Police, alleging that the lawyers have damaged the Court's gate, cracking glass window, bringing down and kicking the photo of the Court's Chief and defaming that the Court's Judge has received bribe from Peradi. .

Considering that lawyers are citizens who have been granted license to practice laws in the courts of law, therefore deemed to be more knowledgeable about the laws and regulations, the above incident is a tragedy. I hope this case would be settled amicably but properly based on the laws and regulations in Indonesia.

Sources for this post :
Ratusan Advokat KAI Demo MA (Hukumonline) 
Protes MA, Aksi Para Advokat Berlangsung Ricuh (Tempo) 
Demo Advokat di Gedung MA Ricuh (VivaNews)
MA Janji Revisi SK dalam 1 Minggu, Pengacara Bubarkan Diri (Detik)
MA Laporkan Insiden Demo KAI ke Polisi (Hukumonline)

11 comments:

Ismail N said...

Yes, Harry I agree with you. This is something that should be settled amicably and urgently. Judiciary form part of national institution and therefore must be protected and respected. A collapsed in judiciary system definately a nightmare for every country.

umihoney said...

I agree that as lawyers they are expected to act accordingly. Seeking solutions via the proper avenue and channel. The rowdy behavior is not helping their cause.

Rob Baiton said...

Harry...

Is there really an issue of principle here that must be determined or is this a simple issue of who has the power to control advocates in Indonesia through a single bar association?

Perhaps if the lawyers were a little more honest with themselves as to what this conflict is about, then there could be real progress towards resolving it.

On that front, the simple solution would be to dissolve all the current bar associations and replace them with a unified and single bar. Although, my guess is this is easier to say than to do ;)

Nice links to hukumonline by the way :D

colson said...

A kind of tavern brawl amongst lawyers? I can't help but think it is a hilarious incident.

Well, of course it should be settled as soon as possible in a peaceful and sensible way. And I guess it will. I do agree with Rob: there should be one, official, legal, strictly regulated bar.

H. Nizam said...

@Ismail,
You are right, no country can have peace and order if the judiciary system is not respected & protected.
The laws, regulations and the courts should be respected especially by those who works in the field of law.

@Umihoney,
The key to any dispute would be peaceful negotiation based on positive intention on both sides to reach a common goal, in this case what's best for lawyers in the country.

@Rob,
The dispute over a single or multiple bar has been going on since more than 30 years ago, starting from Peradin, Ikadin, then Peradi.
Every time always failed.
Perhaps it would be different if the government, and the courts, give full support and truly recognize only the organization that has been agreed.

Lawyers here always compare the situation with IDI (Indonesian Medical Doctors Association) which has a very powerful authority.

@Colson,
It is a tragedy for us here.
Because at a time when people's respect on the laws, regulations, the courts and law enforcement is quite law right, lawyers as an independent entity should show integrity and be model citizens.

Edwin's Personal Blog said...

So sad to say that law itself has been severely outraged in its own bailiwick..

H. Nizam said...

Edwin,
It is very sad indeed.

scribadiva said...

Good post. It reminds me of what happened in Pakistan, a year or two ago. I'm reading your posts with my Reader, but I felt I needed to acknowledge this, because once the Rule of Law is broken, we are back to the stone age. Sweet tides, Linda

H. Nizam said...

Linda/Scribadiva,
The rule of law should always be upheld if a country wants to develop democracy healthily.
Thank you for dropping by.

scribadiva said...

Like I said, I see your posts in my Reader. I only want to add that I'm very impressed by the quality of your posts. Sincerely, Linda

H. Nizam said...

Scribadiva,
Okay, thanks anyway