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Indonesia’s Human Rights Court: Need for Reform

In: Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law
Authors:
Yustina Trihoni Nalesti Dewi Lecturer, Faculty of Law and Communication, Soegijapranata Catholic University, Indonesia, trihoni@unika.ac.id

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Grant R Niemann Senior Lecturer, Flinders Law School, Australia, grant.niemann@flinders.edu.au

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Marsudi Triatmodjo Professor, Faculty of Law, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, triatmodjo@mail.ugm.ac.id

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This article reviews the need to provide greater human rights protections through Indonesia’s Human Rights Court mechanism. Despite the Court gaining momentum with the emergence of greater democratic freedoms, there is still quite a long way to go before the Court can function in a transparent and accountable way. The opportunity to do this was missed when political interests were put ahead of human rights protections when the legislation creating the Court paid no attention to the investigating and procedural complexities of categories of the crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the Court. Moreover, the lack of protection for victims and witnesses has had an adverse impact on prosecutions. This article recommends that some legislative reform is desirable but legislative reform alone will not bring about the equally important cultural change required to achieve this objective. This transformation can only be achieved by ensuring that all the relevant actors operating within the system are held accountable and required to operate in a professional manner.

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