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In: Litigating the Rights of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples in Domestic and International Courts
In: Litigating the Rights of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples in Domestic and International Courts


This chapter presents a general description of the Indonesian Constitutional Court, exploring its emergence, development, powers, responsibilities, and the process for appointing its Justices. Although Indonesia declared independence in 1945, its Constitutional Court was not born until 2003. This chapter explains the Court’s long gestation period, its sudden birth and how it has exercised its powers. The Court has been instrumental in safeguarding the supremacy of the Constitution, protecting Indonesian citizens’ fundamental human rights, and ensuring that the government adheres to the rule of law. Its decisions have also had a significant impact on a wide range of issues, ranging from election disputes to recognition of minority religions. Furthermore, this chapter looks the role of Pancasila as the foundation of the Indonesian Constitution and its importance in guiding the Constitutional Court. The methodology used in this chapter is a qualitative analysis of the Court’s functions and secondary sources, including scholarly literature. This chapter concludes with a brief assessment of the Court’s performance and future challenges, such as the need to enhance the quality of its decisions while ensuring its independence from political influences. This independence is critical to preserving the Court’s integrity and legitimacy as an impartial arbiter of constitutional issues. By examining the Court’s history and functions, this chapter explains the Court’s vital functions in maintaining Indonesia’s diversity and its democratic system.

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In: Courts and Diversity
Twenty Years of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia
The Constitutional Court of Indonesia functions in one of the most diverse societies in the world. It is required to resolve disputes within a kaleidoscope of diversity and plurality with flexibility, pragmatism, asymmetry, and wisdom. Whilst national minimum norms are important for nation-building, recognition of local customs, diversities and indigenous systems are equally important to protect the territorial integrity of Indonesia and ensure local peace and stability. Responding to demands of religious plurality, customary lands rights, traditional voting systems, decentralisation to regions and local governments, and responding to diversity of community life, requires extraordinary skill, insight and flexibility. This book gives insight into twenty years of jurisprudence and places it in an international comparison.