Indonesia Country Profile

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Indonesian Judicial System

Individual Corruption

According to the Global Corruption Barometer 2013, the legal system and courts is perceived by Indonesian households to be the second most corrupt public institution in the country.

Business Corruption

According to the 2012 Doing Business in Indonesia report, Indonesia has an ineffective regulatory and legal environment, where the handling of investment disputes varies. Laws and regulations are often unclear and require considerable interpretation by implementing offices, leading both to uncertainty when doing business and to opportunities for rent-seeking. Moreover, the same source reports that foreign investors continue to perceive the court system in Indonesia as weak when it comes to enforcing contracts.

Business executives surveyed in the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 report that the Indonesian judiciary lacks independence and is subject to influence by the members of the government, citizens and companies. In general, business executives do not consider the legal framework for settling disputes and for challenging regulation to be efficient.

Political Corruption

In 2011 and 2012, several judges were arrested on charges of corruption. One of the judges was found guilty of passive bribery in a commercial case and sentenced to four years in prison, according to the Transformation Index 2014. The Investment Climate Statement 2013 reports that the Constitutional Court Chief Justice, Akil Mochtar, was charged with corruption in October 2013. Mochtar has allegedly received a USD 262,000 bribe to affect the court’s ruling and issue a favourable verdict in an election dispute. Remarkably, in the process of investigation, the graft commission has found and subsequently confiscated cash and assets worth more than USD 16 million belonging to Aki Mochtar, according to a January 2014 article by FOX News.

According to the Human Rights Report 2013, in 2012, NGOs have implicated 84 anti-corruption court judges for engaging in corruption. The report also claims that key individuals in the judicial system were accused of accepting bribes and of not acting on suspicious practices of certain government offices. Moreover, prosecution, conviction and sentencing in both civil and criminal cases are allegedly influenced by bribes and extortion.

District court judge Syarifuddin Umar is an example of a judge who received punishment as a consequence of his corrupt actions. According to a February 2012 article by the Jakarta Post, Syarifuddin was convicted of accepting bribes while handling a case in relation to the conversion of a land status; he was sentenced to four years in prison.


Doing Business 2014:
- On average, to enforce a commercial contract, a company is required to go through 40 procedures, taking 498 days and costing 139% of the claim.

The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the independence of the judiciary from influences of members of government, citizens or companies a score of 3.7 on a 7-point scale (1 being 'heavily influenced' and 7 'entirely independent').

- Business executives give the efficiency of the legal framework for private companies to settle disputes and challenge the legality of government actions and/or regulations a score of 4.1 and 3.7, respectively, on a 7-point scale (1 being 'extremely inefficient' and 7 'highly efficient').

Global Corruption Barometer 2013:
- Citizens give the judiciary a score of 4.4 on a 5-point scale (1 being 'not at all corrupt' and 5 'extremely corrupt').