Indonesia Country Profile
In Transparency International's Global Corruption Barometer 2010,the legal system and courts are perceived by Indonesian households to be among the most corrupt public institutions in the country. Furthermore, the same source also reports that more than one out of ten surveyed households who have had contact with the judiciary in 2009 reported having paid a bribe. According to the US Department of State 2010, low salaries are said to be among the main causes for judges accepting bribes.
According to Transparency International’s Indonesia Corruption Perception Index 2008 and Bribery Index, nearly one-fourth of all business respondents think that the eradication of corruption in the judiciary should be the highest priority. On the other hand, a substantial amount of companies surveyed by the World Bank & IFC Enterprise Surveys 2009 believe that the Indonesian court system is fair, impartial and uncorrupted.
According to the US Commercial Service 2011, Indonesia has a complex regulatory and legal environment that leads many foreign and domestic companies to avoid the justice system. Laws and regulations are often vague and require substantial interpretation by implementing offices, leading to business uncertainty and rent-seeking opportunities. Moreover, the same source reports that foreign investors continue to perceive the court system in Indonesia as weak, lacking transparency and being corrupt.
According to the Bertelsmann Foundation 2012, military, business and political interests still play a role within the Indonesian judiciary. Bribery within the judicial service often influences prosecution, conviction, and sentencing in many civil and criminal cases.
According to the US Department of State 2010, the National Ombudsman Commission (in Indonesian) received 160 complaints filed against judges, clerks and lawyers on corruption throughout 2009. It is also reported that key individuals in the judicial system were accused of accepting bribes and of turning a blind eye to some of the suspected corrupt government offices. Prosecution, conviction and sentencing in both civil and criminal cases are said to be 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, and therefore sentenced to four years in prison.
The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2012:
- To enforce a commercial contract, a company is required to go through 40 procedures, taking 570 days at a cost of 123% of the claim on average.
World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2011-2012:
- Business executives give the independence of the judiciary from influences of members of government, citizens, or companies a score of 3.6 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 3.7 and 3.8 respectively on a 7-point scale (1 being 'extremely inefficient' and 7 'highly efficient').
Transparency International: Global Corruption Barometer 2010:
- 22% of households surveyed consider the judiciary to be 'extremely corrupt'.
- 14% of households who had contact with the judiciary in 2009 report to have paid a bribe.
- Citizens give the judiciary a score of 3.3 on a 5-point scale (1 being 'not at all corrupt' and 5 'extremely corrupt').
The World Bank & IFC: Enterprise Surveys 2009:
- 70% of companies believe the court system is fair, impartial and uncorrupted.
Transparency International: Bribe Payers Index 2008:
- Business executives give the judiciary a score of 3.8 on a 5-point scale (1 'not at all corrupt' and 5 'extremely corrupt').