Muninggar Sri Saraswati, The Jakarta Post/Jakarta
Often criticized for issuing verdicts that do not coincide with the public's sense of justice, the Supreme Court is now gearing up to train judges in courts across the country in a bid to improve.
Marianna Sutadi Nasution, Supreme Court deputy chief for case management, said on Monday that a series of training sessions had been arranged to improve the judges' knowledge of the law.
""We will hold regular meetings with judges across the country. Some of them will also be trained abroad,"" she told The Jakarta Post in her office.
The Supreme Court is in charge of supervising the work of all judges, many of whom have been criticized for handing down controversial rulings.
The Jakarta Commercial Court, for example, declared two international joint venture firms -- Prudential Life Insurance and Manulife Insurance -- bankrupt despite their healthy financial condition.
The verdicts, which were widely criticized by foreign investors and governments -- particularly the British and Canadian governments -- were later overturned by the Supreme Court.
Mariana said judges across the country would get trained on legal procedures, commercial law, civilian law and criminal law as well as cyber law, which is considered a new domain.
The training is being partially funded by the Partnership for Governance Reform, an international non-governmental organization that has been assisting the government.
""We are determined to issue quality verdicts,"" Marianna said.
She also said that the Supreme Court had committed to examining verdicts sooner in a bid to review whether the courts had implemented the law correctly or not.
""I think it's quite an achievement. Previously, we could only examine a case after the final and binding verdict, which could take five to six years from the time of the verdict at the district court level,"" said Marianna, who assumed her post three months ago.
Assisted by the Partnership, the court is currently considering whether to set up a system that takes into account the quality of verdicts, instead of simply seniority, in appointing judges to higher positions, she said.
Marianna is one of two newly installed deputy chief justices, who have been tasked with reversing the Court's badly tarnished image and speeding up its sluggish internal reform process.
Previously the court's director of supervision, she asserted that she would not tolerate judges who violated regulations.
""If the mistakes are not overly serious, I prefer to reprimand the judges or put them in positions that do not allow them to hear cases. But, I will not hesitate to take firm action if it is a serious mistake,"" she said without going into detail.
Referring to a recent report by a coalition of legal watchdogs, which quoted media reports in 2000, Marianna denied that she accepted bribes from anyone during her career of 40 years.
""I have more than sufficient (wealth). Everybody knows that. I have never made money from cases,"" said Marianna, whose husband is a senior diplomat.
The report stated that Marianna failed to list a plush house allegedly owned by Marianna's son in Tangerang, Banten on her wealth report submitted to the now defunct Civil Servants Wealth Report Audit Commission (KPKPN) in 2000.
It was alleged that her failure to list the house was linked to a case involving a giant Jakarta developer that was handled by Marianna, who eventually ruled in favor of the property company.
Marianna went on to explain that she only had two daughters and that her family had nothing to do with the house.
The audit commission also stated in February that the allegations against Marianna, which were filed by the party that lost the case, were unsubstantiated.