Corruption Court bill deliberation
hits snag

The deliberations of a Corruption Court bill have hit a wall as lawmakers struggle to finalize the terms of the draft law before the deadline by the end of next year.

"We are still discussing the bill and various problems that have arisen, with legal experts and the Corruption Eradication Commission. The actual conditions and specifics of the draft law have hardly even been discussed yet," lawmaker Gayus Lumbuun of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle told The Jakarta Post in Jakarta on Saturday.

Gayus, a member of the House of Representatives' Commission III overseeing legal and security issues, said disagreements over the terms of the bill and a flood of differing ideas were drawing out the deliberation process.

The Constitutional Court ruled that if the draft law was not completed by Dec. 19, 2009, the Corruption Court would be dismissed and trials under its investigation would be handled by district courts.

Gayus said that as the deadline for the bill was so pressing, perhaps it would be better if some technical issues were determined by governmental decrees.

"Certain articles, such as those involving the selection judges, pre-trials and the proposed integration of the Corruption Court with district courts, can be regulated by governmental decrees. This would allow us to simplify the law and catch up on the deadline," Gayus said.

Gayus said with the upcoming legislative elections in April, and talks dragging on, there was a strong chance the deadline would not be met.

The suggestion had been made, he said, for lawmakers to use their recess period to deliberate on the draft law.

"Lawmakers are committed to passing the law before the end of the year," he said.

But this commitment was questioned by Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) coordinator Emerson Yuntho.

"So far, we have seen no evidence that the House has settled a completion date for deliberations on the draft law. This is regrettable. If lawmakers cannot pass the law by the end of this year, the chances of action being taken next year, with the distractions and tight schedules of the election campaign, is even less likely," he said.

Emerson said it would be beneficial for lawmakers to include all the technical issues in the draft law in order to shore up its legal potential and strength.

"I suggest the House's special committee discussing the amendment set up a small group to discuss the crucial issues which are bound to arise from the draft."

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