WB supports legal reform through pro-poor programs
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The World Bank has committed to supporting legal reform in Indonesia especially by developing the bureaucracy in the legal offices into efficient and transparent institutions.
“In order for more people to equally get justice, it requires improvements in legal services,” World Bank country director for Indonesia Stefan Koeberle said in a statement in Jakarta on Wednesday.
He issued the statement on the commemoration of the 130th anniversary of the religious court and the 10th anniversary of Justice for the Poor, a World Bank program aimed at giving poor Indonesians access to legal services.
In operating the program, the World Bank worked with the Supreme Court’s Directorate General for Religious Courts and several legal aid foundations, including the Empowerment of Female Heads of Households Program (Pekka).
The program gave 35,000 people free access to legal advice last year and succeeded in handling 18,550 cases and facilitating pro bono help for 10,500 clients through the mobile legal aid services (pengadilan keliling) program last year, the directorate general said.
Nani Zulminarni, Pekka’s national coordinator, meanwhile said that free access to justice in the religious court system was essential for poor and marginalized people, especially for divorced women.
Nani said more than half of married women who resided in the 19 provinces from Aceh to Maluku where Pekka branches were stationed, had no marriage certificates.
“Marriage and divorce certificates are pivotal for marginalized women, particularly to clarify their status and role in the household. These documents give them access to health or education assistance when they need them,” Nani said on Wednesday.
“Those certificates are essential to getting birth certificates for their children as well,” she added.
According to Nani, rigid bureaucracy and limited funds are some of the problems that still hinder the poor in accessing justice.
In 2011, approximately 360,000 couples filed for divorce in Indonesia, Wahyu Widiana, the director general of religious courts said.
He said that with the high numbers of cases, it was highly essential to ensure that the poor and marginalized had the access to get their paperwork done. (nad)