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Jakarta Post

The Judge S case and why court oversight fails

  • Sebastiaan Pompe

Leiden   /   Mon, June 13 2011   /  08:00 am

The case of Judge S, who was arrested recently by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for alleged bribery, has prompted a debate in Indonesia on whether the judiciary is not overly free.

There are calls for closer supervision of the courts and perhaps wheeling back the one roof system which made the courts fully self-managing, including in matters of personnel, finances and infrastructure.

It is true that the one roof system made the judiciary very free, perhaps overly so. One may question the prudence of the measure.

Yet we must also recall that the one roof system was introduced in a feverish time in Indonesian politics, marked by a desire to break with the old, much-abused system at all cost. It was a time of great hope
and optimism mixed with a dose of naiveté about the willingness and ability of courts to redress themselves.

The one roof ...