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Jakarta Post

Editorial: Congrats to new justice

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Fri, March 8 2013   /  11:10 am

Congratulations to Pak Arief Hidayat, who is slated to replace Mahfud MD, the outgoing Constitutional Court chief justice. The law professor from Diponegoro University in Semarang, Central Java, gained 42 out of 54 votes from lawmakers on Monday.

Naturally the news has attracted attention because of the statements he made during his “fit-and-proper” test, which may have influenced the votes. Among others he was quoted as saying that “Indonesia should implement human rights that are compatible with the local context, instead of unconditionally implementing so-called ‘universal values’.”

Such words often sound sweet to politicians and to anyone with a nationalistic streak. The problem is that it would be a setback and a betrayal to what Indonesia has achieved, not to mention a potential violation of the Constitution. Espousing “local” or “regional” human r...