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Jakarta Post

KY wants House to present clear guidelines in selection of justices

  • Ina Parlina

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 24, 2017   /  03:15 pm
KY wants House to present clear guidelines in selection of justices All set -- Lawmakers attend a plenary meeting at the House of Representatives complex in Senayan, Central Jakarta, on Aug. 15, 2014. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The Judicial Commission (KY) is striving to fine-tune different mechanisms used by the commission and the House of Representatives in selecting Supreme Court justices.

Minimizing unnecessary meddling in the court, including in the selection of the court’s justices, has long been advocated by various stakeholders, especially after a bribery attempt, allegedly involving a judicial candidate and a House member, made headlines in late 2013.

“The KY and the House have been using different mechanisms. The commission focuses on the merit system while the House, as a political entity, has its own mechanism,” KY chairman Aidul Fitriciada Azhari said on Tuesday.

“We want to synchronize the mechanism,” he added.

Hopes for establishing a better recruitment system ran high in 2014 when activists secured a victory in a judicial review case at the Constitutional Court. The ruling stripped the House of its authority to choose one in every three candidates proposed by the KY.

Following the 2014 ruling, legislators are now only able to approve or reject candidates short-listed by the KY.

Uncertainty now reigns due to the absence of clear guidelines on the selection mechanism, illustrated by the fact that the KY and legislators impose different selection standards.

Just one month after the 2014 ruling, the House rejected three candidates proposed by KY for unclear reasons.

Aidul said the KY’s external oversight should work to design guidelines for assessing the skills of candidates.

This year, the KY will propose six justices to replace six sitting justices who are coming to the end of their tenure. (ebf)