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Surat Sakti: The Decline of the Authority of Judicial Decisions in Indonesia

INDONESIA: LAW AND SOCIETY, T. Lindsey, ed., Federation Press, 2008

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/35

2 Pages Posted: 8 May 2009 Last revised: 11 May 2009

Simon Butt

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: May 7, 2009

Abstract

It is often difficult, if not impossible, to have judicial decisions enforced in Indonesia. This article discusses the legal loopholes within Indonesian law, used by some parties to avoid complying with a judicial decision unfavourable to them. In particular, surat sakti (magic memos) - letters issued by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court declaring to a lower court that a particular judicial decision cannot be enforced - are discussed using several case studies. It is argued that these memos are probably illegal and motivated by corruption, and that they seriously undermine the rule of law.

Keywords: Indonesia, judiciary, judicial corruption, law reform

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K40

Suggested Citation

Butt, Simon, Surat Sakti: The Decline of the Authority of Judicial Decisions in Indonesia (May 7, 2009). INDONESIA: LAW AND SOCIETY, T. Lindsey, ed., Federation Press, 2008; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1401127

Simon Butt (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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