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Asia-Pacific ‘Illegitimate’ Children and Inheritance in Indonesia

Alternative Law Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 196-198, 2012

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/63

4 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2012  

Simon Butt

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: September 6, 2012

Abstract

In February 2012 the Indonesian Constitutional Court invalidated Article 49(1) of Indonesia’s 1974 Marriage Law — an anachronistic provision under which countless women and children had suffered. The provision stipulated that a child born ’outside of a valid marriage’ had a civil legal relationship only with its mother and mother’s family. This meant that the child could only seek support and inheritance from its mother, and only its mother’s name would be listed on its birth certificate. It could not force its biological father to pay maintenance and was not entitled to inherit from him. If the father left or died, the mother and any children often faced significant social stigma and were left to fend for themselves. This was a significant problem in Indonesia, a developing country, where poverty or near-poverty affects many of its 240 million people. This article examines the Constitutional Court’s decision and considers its likely effect.

Keywords: Indonesia, marriage law, law, inheritance, child maintenance

JEL Classification: K10, K30

Suggested Citation

Butt, Simon, Asia-Pacific ‘Illegitimate’ Children and Inheritance in Indonesia (September 6, 2012). Alternative Law Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 196-198, 2012; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 12/63. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2142286

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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