The Constitutional Court and ‘Islamic’ Judges in Indonesia
11 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 7, 2016
This article examines the personal backgrounds of the Constitutional Court judges from 2003 to 2015, particularly their Islamic affiliations. It asks: to what extent have such ‘Islamic’ backgrounds and connections influenced their decisions? Is it true that judges who have strong connections with Islam may act as defenders of Shari’a, and not as guardians of the Constitution? The article offers critical observations regarding the impact of ‘Islamic’ judges on the issue of the relationship between Shari’a and the Constitution in Indonesia. It argues that a judge’s (publicly perceived) personal (Muslim) beliefs and their expertise in Shari'a law can, in fact, make him or her a better advocate for maintaining the Constitution. This can be seen as a clear indication of the compatibility of Islamic law and the Constitution in Indonesia.
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