In this first of our two-part episode, we discuss the Indonesian Constitutional Court’s (Mahkamah Konstitusi, or MK) recent decision to hear arguments for a “judicial review” of the country’s Criminal Code (Kitab Undang-Undang Hukum Pidana, or KUHP) in order to add new laws that will criminalize pre-marital sex (as adultery) and LGBT relationships. The review was brought forth by several Islamic pro-family groups, the most prominent of which is AILA Indonesia, or Aliansi Cinta Keluarga (Family Love Alliance).
We invite Pramudya Oktavinanda, a corporate lawyer in Indonesia and a friend of Dialogika, to talk about the powers of the Constitutional Court — in particular, this new power they’ve given themselves to make what’s called a “conditionally constitutional” decision on certain rulings. We also talk about how the court is entering the dangerous territory of becoming a “positive” legislator, as opposed to its traditional “negative” legislator position, thereby entering the territory of legislating bodies such as the House of Representatives (DPR) and the President — even though the court has no power to actually write laws. Finally, we discuss why the court is hearing arguments based on vague claims of constitutional rights violations — does this mean we should take every single petty complaint we have to our fellow citizens to the Constitutional Court? What will that mean for Indonesian democracy?
Tune into our next episode in two weeks’ time to catch the second part, where we continue our conversation with Pram, discussing not only Indonesian democracy but also Islamic law and its relationship to our country’s legal landscape.
Thanks for listening!