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Southeast Asian Legal Research Guide: Case Law

Supreme Court Database - Decisions in Indonesian only

Constitutional Court Judgments in English

The Constitutional Court was established on November 9, 2001 as a consequence of the Third Amendment to the Constitution. Its decisions cannot be appealed - they are final and binding. Article 24C of the Constitution states that the powers of the Constitutional Court are to review laws for constitutionality, to resolve disputes between state institutions, to resolve dissolution of political parties, to resolve disputes over election results, and to rule on the president’s impeachment. Law No 24 of 2003 on the Constitutional Court describes the structure, powers and functions of the Court. Article 10 of Law No 24 outlines the authority/jurisdiction of the Court. 

For detailed commentary on the Court, see the following 2011 open access article by Moh. Mahfud, the Chief Justice of the the Constitutional Court - 'Separation of Powers and Independence of Constitutional Court in Indonesia'.  

See also the following open articles articles on SSRN:

The Constitutional Court

Indonesian Courts

The Supreme Court and Constitutional Court are at the apex of the judicial system. There are four different court systems below the Supreme Court: courts of general civil and criminal jurisdiction, religious courts, state administrative courts, and military courts. 

Publication of Cases

As Indonesia is a civil law country, cases are not considered to be a source of law. Cases have no precedential value so courts are not bound by decisions of other courts at the same level or higher. There is thus little need for law reporting in Indonesia.

Statements as to preferred interpretation or policy are issued by the Supreme Court in the form of surat edaran (circular letters), and these tend to be more influential than previous decisions, even of the Supreme Court.

However, in recent years the Supreme Court has developed an online case tracking system (Sistem Informasi Penelusuran Perkara). District and High courts, the Supreme Court and religious courts must make their decisions available online. These decisions are in Indonesian only, apart from Constitutional Court decisions, which are also in English.

For more information, see  Indonesian Trial Process and Legal System: Background Notes by Tim Lindsey

District and High Court Databases

Full judgments from district and high courts are available through the Supreme Court database. But you can track the progress of a particular case by going directly to the website of the individual courts. The easiest way to navigate to the court's website is to google the court name. For example: Pengadilan Negeri Surabaya SIPP ( Surabaya District Court). Information is only in Indonesian, but basic information such as case numbers, party names and trial schedules can easily be identified, and some of the links and headings on the pages can be translated to English.