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Southeast Asian Legal Research Guide: Treaties

Finding Treaties in English

The Treaty Database on the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website is available in English. It includes over 2500 mostly bilateral and ASEAN treaties and other agreements. The full text of the treaties are available as PDFs. They are in Indonesian, English and the languages of the concluding parties to the agreement. The database has a good search engine and an interactive map. Treaties can be searched by country, subject, status, type and date.

For multilateral treaties, the best place to find these is the UN Treaty Series Online - this contains all treaties deposited with the United Nations. You can search for a treaty, or see all Indonesian treaties by selecting 'Participant' from the top menu, then selecting 'Indonesia' from the dropdown 'Filter' menu. Another participant can be added.

The treaties can be sorted by title, conclusion date, date of entry into force, and type (bilateral or multilateral).

Click on the 'See Details'; link of a treaty to see full treaty information, including the UNTS volume, if there is one.

On the details page, click the 'Text Document' or 'Volume in PDF' link to link to the full text official treaty.

Treaties and their Effect on Domestic Law

Indonesian laws, including the Constitution, are silent on the status of international law within the Indonesian legal system. Laws covering treaties are silent on their incorporation into domestic law, focussing almost entirely on the processes of entering into and negotiating treaties.

Article 11 of the Constitution states:

  1. The President, with the approval of the National Parliament, declares war and peace and creates agreements with other nations.
  2. When creating international agreements that give rise to consequences that are broad and fundamental to the life of the people, create financial burdens for the State and/or require amendments to legislation or the enactment of new legislation, the President must obtain the agreement of the National Parliament.
  3. Further provisions on international agreements are to be regulated by statute. 

Indonesia’s 2000 Law on International Agreements determines who can negotiate and sign treaties on Indonesia’s behalf, and how treaties are ratified under Indonesian law. 

According to Associate Professor Simon Butt, 'Indonesian law is silent on the position of international law, whether treaty or custom, in Indonesia’s legal system. This has led to a significant unresolved legal debate about whether Indonesia follows monism or dualism. This Article argues that, while Indonesia appears to be dualist in practice, there is some evidence of monism, particularly in the decisions of Indonesia’s Constitutional and Supreme Courts. Regardless, the uncertainty has allowed the Indonesian government to, on the one hand, leave the international community to believe that ratified treaties have automatic application, but on the other hand, to refuse to grant any rights to citizens that those international treaties seek to provide, claiming that treaties have no domestic application until incorporated by an Indonesian legal instrument'.

Source: Simon Butt, 'The Position of International Law Within the Indonesian Legal System' (2014) 28(1) Emory International Law Review 1-28, 1 (open access). This article provides a detailed scholarly discussion of the incorporation of both treaties and international custom into Indonesian domestic law.

See also the following open access articles: 

Human Rights Treaties Adherence

Of the nine major human rights conventions, Indonesia has ratified six: ICERD, ICCPR, ICESCR, CEDAW, CAT and CRC. 

The Rule of Law in Armed Conflict (RULAC) Project website includes information on the international human rights and humanitarian treaties and regional treaties to which Indonesia is a party. This information includes relevant reservations, derogations and declarations. The website notes that 'Indonesia is party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions but not to any of the Optional Protocols. It has adhered to the major instruments of human rights law but not yet to their optional protocols or verification mechanisms. It has not adhered to the Genocide or Slavery Conventions or the Statute of the International Criminal Court. It has also not ratified the major instruments of international refugee law'.

Please note that this website, whilst very useful, is somewhat dated and no longer updated. To check the current status of all human rights and related treaties to which Indonesia is a party, use the official UN Treaties Series Online website (see box to the left for details).