Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eradicating Corruption in Courts

By: Firdaus Arifin
Writer: Lecturer Constitutional Law Section and Secretary of Constitutional Studies Center Faculty of Law, University of Pasundan, Bandung, West Java, Indonesian.
Published by: The Daily Seputar Indonesia, 12 Februari 2007.

THE ideals and spirit of reform of the judiciary (judicial reform) is still in the stage of discourse. Having an independent judiciary and justice was still a dream even fantasized anggan (Utopia). If political and economic sector has begun addressing some of the changes though with the performance and results of the all minimal, but it is not the case with the legal and judicial sector, the reality is there now, it even seemed to move backwards (set back) to the rear. This is at least reflected in the survey report agency Transparency International Indonesia (TII) of the most corrupt state institutions, which was released in early December 2006.

TII mentioned in his report that the judiciary is one of the most corrupt state institutions in Indonesia with a 4.2 index. Surveys conducted by using a scale of 1-5 TII. The greater the index value, the more corrupt institutions. Conversely, if the index value of small institutions, the smaller is also the level of corruption in the public perception. And more worrying again, when compared with the index gained last year, the index of corruption in the judiciary this year it has increased. In fact, in a 1-5 scale, judicial corruption index suffered the biggest jump, from 3.8 to 4.2.

If hindsight, TII survey report above shows a very sad paradox. Proper judicial role and acts as a front guard in implementing improvements in the legal image of the public eye, it was even more into a den of corruption. Thus, today's judicial performance is at its extreme bottom. Various complaints from the public and justice seekers (justitiabelen) as though it was no longer able to control the media for these institutions, to further make significant improvements for the creation of an ideal judiciary and in accordance with community expectations.

When examined at least there are four factors that cause growing proliferation of corruption in the judiciary so far, namely, first, the existence of judicial mafia until this moment still lodged in the judiciary. Please note, mob justice is the greedy people who have been treated according to the law of business rules. They did not kill, but to manipulate the evil that is good and good becomes evil opposite. They turn the facts, the right becomes wrong and wrong becomes right the wrong that people should be punished (eg 20 years in prison) can freely roam or be sentenced to house arrest peculiar, while his opponent is right in the eyes of the law even punished with crouched behind bars. In addition, the mafia has turned judicial court functions as the ideal of seeking justice where justice becomes "market" in which case the transaction.

Second, the low quality, moral integrity, credibility and professionalism in working judges carry out their duties. This is all the impact of the error system of recruitment and management of Human Resources (HR). During the recruitment system of justice is not based on professionalism, not yet open (transparent), the requirements are not in accordance with the needs, education and inadequate training. Third, the intervention of the judiciary. Intervention of external parties to the judicial power / judiciary (in this case mainly by the power of other countries namely the executive and legislative) indication can be seen in a court decision that "weird", and usually occurs in cases involving a populist and state ( whether it is official, or state financial institutions allegedly involved corruption). Fourth, weak monitoring systems and the disciplining of judges. This is caused by the implementation of the walking control is not effective and is influenced by a sense of solidarity to defend colleagues (l'esprit de corps). With a sense of solidarity mechanisms resulted in punishment (punishment system) is not running as it should. Then the question is what steps and strategies that can be done to eradicate corruption in the judiciary?

The steps and strategies that can be done today, in eradicating corruption in the judiciary, namely, first, the existence of judicial mafia must be completely eradicated by creating regulations that give legal sanction threats as severe as for judges, police, and prosecutors who has memperjualbelikan case. And also many cases of mob justice, whether they are or what is going on, must be uncovered and the perpetrators must be investigated thoroughly. In addition, the cleaning of judicial mafia also requires the participation of relevant parties (stakeholders) and the community. Because as an element outside the court, the supervisory agency can be very effective for court performance. Second, the public eksaminansi activity against a court decision that had already begun running to be intensified as one of the efforts to fight rampant corruption paktik practices (judicial corruption) in the judiciary. Therefore, public access to the courts, the court products such as court decisions must be guaranteed and regulated in the legislation. Third, the need for reform and held redesigned recruitment mechanism for nominees who have so far. Because the judges are professional, good quality and integrity of the mechanism just born and recruitment patterns that put forward the principles of transparency, accountability, participation and objectivity. Is not Odette Buitendam (former Dutch justice minister) once said that good judges are not born but made. Fourth, improve the supervision mechanism of the judge. Supervision of a judge should be done in an integrated manner, ie with the institutional approach (institutional approach) and the systems approach (systems approach). In addition, the future need to revive an external monitoring mechanism through an independent institution. As we have seen earlier, there has been an external oversight agency, independent of the judiciary, the Judicial Commission (KY). But now the post-discharge 005/PUU-IV/2006 Tax Court decision that canceled all judges by the supervisory authority KY, thus practically no longer an external agency which oversees the judiciary. Fifth, improve the welfare of judges in Indonesia. With the increase in welfare judge can at least minimize the potential for judges to seek additional money by selling things.

Finally, we hope that reform of the judiciary must be quickly resolved. Because of the judiciary as the last bastion of justice (the last bastions of justice) has a very strategic role in improving and profanity arrange face legal and law enforcement in this country. If not, the ideals to become law as commander (the rule of law) in national and state life, like a dream in broad daylight.

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