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Litigation Processes

Criminal Matters


Criminal justice system commences with inquiry and investigation process. According to article 6 par (1) Criminal Procedural Law investigator shall be the investigator from the Police Force and certain civil servant official provided with special authority by the Law. In addition to that, for criminal act of corruption, according to article 6 letter c Act Number 30 Year 2002, the Anti Corruption Commission shall have the authority to conduct inquiry, investigation and prosecution over corruption offences and further article 30 par (1) letter d mention that one of the authority of the prosecutor general is to conduct investigation over certain offences according to the laws.

Offences under the Indonesian legal system shall consist of general offences and special offences. General Offences is offences regulated under Criminal Code, such as murder (art 338), theft (art 362), fraud (art 378) whereas special offences are offences regulated in specific laws such as Criminal Act of Corruption (Act Number 31 Year 1999 jo Act Number 20 Year 2001) Criminal Act of Money Laundering (Act Number 8 Year 2010) Criminal Act of Human Trafficking (Act Number 21 Year 2007).


Prosecution according to Article 1 Number 7 Criminal Code shall be the action taken by public prosecutor to file a criminal case to the court having jurisdiction over such matters in accordance with the applicable procedure with the request to the judge to review and decide upon the matter. If the public prosecutor is in the opinion that the result of investigation has been sufficient to prosecution, the prosecutor shall prepare indictment and file the case to the court. In the case where prosecutor is in the opinion that there is not sufficient evidence, or the event is not an offence, or the case must be closed on behalf of public order, the prosecutor may discontinue the prosecution by issuing the Order to Terminate the Prosecution.

Court Hearing

Court hearing is conducted by panel of judges consist of at least 3 (three) judges, except the laws determine the otherwise. Exceptions include hearing for juvenile cases, minor offences, expeditious procedures and pre-hearing procedures.

The hearing process is open for public except the laws determine the otherwise. Cases examined with closed procedure shall be offences committed by minor. According to Article 1 Number 3 Act Number 11 Year 2012 on Juvenile Court System, referred to as minor shall be child at the age of 12 but not exceeding 18 years old suspected to have commit crime.

The timeframe for court examination for criminal cases shall be based according to the following condition:

  1. If the defendant is under detention, the examination process shall take the consideration of the detention time. A judge can apply detention for 30 days. If the examination is not yet complete, the detention can be extended into 60 days. In the case where the defendant commit offences which subject to more than 9 years of imprisonment or the defendant is ill, the detention can be extended to maximum 30 days and can be extended further for 30 days.

  2. If the defendant is not in detention, the examination shall be conducted in accordance to the Supreme Court Circular Number 2 Year 2014 which is 5 months for court of first instance and 3 months for court of appeal.

Court agenda in a simple criminal case shall consist of the followings:

  1. Reading the Indictment

  2. Exception from the defendant

  3. Examination of evidences

  4. Reading the Requisitoir / prosecutor’s charges

  5. Reading the Pledoi / defences

  6. Reading the Decisions

The court decision shall be read in a public hearing, a typical criminal court decisions shall consist of:

  1. The decision to punish, a decisions imposed if the defendant has been proven to be guilty committing the offences mentioned by prosecutor, followings are type of the punishment:

    • Death penalty
    • Lifetime penalty
    • Jail penalty
    • Fine
    • confinement

  2. Acquittal, decision imposed if the defendant cannot be proven to commit the offences

  3. Release from the charges, if the defendant is proven to commit the act but such act is not offences.

Civil Matters

Both petition or claim under civil case shall be filed into the Court of First Instance in the general court jurisdiction. However, family cases for moslem citizen, which include divorce claim, inheritance, guardianship, shall falls under the jurisdiction of Religious Court, while same matters for non-moslem citizen shall falls under the jurisdiction of General Court.

Party can file the claim by themselves or having its own legal representation to the President of the Court of First Instance having the jurisdiction over the matter (article 118 HIR). The claim will only be registered if the plaintiff pay the court fees stipulated by the Registrar.

In general, Mediation is compulsory procedure before the hearing commences, as implementation of article 130 HIR/154 RBg. As compulsory procedure, failure to offer mediation prior the hearing shall render the court decision’s null and void.

According to Supreme Court Regulation Number 1 Year 2016 on Mediation, if the mediation succeeded, the court shall issue the deed of settlement which have equal power to a final and binding court decision, and failure to implement such deed, will allow the plaintiff to request court order from the President of the Court for execution.

If the mediation failed to reach settlement, the result of the mediation shall be recorded in the minutes of hearing, and the hearing will be continued. (Pasal 131 HIR/Pasal 155 RBg).

A summary civil dispute shall be handled by the procedure according to the Supreme Court Regulation Number 2 Year 2014 on Small Claim Court which allow the case to be settled not more than 25 days after filing, heard by single judge and appeal only possible to full panel at the same court. For ordinary civil dispute, the process is handled according to Supreme Court Circular Number 2 Year 2014 on the Settlement of Cases in the Court of First Instances and Appellate Court for Four Court Jurisdiction which stipulates that cases in the court of first instance should be finished by maximum 5 months and maximum 3 months for appellate court.

Generally, court hear cases in panel of three judges, except for petition cases, which usually heard by single judge. According to Small Claim Procedure, small claim cases shall be handled by single judge.

Appeal to the decision of the court of first instance can be made to appellate court, further appeal is available under Cassation to the Supreme Court. Special Review to the Supreme Court is possible under very limited reasons, i.e. after the decision was rendered, it is then known that the decision was based on fraud, deception from the defendant or based on the evidences which later decided by criminal judges as false or fabricated; after the decision was rendered, key evidences that may determine the outcome of the decision was found; the court decision grant matters that is not requested or decide more than requested by the prosecutor; in the case where some part of the requisitor has not been decided without any consideration; in the case where the same parties, on the same matters, on the same basis has receive inconsistent decision one to another; in the event where there are error of the judges or visible mistakes. (Article 67 Act Number 14 Year 1985 as amended by Act Number 5 Year 2004 on the Supreme Court)

Certain type of cases can be appealed directly to the Supreme Court without the need to go through the appellate court, for example in bankruptcy, Intellectual Property, Appeal Against the decision of the Consumer Protection Body, Appeal Against the Decision of Business Competition Commission, and Industrial Relation Dispute, which allow cases to be finalized in more expeditiously.

State Administrative Court

State Administrative Court is the forum for individual or private entity to sue an individual government’s decision which they consider to be on the contrary with their interest. All application shall be reviewed for its documentation before it enters the second stage, the dismissal process.

Dismissal Process in principle is a process to review whether the claim made by plaintiff meets the qualification as State Administrative claims. A dismissal procedure is conducted in summary manner in a deliberation meeting by the President of the Court or appointed judge as rapporteur.

In the dismissal procedure, the President of State Administrative Court shall summon and hear the information from both parties, and whenever necessary, the President of State Administrative Court may decide in one Court Order with argument outlining whether the petition is accepted or should be rejected.

Several reasons that may be the basis for rejection of petition in a dismissal process, as follows:

  1. the core of the claim is clearly outside the jurisdiction of the State Administrative Court

  2. the claimant does not met the condition for filing the claim, as regulated in Article 56 State Administrative Court Law even though the court has reminded the claimant

  3. the claim was based on insufficient reasons

  4. the claim requested has actually been fulfilled by the administrative decision being complained

  5. the claim was filed before the time or exceed the time.

Appeal to the decision of the State Administrative Court is made to the Appellate Administrative Court and cassation to the Supreme Court. It also follows the general rules of special review regulated in the Supreme Court Law.

Small Claim Procedure

The Supreme Court Regulation Number 3 Year 2015 in Small Claim Procedure introduce new simplified procedure for resolving simple civil case with the value of claim not exceeding Rp. 200 million (approx. 15,000 USD). Under this procedure, the court must grant its decision no later than 25 days after the first hearing.

The process is simplified compared ordinary civil litigation and examined by single judge. The procedure requires that both parties must reside under the same court jurisdiction, and identity of both parties must be clear. The procedures allow the litigants to litigate without representation.

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