Monday, May 4, 2015

A plea for military court reform in Indonesia

The Jakarta Post just circulated this piece about reform of the military justice system. More is needed than consolidating the separate services' military police. Excerpt:
[S]ince its inception in 1999, military reform has barely changed the military’s justice system. A plan to revise the 1997 Military Court Law has stalled because of a lack of support from both the executive and legislative branches of power. The only progress the country has made so far is amalgamating the previously exclusive military tribunal into the national judiciary system under the Supreme Court, although for technical matters the military will not entrust civilian judges with hearing cases involving soldiers.
[Indonesian military commander General] Moeldoko has openly rejected the idea of revising the existing law on military courts, saying the old legislation ensures the military is not above the law. When installing Maj. Gen. Maliki Mift as commander of the TNI military police yesterday, Moeldoko expressed hope the new institution would enhance the military’s discipline through the enforcement of the law.
With all due respect, however, the military court needs credibility. The revision of the Military Court Law, which is stipulated in People’s Consultative Assembly Decree No. VI/2000, Decree No. VII/2000 and Law No. 34/2004 on the TNI, aims to promote military transparency and accountability. The revision was also part of the platform of then presidential candidate pairing Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Jusuf Kalla.

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