Melissa Crouch (edited volume, Cambridge University Press)
In this volume, experts on Indonesian law and courts reflect on the growth and changes in the role and function of courts in Indonesia. Indonesia’s judiciary is a critical part of its democratic system. Since the transition from authoritarian rule in 1998, a range of new specialized courts have been established, from the Commercial Court to the Constitutional Court and the Fisheries Court. In addition, constitutional and legal changes have affirmed the principle of judicial independence and accountability. A raft of judicial reform programs have been pursued to address various issues within the judicial system, not the least of these being corruption. The growth of Indonesia’s economy, combined with the size as the fourth most populous country in the world, means that the courts are facing greater pressure to resolve an increasing number of disputes – from contracts to property disputes, criminal matters, or family law. The aim of this volume is to offer in-depth reflections on the role of the courts and legal reform in Indonesia. The chapters acknowledge that late Professor Dan S Lev was a leading scholar of the politics of courts in Indonesia. The chapters share a common concern by reconsidering the relevance of Lev’s work in light of the changes to the judiciary in Indonesia. Not least of these is the question of whether Lev’s reflections on legal culture, and particularly his concerns about the increase of corruption and the decline in professionalism, remain true today and to what extent legal reforms have addressed these concerns. This volume will be of interest to scholars of law, political science, law and development, Asian Studies, the politics of courts, and law and society.
“This volume is a major forward contribution to and commentary on the pioneering work of Dan Lev on the law, courts and Politics of Indonesia–an ideal path for bring comparativists up to date.” Professor Martin Shapiro, University of California Berkeley
“Unprecedented in scope and depth, The Politics of Courts in Indonesia is a milestone in scholarly analysis of the third branch of government in Indonesia. Focusing on the array of specialist courts that have proliferated in the country over the last twenty years, it casts a critical eye on numerous aspects of the functioning – and, often, dysfunction – of the Indonesian judiciary. The contributors make a signal contribution to our understanding of the achievements and shortcomings of judicial reform, and of the place of courts in Indonesian society writ large.”Professor Edward Aspinall, Australian National University
“This volume presents a remarkable series of critical analyses of Indonesian constitutionalism, politics, and legal practice over the two decades since the fall of Suharto’s New Order – through critical re-engagements with socio-legal approaches to more than a dozen distinct court systems in the country. It is thus both an impressive tribute to the legacy of Dan Lev, and an important original contribution to Asian legal studies in its own right.”Professor R. Michael Feener, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies