In the fourth session of the International Short Course of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC), Constitutional Justice Enny Nurbaningsih delivered a presentation on “Maintaining Public Trust in the Constitutional Court” on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC), Bali.
She asserted that in order to maintain public trust in the judiciary, the Constitutional Court (MK) must carry out its duties by adhering to ethical standards as well as effective internal control and good judicial governance.
The establishment of the Constitutional Court in Indonesia, she revealed, was prompted by various reasons. In general, it began in 1998 with the political change from an authoritarian regime to a constitutional democracy. One of the developments resulting from the constitutional reform was the establishment of a constitutional court.
She went on to say that with its jurisdiction and authorities, the Constitutional Court essentially functions as the guardian of the Constitution, democracy, and the citizens’ constitutional rights. If a law suppresses and infringes on constitutional rights, at the request of the people, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia can play its role to protect, promote, and rehabilitate the citizens’ constitutional rights from such oppression.
“The Constitutional Court must build and maintain public trust through its core responsibility in resolving constitutional disputes. By adhering to the principle of procedural justice, it must improve public trust by treating every party, including the petitioners, state institutions, experts, witnesses, and other parties with dignity and respect,” she emphasized.
In addition, constitutional justices and their supporting staff must help improve and maintain public trust by creating an organizational culture that fosters integrity, transparency, and accountability in every process. Public trust in the judiciary is further enhanced through transparency of Court procedures, provision of public information on court proceedings and hearing schedules, ease of access to the Court, and access to public documents such as decisions, regulations, e-journals, and research reports.
In response to Justice Enny’s presentation, Anak Agung Dian Onita, a substitute registrar of the Constitutional Court, mentioned the importance of public access to justice, especially to the Constitutional Court. She said the Constitutional Court has built accessible and transparent systems. It has also designed special guidelines for the justices.
The International Short Course is an official event held annually by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia as the AACC’s Permanent Secretariat for Planning and Coordination. The short course, which was initiated in 2015, includes various topics on the work of constitutional courts and equivalent institutions, as well as the promotion of constitutional rights. The speakers of the short course are justices, former justices of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, academics, researchers, and law practitioners.
The participants of the short course are, among others, substitute registrar, rapporteur judges, researchers, legal staff of AACC members, and academics of Indonesian leading universities. The diverse backgrounds of the speakers and participants of the short course have encouraged fruitful discussions from different perspectives and sharing of experiences based on their respective expertise.