Chief Justice Anwar Usman, Deputy Chief Justice Aswanto, and Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat attended the Extraordinary Meeting of the Bureau of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 virtually from the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia. The limited meeting was the 18th for the bureau. Its agenda was to discuss the suspension of Russia and Belarus from the WCCJ.
At the meeting, Constitutional Justice Arief Hidayat stated that as a judicial institution that serves to guard democracy and promoting human rights, all constitutional courts share duty to create global harmony by upholding universal values and equality before the law.
“It is important to note that Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus are Indonesia’s close allies and we hope to maintain the good relationship in the future. Hence, we believe that peace is the best course. … Of course it demands the participation of all parties to materialize it by promoting the spirit of togetherness and support for each other,” he added.
Justice Arief also said that, as the host of the 5th Congress of the WCCJ, Indonesia maintained its commitment to invite all members of the WCCJ without exception. He expressed hope that all members could actively participate and contribute in promoting international justice and peace, the main theme of the upcoming congress.
“To us, the WCCJ is a forum that prioritizes constructive dialog. Thus, at the next meeting on October 4, 2022, the WCCJ Bureau may invite members that have differing views and facilitate a dialogue between them, the results of which will hopefully be a source of input/recommendations to the government of each of the member states,” Justice Arief stressed.
He also stated that the draft of resolution proposed by the Constitutional Court of Italy was sufficient to reflect the WCCJ’s stance. In this case, the WCCJ should focus on humanitarian issues and promoting transparency in discussing issues related to the duties and authorities of the constitutional court without any deep involvement in political aspects.
During the voting, Justice Arief emphasized Indonesia’s abstention and requested that it be recorded in the minute of the meeting. He also expressed Indonesia’s support for the draft resolution proposed by the Constitutional Court of Italy and the hope that members of the bureau would support it as well.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Chinbat Namjil as president of the AACC (The Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions) who represented the AACC at the WCCJ bureau meeting also abstained on the vote on the suspension of Russia and Belarus from the WCCJ.
Chief Justice Anwar Usman expressed Indonesia’s readiness to host the upcoming congress of the WCCJ. “The COVID-19 situation in Indonesia has improved and Indonesia is ready to host the WCCJ Congress offline,” he stressed.
At the 17th meeting of the bureau on March 18, 2022, the suspension of Russia’ and Belarus’ membership was postponed until the extraordinary meeting on June 7. The meeting was driven by the rising political situation between Russia and Ukraine. The WCCJ bureau had requested that all of its members express their stance on the issue.