Supreme court justice calls for total reform in judicial institutions

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Supreme Court Justice Gayus Lumbuun here urged authorities to conduct a general evaluation of judicial institutions and totally reform the system following Manado High Court Chief Judge Sudiwardonos arrest on charges of bribery, Sunday.

"In the past five years, the public has witnessed frequent arrests of high-ranking officials, judges, and clerks on graft charges; hence, a total reform in the judicial institutions remains important in order to restore the peoples trust in the countrys legal system," he noted in Jakarta, Wednesday.

During a press conference on the Supreme Courts accountability, hosted by the Association of Deans of Indonesian Law Schools, Lumbuun explained that the judges and other law enforcement officers play a crucial role as "guardians" of the countrys legal system.

"The authorities should immediately conduct a thorough evaluation, from the District Court, High Court, to the Supreme Court, and during the process, the existing chiefs need to temporarily step down, as we need to ensure that the ones overseeing the courts have cleared the strict evaluation and selection process," he explained.

The Supreme Court justice also said the authority should consider the roles of the Judicial Commission, academics, and other civil organizations before evaluating the countrys legal institutions.

Meanwhile, Faisal Santiago, a board member of APPTHI who also serves as a dean at the Law School in Borobudur University, said the evaluation process of the countrys judicial system should be performed jointly by not only the Supreme Court but also with other independent institutions, such as academics.

"The problem now is that we have seen dozens of judges who were caught red-handed by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), when in fact, these suspects have been well-paid. For instance, a Supreme Court justice earns about Rp70 million per month," Faisal noted.

He further explained that the judges may still be tempted to violate the law since they need the money to maintain a glamorous and expensive lifestyle.

"The president (Joko Widodo) has warned civil servants, including judges, that if they want to be more prosperous, they should just resign and run a business," he reiterated.

During the press conference, Lumbuun also said he had already discussed the plan on reforming the judicial institutions with President Joko Widodo.

"However, the president said, he will discuss the plan with the House of Representatives," Lumbuun stated while adding that he will put forth his suggestion of a thorough evaluation of the countrys judicial institutions during the Supreme Courts plenary meeting to be held on Nov 18 in Bandung.

Source: ANTARA News

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