About the Speaker
Dr A’an Suryana, Visiting Fellow, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
About the Webinar
According to Transparency International, Indonesia has been less corrupt since the 1998 reforms. However, the practice of “state capture” – i.e. illicit provision of private gains, usually in the form of bribery, to public officials from firms or private individuals to influence the formation and the implementation of the rule of law – remains a cause for concern in the country. Recent separate arrests against a group of people – a businessman, a lawyer, and several law enforcers (two police generals and a prosecutor) who were allegedly seeking to flout a Supreme Court ruling – reminds people that this practice is still rampant. These people were arrested for their various roles in an alleged conspiracy to influence the Supreme Court to revoke its earlier verdict that sentenced Djoko Tjandra, a high-profile and politically-wired international businessman, to two years jail for a corruption case. These arrests are just the tip of the iceberg of the “state capture” practice in the Indonesian judicial system. A survey by a reputable national pollster in 2018 found that the judiciary, along with the National Police and bureaucracy, is one of the most corrupt state institutions. In late August this year, the Supreme Court became the target of public criticism after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) found that the justices at this institution fully or partially approved case reviews filed by 22 graft convicts between 2019 and 2020 so that the latter received lighter sentences. Why does “state capture” practices remain rampant in the Indonesian judicial system? This presentation examines “state capture” practices in the Indonesian judicial system in the post-reform era. It argues that judicial corruption triggered by “state capture” remains rampant due to, among other things, lack of institutional oversight.