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Constitution and human rights provisions in Indonesia: an unfinished task in the transtitional process

CollectionsConstitutions and Human Rights in a Global Age Symposium : An Asia-Pacific Perspective (2001)
Title: Constitution and human rights provisions in Indonesia: an unfinished task in the transtitional process
Author(s): Susanti, Bivitri
Keywords: Constitution
political system
constitutional reform
human rights
civil society movement
Date published: 2001
Publisher: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Division of Pacific and Asia History, The Australian National University.
Indonesia is now facing the important moment of constructing a new foundation in a transitional period. After the fall of the New Order regime, there have been efforts in bringing Indonesia through the period of transition to democracy. One of the efforts is to reform the 1945 Constitution. Until now, the Peoples Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat, MPR) has promulgated three amendments consisting of 103 new/amended provisions. From the fact that there are three amendments, one may form the opinion that the reform started in 1998 has been going well in terms of constitutional reform. There are, however, certain issues beyond the quantity of the articles and the legality of the process. Can the amended articles meet the need of democratisation? What are the implications of the inserted new articles to human rights and the political system? Has civil society genuinely participated in the process? Having reviewed the way in which the MPR performed the process, does the MPR have full legitimacy to reform the constitution? I will address the issues while referring to human rights provisions in the constitution. In addition, because I am here in my capacity as an NGO personnel who has been involved closely with the civil society movement advocating a New Constitution through Constitution Commission, I will also particularly elaborate that issue in outlining the present state of constitutional debate in Indonesia. It is that capacity too, that places me in the position of merely describing what is happening in Indonesia, and not analysing it from the theoretical point of view.
ISBN: 909524262


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