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Speech by the Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the EU Delegation to Indonesia, Mr Charles-Michel Geurts
at the Media Workshop
Judiciary Reforms and the Role of the Press in Supporting a Transparent and Accountable Judiciary
Jakarta, 16 July 2018
Your Excellency Bapak Muhammad Hatta Ali, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia,
Bapak Yosep Adi Prasetyo, Chairman of the Indonesian Press Council,
Mr Christophe Bahuet, UNDP Indonesia Country Director,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to be with you all today and to represent the European Union at the opening of the Media Workshop organised by the EU-UNDP SUSTAIN project, in collaboration with the Bureau of Law and Public Relations of the Supreme Court and the Indonesian Press Council.
The European Union embraces its long-standing cooperation with the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia which the SUSTAIN project fully illustrates.
This workshop aims to raise public awareness and understanding of the significance of reforms within the judiciary supported by SUSTAIN.
Indonesia is a democratic role model for the region and beyond, which the latest regional elections have once again shown. Elections are a key pillar of any democracy, whose strength depends also of other key pillars: an independent judiciary, free media and a vibrant civil society.I am very happy that today's workshop brings together the judiciary, media and civil society, as yet another token of Indonesia's democratic credentials
The Supreme Court is central in strengthening the citizens trust and confidence in their judiciary system. Ensuring that there is no impunity for conflict of interests and corruption is a daily challenge. One should not fear that developments in recent months, notably the number of corruption cases brought to light, affect the credibility of the judiciary and overall governance. On the contrary they can be seen as evident sign of the improved State’s controls, as well as the commitment of the Supreme Court to even more transparent and improved integrity. With UNDP, the EU is happy that our joint project SUSTAIN can effectively support the Supreme Court's efforts to improve transparency, accountability and integrity of the judiciary.
With the launching of the Supreme Court’s Whistleblowing System (SIWAS) in September 2016, the Supreme Court improved its internal oversight mechanism and at the same time improving its responsiveness towards public complaints and grievances.
SIWAS is a strategic step taken by the Supreme Court to gain public trust and confidence, as also noted as one of the Seven Areas of Court Excellence in the International Framework for Court Excellence. International experience, in particular in Europe, shows how public trust and confidence is essential for the courts to effectively implement their mandate. Public trust enhance voluntary compliance with court decisions, strengthen the respect for the rule of law and increase public support for the allocation of adequate public funding that the different courts need around Indonesia.
SIWAS opens and facilitates public access for any grievance or unfair treatment they feel when seeking justice in the court. The system also allows the court to respond to such complaints in a more accountable and transparent manner.
Our other joint activities have produced satisfactory results, in particular the trainings organised all around Indonesia, from Manado and Jayapura to Banda Aceh and Medan; improvement of the internal oversight mechanism; development of action plan to implement the Supreme Court’s Human Resource Management Roadmap; facilitated the Supreme Court to further integrate Case Tracking System (SIPP) developed by SUSTAIN in first instance and appellate courts with Case Administration Information System (SIAP) at cassation level and Verdict Directory.
We are delighted through the project to share European experiences. In October 2016, SUSTAIN facilitated a study visit by the Supreme Court leadership to Belgium (incl. EU headquarters), France, Germany, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. The visit allowed the Supreme Court to connect with its European Courts counterparts and discuss the fundamental concept of government dispute settlement and the oversight system of the Administrative Court Judges, to study the Tax and Administrative management systems, and to directly observe e-court implementation and how it can support greater transparency, integrity and accountability.
Based on these achievements, I am confident that SUSTAIN is on the right track to deliver its many other activities to support the Supreme Court's reform agenda.
We welcome you, journalists and editors-in-chief, today to discuss the results and initiatives of SUSTAIN project in supporting the Supreme Court to achieve its Blueprints for Reform to the benefit of Indonesian citizens, in particular the most vulnerable of them.
Let me add a word of congratulation and gratitude to all the partners in the SUSTAIN project: the Secretary of the Supreme Court (Justice Achmad Setyo Pudjoharsoyo, Deputy Chief Justice of Chamber for Development (Justice Prof. Takdir Rahmadi), Head of the Planning and Organisation Bureau of the Supreme Court and Project Director of EU-UNDP SUSTAIN (Mr Joko Upoyo), the SUSTAIN expert team led by Mr Gilles Blanchi, BAPPENAS, UNDP (Mr Christophe Bahuet) and the EU Delegation (Ms Novianty Manurung).
I wish you a successful workshop!
About the project:
Support to the Justice Sector Reform in Indonesia (SUSTAIN)
SUSTAIN, a ten million euro project, was launched in July 2014 and will complete activities in July 2019. It aims to support the Government of Indonesia in strengthening the rule of law and consequently enhance public trust in the judicial system by increasing the transparency, integrity and accountability of the judiciary and the quality of justice service delivery to the people. The main beneficiary of the action is the Supreme Court. Targeted support is also provided to specialised courts like Anti-Corruption, Tax, Administrative, Juvenile, and Fishery, as well as the Judicial Commission. The project is implemented by UNDP with a National Project Director from the Supreme Court to oversee and provide appropriate guidance to the project implementation team.