Opening Speech by H.E. Mr Vincent Guérend, EU Ambassador to Indonesia at the Launch of the Whistleblowing System of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia
Jakarta, 29 September 2016
Your Excellency Bapak Muhammad Hatta Ali, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia,
Your Excellency Bapak Suwardi, Deputy Chief Justice for Non-Judicial Affairs
Mr Christope Bahuet, UNDP Country Director,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The European Union (EU) embraces its long-standing cooperation with the Supreme Court of Indonesia which the SUSTAIN Project fully illustrates. After the successful inauguration of the project office provided by the Supreme Court in its own building on 24 November 2015, this event is my second public event with the Honourable Chief Justice and it demonstrates that this cooperation really matters; I can even say today that it starts bearing fruits.
The EU trust and confidence from the general public; to really increase the trust the Indonesian citizens have in the judiciary system. Some unfortunate developments that have affected some individuals over the last months are somehow affecting the creditability of the judiciary; at the same time this can be seen as evident sign of the improved State’s controls, as well as the commitment of the Supreme Court to even more transparency and improved integrity as well as demonstration of the true concern the general public has for its judiciary system. This also marks the importance of our joint project (SUSTAIN) mission –if I may recall them: to improve transparency, accountability and integrity of the judiciary.
In our first encounter, Your Excellency Chief Justice said that the Supreme Court was trying to improve its internal oversight mechanism and at the same time improving its responsiveness towards public complaints and grievances. I believe the launching of the Supreme Court’s Whistleblowing System today is a landmark evidence of such pledge.
The Whistleblowing System is a very important and strategic step taken by the Supreme Court to regain public trust and confidence, as also noted as one of the Seven Areas of Court Excellence in the International Framework for Court Excellence. I truly believe that, based on practice in European countries, public trust and confidence is essential for the courts to keep on doing their critical effective mandate. A higher level of public trust shall enhance voluntary compliance with court decisions, strengthen the respect for the rule of law and increase support such as allocation of additional resources the different courts need around Indonesia.
The Whistleblowing System opens and facilitates public access for any grievance or unfair treatment they feel when seeking justice in the court. This system will also allow the court to respond to such complaints in a more accountable and transparent manner. When connected to other source of information, this system should become very powerful and effective to keep the court accountable and transparent at the same time. I am confident that integrity will therefore systematically and subsequently follow. The initiative of the Supreme Court launched today is impressive so please allow me to express my satisfaction for this achievement but also our pride for being associated to it.
As reported, this system will be integrated in the Supreme Court Information System (SIMARI) with other court management systems such as human resources, training and case management, all of which are also receiving EU support through SUSTAIN. We have observed SIMARI Monitoring Information System developments for quite some time, but to witness it becoming operational is excellent. This is wonderful news, we will be happy to hear about the monitoring of the functioning of the system and hope the result could be a legacy of our joint cooperation between the Supreme Court and UNDP.
Certainly, the SUSTAIN programme still has many activities to implement to support the Supreme Court reform agenda. However, I must say from this point onward, I am confident that we are on the right track. Our other joint activities have produced satisfactory results, and particularly when support or trainings are organized all around Indonesia, from Merauke and Jayapura to Banda Aceh and Medan!
Again I am confident that this launch is a major step in the right direction of the Indonesian judiciary towards integrity and accountability. The European people are looking forward to hearing more success stories such as SIWAS (Supervisory Information System) on the achievement of your goals in the Judiciary Reform Blueprints.
We as Europeans are delighted to continue sharing our experience and knowledge in accordance to your needs. In this context, I understand the Supreme Court will send delegation to visit European Courts in the following days, you can be assured that we welcome such visit and are most confident that your representatives will have a most fruitful trip and experience in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg and the Netherlands; through partnerships established with those European courts.
Again let me congratulate you, the entire Supreme Court, the SUSTAIN Project team, and my UNDP colleague for this achievement and stress how much we look forward for other success stories from our cooperation. To the benefit of Indonesian citizens, in particular the most vulnerable of them.