Supreme Court to Review Its Own Regulation. Civil Society has filed judicial review petition on the Supreme Court Circular Letter on the Limitation of Case Review Application Submission at the Supreme Court

The Coalition Against Death Penalty (Koalisi Anti Hukuman Mati) consisted of ICJR, Elsam, Imparsial, HRWG, LBH Masyarakat, Setara institute, and Ikohi perceived that the Supreme Court Circular Letter No. 7 of 2014 on the Limitation of Case Review Application Submission has obstructed convicts and their heirs to access justice.

Friday, 17 April 2015, The Coalition Against Death Penalty: Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR), Elsam, Imparsial, HRWG, LBH Masyarakat, Ikohi and Setara Institute have lodged judicial review petitions on the Supreme Court Circular Letter No. 7 of 2014 on the Limitation of Case Review Application Submission on Criminal Case (Circular Letter 7/2014) to the Supreme Court. In essence, the Circular Letter stipulates that the case review application for criminal case on the ground of new discovered evidence can only be submitted once by the convicts or their heirs. The judicial review petition is submitted as the respond to the Supreme Court’s denial in revoking the Circular Letter 7/2014.

ICJR, Elsam, Imparsial, HRWG, LBH Masyarakat, Ikohi and Setara Institute perceived that the Circular Letter 7/2014 is in contradiction with 1945 Constitution, several laws such as Law No. 12 of 2011 on the Establishment of Laws and Regulations, Law No. 39 of 1999 on Human Rights, Law No. 48 of 2009 on Judicial Power, as well as Constitutional Court Decision No. 34/PUU-XI/2013 that declared Article 268 (3) of the Criminal Procedural Law, that stated the case review application can only be submitted one time is null and void. In the petition, ICJR, Elsam, Imparsial, HRWG, LBH Masyarakat and Setara Institute demands the Supreme Court to annul the Circular Letter 7/2014 and honor the Constitutional Court’s decision.

ICJR noted that the case review is one of the solutions to prevent miscarriage of justice that is frequently occurred in Indonesia. Therefore, when the Supreme Court limit number of case review application that can be submitted by the convicts, the Supreme Court is actually deprived the rights of individual to access justice.

The judicial review petition is also severed to remind the Chief of Supreme Court that judges are responsible to find material justice in criminal cases, and should not be bound by administrative requirement, such as limitation on the case review application submission. By issuing the Circular Letter 7/2014, the Chief of Supreme Court has created legal uncertainty as at the same time the Constitutional Court has declared that the case review application can be submitted more than one time. The act of Chief of Supreme Court in limiting the case review application is contradicted with the prevailing laws and legal principles.

In the consideration part of the Circular Letter 7/2014, Chief of Supreme Court expressly stated that the limitation of case review application submission aims to preserve legal certainty, especially on the execution of the court decision. This rationale is groundless as the Criminal Procedural Law (KUHAP) asserted that the submission of case review application does not postpone the execution of the court decision. Even if the court decision has been executed, convict’s heir is still able to submit case review petition on behalf of the convicts. Hence, the rational that case review application would postpone the execution is not based on prevailing laws and regulations.

Further, ICJR,  Elsam, Imparsial, HRWG, LBH Masyarakat, Ikohi and Setara Institute also believed that the Circular Letter 7/2014 is in contradiction with formality requirement of regulation. In essence, circular letter is an administrative instrument that is only applicable internally in the Supreme Court. The Circular Letter 7/2014, however, concerning every people in Indonesia and limit the human right of individual to access fair trial after the Constitutional Court Decision No. 34/PUU-XI/2013.

Download summary of judicial review here

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