INDONESIA: Constitutional Court Decision on the Review of the Omnibus Law Regulation: a decision that mocks the Constitution and the people

On November 25, 2021, the Constitutional Court in its judgment Number 91/PUU-XVIII/2020 stated in essence:

1. The Establishment of the Law Number 11 of 2020 concerning Job Creation is contrary to the 1945 Constitution and does not have conditionally binding legal force as long as it does not mean “no amendments have been made within two years since this decision was pronounced”;

2. Declaring Law Number 11 of 2020 concerning Job Creation as still valid until amendments are made to the establishment in accordance with the grace period as determined in this decision;

3. Ordering the legislators to make amendments within a maximum period of two years after this decision was pronounced and if within that time limit, no amendments were made, then Law Number 11 of 2020 concerning Job Creation becomes permanently unconstitutional;

4. To state that if within a period of two years, the legislators cannot complete the revision of Law Number 11 of 2020, then the law or articles or material content of the law which has been revoked or amended by Law Number 11 of 2020 concerning Job Creation is declared to be valid again;

5. Declare suspension of all strategic and broad impact actions and policies, and it is also not permissible to issue new implementing regulations related to Law Number 11 of 2020 concerning Job Creation.

Based on this decision, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) supports the Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) and 17 Indonesian Legal Aid Institutes (LBH), states:

a) From this decision, it is clear that the Government and the DPR have made a mistake, namely violating the Constitution and violating the principles of making laws, even though the decision is conditionally unconstitutional where the Government is given the opportunity to renew it. But the Constitutional Court’s decision illustrates a principal error;

b) From this Constitutional Court’s decision, the Government cannot first enact the Job Creation Law and stop all processes of making and implementing all of its derivative regulations. The Government has lost legitimacy in implementing the Job Creation Law (UU CK). In fact, currently, the Job Creation Law has been enacted along with all of its derivative Government regulations (PP). Therefore, it is important to immediately stop this Law and all PP derivatives in order to prevent victims from occurring in the community and the environment.

c) Demanding the Government to immediately stop national strategic projects that have robbed people of their rights and damaged the environment;

d) Long before the Constitutional Court declared that the Job Creation Law violated the Constitution, various community groups in many regions with various occupations and backgrounds had said that the Omnibus Law of the Job Creation Law violated the Constitution, but the Government did not budge. The Government and the DPR must be aware of mistakes, that there are fundamental mistakes in the formation of laws and not to repeat them, because this particular mistake is also made in the KPK Law, the Minerba Law, the Constitutional Court Law, and many other laws and regulations both in procedure and content;

e) On the other hand, the mistrust of the Constitutional Court has been answered. This verdict is a compromised decision. This decision states that the applications of Petitioners I and Petitioners II cannot be accepted, and only partially grants the applications of Petitioners III, IV, V, and VI. Despite stating that it is against the Constitution, the Constitutional Court gives a decision that hangs or does not dare to be straight and firm with the legal logic and the Constitutional Court Law. The Constitutional Court should have made a decision by stating “cancel” only, so as not to confuse and tolerate violations. This also creates conditions that are not easily met, and even creates legal uncertainty. In fact, 4 out of the 9 Judges stated that they were dissenting in the sense of arguing that the OLCK Law is in accordance with the Constitution. The Constitutional Court’s decision seems to confirm the civil society’s concerns about the Constitutional Court being subject to the Executive and they have now become evident.