Indonesia's Constitutional Court scraps controversial immunity for lawmakers

Indonesia's Constitutional Court also scrapped a requirement for law enforcers to secure consent from the House's ethics council before launching an investigation into lawmakers.
Indonesia's Constitutional Court also scrapped a requirement for law enforcers to secure consent from the House's ethics council before launching an investigation into lawmakers. PHOTO: JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

JAKARTA  (JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Indonesia's Constitutional Court ruled unanimously on Thursday (June 28) to scrap a number of controversial articles in the 2018 Legislative Institutions (MD3) Law that were believed to have given House of Representatives lawmakers legal immunity from criminal investigation and public criticism.

In its ruling, the nine-justice panel annulled Article 122, which could have been used by the House to criminalise critics.

The bench also scrapped a requirement for law enforcers to secure consent from the House's ethics council before launching an investigation into lawmakers, initially stipulated in Article 245.

"The ethics council is not meant to act as the House's shield," Justice Saldi Isra said, while reading out the ruling on Thursday.

The bench, however, decided to maintain the condition that law enforcement authorities would need consent from the president before summoning lawmakers in a criminal investigation. The court said such a requirement was needed to provide proportional protection for lawmakers in carrying out their duties.

The controversial law was enacted in February, immediately inviting condemnation aimed at the legislative body, as well as President Joko Widodo's administration for allowing the law to be passed.