01 June 2008


This should be a real hammer and tong battle to the death! The recent establishment of the Congress of Indonesian Advocates (Kongres Advokat Indonesia / KAI) to rival the previous leader of the pack, PERADI (Perhimpunan Advokat Indonesia / Indonesian Advocate Association), is sure to be spectator sport of the highest order! The President was scheduled to open the Congress but PERADI complained in writing and then the President mysteriously fell ill (probably some bad sate).

The battle should see a few families pitted against each other in the heat of battle. However, although possibily amusing, it is not the family angle that is interesting but the legal ones. The Advocates Law (No. 18 of 2003) explicitly requires the establishment of a single peak bar association to represent Indonesian advocates. This had been thought to be PERADI.

Interestingly though, the eight bar associations that existed prior to the establishment of PERADI have remained in existence. The question in my mind has always been why were they not dissolved either by default with the establishment of PERADI or by decree or law by the government? PERADI from the outset needed to be above the day-to-day fray in terms of not pandering to any particular interest and remaining politics free. Any failure to do so was always destined to lead to the development of a rival organization.

It is being reported that the KAI claims that 10,000 of the 15,000 registered and licensed lawyers are ready to bail on PERADI and join up with the KAI. If this were true then the ding dong battle I was hoping to see might not eventuate as the KAI seems to have the numbers for a spill! A no confidence motion in the current PERADI leadership and then replacing them would also work. However, the KAI have adopted a position that PERADI is illegitimate and that the KAI is now the legitimate single bar assosciation as envisaged in the Advocates Law.

As I said the legal issues are certainly to be interesting as this is likely to see the Constitutional Court become involved.

I wonder if Todung Mulya Lubis joins KAI does he get his practice certificate (license) back or what?

I will be watching and reporting if any fun stuff happens.


Rob Baiton said...

Strange that there has been no comments on this as I thought there might have been one or two Indonesian lawyers out there in cyber space that might have stumbled across this entry!

My readership in the legal and political community in Indonesia is obviously much smaller than my ego has lead me to believe :D

Anggara said...

i am commenting now Rob :), it is a bad history of the Indonesian Bar, they can't unite