State Capture and Judicial Corruption in Indonesia


About the Webinar

According to Transparency International, Indonesia has been less corrupt since the 1998 reforms. However, the practice of “state capture” – i.e. illicit provision of private gains, usually in the form of bribery, to public officials from firms or private individuals to influence the formation and the implementation of the rule of law – remains a cause for concern in the country. Recent separate arrests against a group of people – a businessman, a lawyer, and several law enforcers (two police generals and a prosecutor) who were allegedly seeking to flout a Supreme Court ruling – reminds people that this practice is still rampant. These people were arrested for their various roles in an alleged conspiracy to influence the Supreme Court to revoke its earlier verdict that sentenced Djoko Tjandra, a high-profile and politically-wired international businessman, to two years jail for a corruption case. These arrests are just the tip of the iceberg of the “state capture” practice in the Indonesian judicial system. A survey by a reputable national pollster in 2018 found that the judiciary, along with the National Police and bureaucracy, is one of the most corrupt state institutions. In late August this year, the Supreme Court became the target of public criticism after the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) found that the justices at this institution fully or partially approved case reviews filed by 22 graft convicts between 2019 and 2020 so that the latter received lighter sentences. Why does “state capture” practices remain rampant in the Indonesian judicial system? This presentation examines “state capture” practices in the Indonesian judicial system in the post-reform era. It argues that judicial corruption triggered by “state capture” remains rampant due to, among other things, lack of institutional oversight.

About the Speaker

A’an Suryana is Visiting Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. He is also lecturer at School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP) Indonesia (on-leave). Previously, he worked as research consultant for various international and local organizations such as Search for Common Ground, Jakarta Provincial Government and the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucracy Reform. He earned a PhD in Asian Studies from the Australian National University, which he completed in 2018. He worked as journalist and manager at The Jakarta Post between 1998 and 2011. During his time at The Jakarta Post, A’an spent more than six months covering journalistic events in several courts in Jakarta province, when he served as a reporter with the City Desk.


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Nov 02 2020


10:00 am - 11:15 am