This Article provides a perspective not normally available to U.S. legal scholars in the area of comparative law -- it is a firsthand account of criminal procedure reform in the Republic of Indonesia. Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country by population and the largest civil law jurisdiction, has embarked on sweeping legal, political, and institutional reform in the ten years since the collapse of authoritarian rule. Half way around the world from the U.S., Indonesia is virtually unknown to Western legal scholars, yet the changes being made in Indonesian criminal procedure are fundamental: establishing a suspect’s right to remain silent; limiting pretrial detention; requiring police/prosecutor cooperation; liberalizing the rules of evidence; introducing guilty pleas and cooperating defendants; and replacing inquisitorial trial and pretrial procedures with adversarial ones. This process illustrates the enormous potential for code-based criminal procedure reform and its capacity to introduce new concepts into a criminal justice system, but its success requires legal actors to accept and internalize an entirely new conceptualization of their roles. (P)This Article places the transformation of the Indonesian criminal procedure within the larger context of overall Indonesian legal reform as well as the widespread efforts to modernize criminal procedure codes throughout the civil law world. It is not limited to examining the final result, but also describes how and why particular results were reached – the sources the drafting team relied upon, the evolution of the code during the drafting process, and the motivations of drafting members in reaching particularly results. This Article pulls together a number of different important areas of current scholarship -- comparative criminal procedure, international technical assistance, and post-authoritarian reform -- in a reader-accessible case study format.
Robert R. Strang,
"More Adversarial, but not Completely Adversarial": Reformasi of the Indonesian Criminal Procedure Code,
32 Fordham Int'l L.J. 188
Available at: https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol32/iss1/13