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'Unlawfulness' and corruption under Indonesian law


  • Simon Butt


Indonesia's Anti-Corruption Commission and Anti-Corruption Court have a conviction rate of 100% in the 100 or so cases processed thus far. Some of those convicted for corruption have successfully challenged the constitutionality of Indonesia's anti-corruption framework in the Constitutional Court. This article discusses the impact of one Constitutional Court decision, which removed some flexibility from the definition of corruption under the Corruption Eradication Law. That flexibility had allowed defendants to be convicted for corruption if they had caused loss to the state and enriched another party and, in so doing, had breached 'community standards'. The Constitutional Court decided that 'community standards' was too vague and uncertain a notion to ground a conviction for corruption. This article shows that the Supreme Court has, deliberately and explicitly, circumvented the Constitutional Court's decision. That may have strengthened Indonesia's anti-corruption drive, but it has done so at the expense of the rule of law.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Butt, 2009. "'Unlawfulness' and corruption under Indonesian law," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(2), pages 179-198.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bindes:v:45:y:2009:i:2:p:179-198
    DOI: 10.1080/00074910903040328

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    Cited by:

    1. Basri, Muhammad Chatib, 2013. "A Tale of Two Crises: Indonesia’s Political Economy," Working Papers 57, JICA Research Institute.
    2. Haryo Aswicahyono & Hal Hill, 2015. "Is Indonesia Trapped in the Middle?," Discussion Paper Series 31, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Aug 2015.

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