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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Indonesia and judicial corruption

There are several new judges in the IP court in Jakarta, Indonesia. IP cases are heard in the Commercial Court, which also hears bankruptcy cases. The reason for the new faces in the Central Jakarta Commercial Court is that 4 judges, identified in documents, only by the initials SA, AI, NA and BI were dismissed by the Supreme Court, following investigations by the internal affairs department, for breaches of the ethical code on treating all sides with equal fairness. The SC dismissed the judges from their posts and transferred them to various district courts.

They are part of a list of 49 judges published in April, who have received disciplinary sanctions. 3 of the 4 are believed to be related to a lawsuit between Telkomsel, the country’s largest mobile operator, and PT Prima Jaya Informatika (PJI), a distributor of mobile phone SIM cards and vouchers, in which a commercial dispute was turned into a bankruptcy case. The widespread belief is that one side presumably bribed the judges.

This is a positive step for the battle against judicial corruption, but underscores that IP cases suffer from the same risks. In many cases IP decisions are clean, so it is hoped this will help further improve the fairness of the Commercial Court judiciary. It also goes to show how the Supreme Court is really leading the fight now.

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