Legal Update: Court Proceedings in Indonesia amidst Covid-19 Outbreak
In response to Covid-19, the Supreme Court and lower instance courts of Indonesia (including the High Court and District Court) have adopted protective measures and suspended several hearings. The Supreme Court, through its executive Meeting dated 16 March 2020 ("Executive Meeting") deemed that in reference to the President of Republic of Indonesia's statememt that the outbreak is now considered as a non-natural disaster, the court proceeding for certain types of cases should proceed as schedules whilst the remaining cases should be conducted through e-litigation.
Based on the resolution rendered from Executive Meeting above, Secretary of Supreme Court Issues a Circular Letter No. 1 of 2020 on Adaptaton of Working System for Judges and Court's Officials as Prevention for the Spread of COVID-19 in the Vicinity of Supreme Court and Lower judiciary Bodie ("SCL 1/2020"). The applicability of SCL 1/2020 has been further extended until 21 April 2020 by the Supreme Court Circular Letter No. 2 of 2020 on the amendment of SCL 1/2020.
Based on the SCL 1/2020, the following cases' classification will proceed as scheduled in the event that further extension for the confinement of the Accused is no longer viable:
Criminal case proceeding
Military case proceeding
Jinayat or Islamic criminal case proceeding
On the other hand, The SCL 1/2020 specified the following as cases recommended to be adjudicated under e-court mechanism:
Religious (Islamic) civil case
In regards to cases which are to be resolved in certain time limit. SCL 1/2020 allows for the court to postpone the proceeding of the aforesaid case exeeding the allowed time on condition that this extraordinary event is recorded in the minutes by the Substitute Court Clerk.
For public safety measures, the SCL 1/2020 emphasize the Panel of Judges' sole discretion in conducting the proceeding, such as:
Postponement of hearing
Limitation of attendees and implementation of social distancing policy
Reccomend the implementation of e-court proceeding
The e-court allows for conducting proceeding through a dedicated website where parties may conduct registration of cases online (e- filing) and commence proceeding by way of e-litigation pursuant to Supreme Court Regulation No.1 of 2019 on Digital Case Administration and Proceeding in Court.
Lastly, the SCL 1/2020 also stipulates severa safety internal measures which among others give appeal for all officials in the Supreme Court and the lower court instances not to take any domestic and international travel.