Indonesia: UN human rights expert invited to conduct fact-finding mission

Indonesia: UN human rights expert invited to conduct fact-finding mission

A United Nations human rights expert has been invited by the Government of Indonesia to conduct a fact-finding mission later this month as part of the country's effort to improve its judicial and legal systems.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Dato' Param Cumaraswamy, is slated to visit Indonesia from 15 to 25 July, when he will address all issues relating to the functioning of the legal system, including the independence of judiciary, allegations of judicial corruption, impunity, the legal profession, the prosecutorial and court system and the state of the rule of law.

During the 58th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights earlier this year, the representative of the Indonesian Government said that the country's legal institutions were "undergoing a steady upgrading over the years in order to meet international standards, the judicial system still has much ground to cover before it can rival those of established democracies...In this regard we hope that the imminent visit of the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, will benefit our national capacity building efforts in the field of human rights."

During the mission, the Special Rapporteur has requested to meet with several senior government and legal officials, including the Chief Justice, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, the Attorney General and senior judges from the Supreme Court, High Courts and District Courts.

He is also expected to meet with the Public Prosecutors, the Ombudsman, the National Law Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, representatives from the Bar associations, non-governmental organizations and individuals from the human rights community.

The Special Rapporteur will also visit the Ad Hoc Human Rights Tribunal and meet with its Judges, Prosecutors, Defence Counsel and the Head of the Witness Protection Department.