30 July 2008

The first signing of a formal agreement for Asian and Indonesian courts with the Asian Legal Information Institute (AsianLII) for it to provide free on-line access to Indonesian court decisions on www.asianlii.org was signed last week in Melbourne as part of the inaugural trilateral Memorandum of Understanding hosted by Chief Justice Diana Bryant of the Family Court.

Professor Grahame Greenleaf of AsianLII and Dr. Bagir Manan, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Indonesia, said that this was a logical next step following last February’s launch of an on-line database of High Religious Court decisions to increase judicial transparency.

“These new on-line facilities will ensure that Indonesian court decisions from both the Religious and general jurisdictions will now be freely accessible to the public in Indonesia and around the world,” Chief Justice Bryant said

“This will be an important contribution to Indonesia’s continuing judicial reform process.”

The trilateral MOU that was signed by  the heads of jurisdiction, including the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Indonesia, creates a framework for the courts to work together to promote further understanding of each other’s laws and judicial cultures.

Chief Justice Bryant said “Through the MOU the courts will be able to assist each other to develop and implement common international legal standards.

“Australia now has new opportunities to help support the administration of justice in Indonesia and the capacity of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia to manage its responsibility for more than 30,000 judges and court staff is enhanced by the MOU.”

The Indonesian delegation’s visit was supported by Indonesia Australia Legal Development Facility, a joint Indonesian and Australian initiative, based in Jakarta and funded by AusAID, that aims to strengthen the capacity of the Indonesian government and civil society to promote legal reform as well as protect human rights.