24 June 2014

Australian and Indonesian judges and court staff have participated in a long-standing programme of judicial cooperation. Funded by the Australian Government through Australian Aid, the partnership has enabled courts in both countries to share experiences regarding access to justice, enhancing judicial capacity and improving court business processes.

The Honourable Diana Bryant, AO, Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, is in Jakarta today to renew the Court’s commitment to the trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Australia-Indonesia judicial cooperation with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Indonesia, the Hon. Dr Hatta Ali SH MH, and the Honourable James Allsop, AO, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia.

The MOU facilitates learning opportunities for courts in both countries and provides a framework for the three courts to work together to discuss and develop strategic solutions to issues facing the courts in Indonesia and Australia and, in particular, how to improve justice for the poor in Indonesia.

The Family Court of Australia has worked with the Supreme Court of Indonesia over the past 10 years and has assisted with three major research undertakings culminating in widely circulated publications in 2008, 2010 and most recently, the Baseline Study on Legal Identity: Indonesia's Missing Millions which was released in February 2014. This research has identified areas where reform was needed to deliver better access to the courts for poor and vulnerable justice seekers and to overcome the barriers faced by Indonesians seeking legal identify documents.

A number of important and innovative activities have been facilitated through these partnerships. Many have dealt with the problems faced by the poor in obtaining marriage, divorce and birth certificates to improve access to vital state services, such as education, food subsidies, social protection programs and health care. Having clear evidence of legal identity, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or divorce certificate, is critical to realising basic economic and social rights. Without such an identity, Indonesian women and children may be denied basic rights, and therefore the ability to access basic services like health and education.

Chief Justice Diana Bryant said, “The Family Court of Australia is pleased to continue its professional association with the Indonesian courts. The achievements during the ten years of cooperation are almost too numerous to mention. We have worked together in many areas and together we have witnessed incredible change. We have come a very long way in a very short time and we look forward to continued progress in the area of access to justice.”

Copies of the Memorandum of Understanding and the 2014 Annex are a available on the Family Court of Australia's website.

Media contact: Denise Healy, Media and Public Affairs Manager
telephone: 03 8600 4357 or 0409 743 695
email: denise.healy@familycourt.gov.au