The Unamendable Articles of the 1945 Constitution

Luthfi Widagdo Eddyono


The amendments of the 1945 Indonesian Constitution between 1999 and 2002 have significantly changed the state system in Indonesia. In such a short period, the Constitution has been amended four times, provokes enormous additional norms and causes the establishment of several new institutions, including the Constitutional Court and Judicial Commission. However, after the amendments to the 1945 Indonesian Constitution on Chapter XVI about Amendments to the Constitution, the framers of the amended Constitution created Article 37 paragraph (5) that stated, the form of the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia may not be amended. The Preamble is also implicit unamendable. My purpose in this article is to understand the original intent of Article 37 paragraph (5) of the 1945 Indonesian Constitution, the real function of the article and also to describes original intent arguments explaining why the Preamble of the Constitution also unamendable. Before the amendments between 1999 and 2002, there is no article and provision like that, especially in the original 1945 Constitution. At last, I found that two important points that explain why this new provision created. First, the framers still afraid of separatism based on experience in 1950’s when federalism occurred in Indonesia. Second, the procedure to amend the articles of the 1945 Constitution shows that the framers only wants to strengthen the important system of unitary state because there is no differences process to amend articles of the 1945 Constitution.


1945 Constitution; Constitutional Amendment; Unamendable Articles

Full Text:



Books and Articles

Denny Indrayana, "Indonesian Constitutional Reform 1999-2002: An Evaluation of Constitution-Making in Transition", thesis, University of Melbourne, 2005.

Fulthoni and Luthfi Widagdo Eddyono, Proses dan Hasil Perubahan UUD 1945, Naskah Komprehensif Perubahan Undang-Undang Dasar Negara Republik Indonesia Tahun 1945, Latar Belakang, Proses, dan Hasil Pembahasan, 1999-2002, Buku X Perubahan UUD, Aturan Peralihan, dan Aturan Tambahan, Sekretariat Jenderal dan Kepaniteraan Mahkamah Konstitusi, Jakarta, 2008.

Jimly Asshiddiqie, "The Role of Constitutional Courts In The Promotion of Universal Peace and Civilization Dialogues Among Nations", paper was presented in the International Symposium on "the Role of Constitutional Courts on Universal Peace and Meeting of Civilizations", Ankara, April 25, 2007.

Jimly Asshiddiqie, "Creating a Constitutional Court In a New Democracy", paper presented in Australia, March 2009.

Luthfi Widagdo Eddyono, "Norma Konstitusi yang Tidak Dapat Diubah", Majalah Konstitusi, March 2016.

Luthfi Widagdo Eddyono, "Mohammad Natsir: Sang Penggagas "Negara Demokrasi Islam", Majalah Konstitusi, January 2015.

Moh. Mahfud MD, Constitutional Review: Doctrine and Practice under Indonesia’s Constitutional System, Paper presented at the International Conference "Constitutional Review: Doctrine and Practice" held on the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, on October 28-30, 2011 at Palace’s of Congresses, Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Moh. Mahfud MD, "The Role of the Constitutional Court in the Development of Democracy in Indonesia," paper is presented at the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, Cape Town, January 23 – 24, 2009.

Moh. Mahfud MD, "Speech" in the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, Cape Town, 2009.

The Constitutional Court of Indonesia, Compilation UUD 1945 and Constitutional Court Law, The Office of the Registrar and the Secretariat General of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, Jakarta, 2015.


Constitutional Court of Indonesia, Annual Report 2011: Upholding the Constitutional Democratic State, Secretariat dan Registry Branch of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia, Jakarta, 2012, [].

Proceeding International Symposium on Constitutional Complaint, 15-16 August 2015 held by the Constitutional Court of Indonesia, [].

Roznai, Yaniv, "Unamendability and the Genetic Code of the Constitution" (2015). New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers. Paper 514. [].

Tom Ginsburg, "The Puzzle of Unamendable Provisions: Debate-Impairing Rules vs. Substantive Entrenchment", [].

Yaniv Roznai, "Amending ‘Unamendable’ Provisions", [].


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 926 times
PDF view : 208 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Constitutional Review