Constitutional Court and The Past Conflicts in Post- Authoritarian Indonesia

Bayu Dwi Anggono, Rian Adhivira Prabowo, Yussele Nando Mardika


The fall of the New Order authoritarian regime in Indonesia was marked by the changing landscape of conflict resolution. In a more democratic setting, “Reformasi” regime has installed democratic institutions including the formation of the Constitutional Court. While the newly established court was celebrated as relatively successful in terms of defending human rights, its role in resolving the abused past is questionable. The new Reformasi regime inherits wounds and scars from the abuse committed by the previous iron fist regime. This paper aims to analyze the Constitutional Court’s roles as a conflict-resolution body in dealing with the past gross violation of human rights in the light of Indonesian transitional justice. In that regards, this paper assesses the Court’s decisions and how far it could answer the victims’ call for justice. This paper found that regardless of the Court’s intentions, the court’s decisions still require further executive or legislative policies. The nature of the court doesn’t bring instant enjoyment for the “winning” party to be benefited from the decisions. In short, the importance for the victims of past abuse of power as stated in the Court’s decisions still has not been translated into justice. At the same time, this also indicates how far the Court is able to resolve this kind of social conflict: “justice delayed, justice denied.” In a more Galtungian’s perspectives, there is a gap between meta-conflict to be deployed into original-conflict. This paper suggests that to overcome such issues, a bridge to reconnect the two should be built. In this context, the changing regime from New Order to Reformasi should be coupled with a holistic approach of transitional justice tools and mechanisms. More importantly, to urge the delivery of justice for those who suffered.


Conflict-Resolution; Constitutional Court; Democracy; Human Rights; Judicial Review; Modality; Post-Authoritarianism; Trajectory

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