Monday, September 15, 2008 10:43 AM
Indonesia‘s judicial system rated the worst in Asia: Survey
Lilian Budianto , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Mon, 09/15/2008 10:08 AM | Headlines
Indonesia‘s judiciary earned poor marks from expatriate business executives for having the worst system in Asia, in a survey conducted by a Hong Kong consulting firm.
Regional financial hubs Hong Kong and Singapore topped the list for having the best judicial systems on the continent.
The survey, conducted by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC), ranked Indonesia last against the other 12 Asian countries.
The judiciary “is one of Indonesia’s weakest and most controversial institutions, and many consider the poor enforcement of laws to be the country’s number one problem,” PERC said, as quoted by AFP.
The agency did not provide specific examples.
Indonesia‘s poor ranking stems from the executives’ strong dissatisfaction with legal proceedings, which are dogged by systemic corruption, senior lawyer and human rights advocate Todung Mulya Lubis told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
“It is not surprising Indonesia ranked at the bottom,” he said.
“Indonesia has yet to give businesspeople the legal certainty crucial in the investment world.”
Todung gave the example of the recent Supreme Court ruling against Singapore-based investment firm Temasek Holdings, which was found guilty of breaching anti-monopoly laws.
Analysts have said Temasek was subjected to disfavorable divestment for “confusing and illogical reasons” made under the 1999 Competition Law. Temasek has continued to insist on its innocence.
The PERC survey confirms findings in several previous surveys. A recent report by the World Bank and its private arm, the International Financial Cooperation, showed Indonesia ranked 129th out of the 181 countries surveyed in terms of doing business.
In December 2007, a Transparency International Indonesia study ranked the judiciary as the most corrupt institution after the police.
A survey conducted by the Corruption Eradication Commission this year put the Attorney General’s Office as the least credible for fighting corruption, followed by the courts and the police.
Hong Kong‘s judicial system topped the vote with a score of 1.45 on a scale where zero represents the best performance and 10 the worst.
Regional rival Singapore was in second place with a score of 1.92, followed by Japan (3.50), South Korea (4.62), Taiwan (4.93) and the Philippines (6.10).
Malaysia was in seventh place with a score of 6.47, followed by India (6.50), Thailand (7.00) and China (7.25). Indonesia’s lowest score of 8.26 came after Vietnam’s 8.10.
Survey respondents were 1,537 corporate executives working in Asia. They were asked to rate the judicial systems in the countries where they reside, using such variables as the protection of intellectual property, corruption, transparency, enforcement of laws, freedom from political interference and the experience and educational standards of lawyers and judges.
PERC said the less favorable perceptions of China’s and Vietnam’s judicial systems were rooted in political interference, adding the Communist Party “is above the law in both countries”.
Although India and the Philippines are democracies, expatriates did not look favorably on their judicial systems because of corruption, PERC added