Legal Aid System in Indonesia by Erna Ratnaningsih Indonesia Supreme Court Indonesia Constitutional Court Indonesia is the fourth Country General Information largest country on the earth. Indonesia comprises over 17,000 Islands. Population of Indonesia is 237,5 million. More than 28 Million live below poverty line. 300 ethnic group. Gross National Income $ 3,563 per capita. 30,000 advocates. A Short History of Legal Aid in Indonesia In the colonial period, legal services for the poor were provided by lawyers only for the death penalty cases. Tjandra Naya is social organization who provided legal aid for Chinese people in 1950’s. The first legal aid program which organized by Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) in 1970’s. Legal Consultant Bureaues from Faculty of Law. The variety of legal aid programs : 1. 2. 3. 4. Legal advice. Law reform. Advocacy work. Community legal education. YLBHI and it’s 16 branch offices has been using a structural legal aid framework and approach which means legal aid as a tool to reform law and political structure that repress the marginalized and the disadvantaged. The initiative emerged to have legal aid based on the number of cases of the poor who cannot be provided by legal aid institutions as they only have limited advocates and branch offices in the Indonesia. The advocacy of legal aid Act had been started since 2003 by preparing academic draft of a bill and drfat of legal aid bull. The Legal Aid Bill was passed in 2011, it becomes the foundation of the state to ensure citizen rights as stated in Indonesian Constitution to get access to justice and equality before the law. YLBHI’s Methode Handling Cases Empowering People in Their Communities Public Policy Researc h The Activities of YLBHI-LBH Empowering People in Their Communities Advocacy Activities Handling Cases Discussion and Research The Structure of Indonesia Legal Aid System The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights appointed one of it’s body namely the National Law Development Agency (BPHN) as the implementer of legal aid in Indonesia. The minister has duties to : 1. formulate and set policy to organize the Legal Aid; 2. help prepare and establish legal aid standards in accordance with the principles of legal aid provisions; 3. prepare a Legal Aid budget plan; 4. manage the Legal Aid budget effectively, efficiently, transparently and accountably; and 5. prepare and submit reports on the legal aid organization to the House of Representatives at the end of each fiscal year. Legal aid providers are legal aid institutes or community organizations that provide legal aid services who have accreditation from BPHN. There are 310 legal aid providers who have accreditation from BPHN. The legal aid providers also have obligation to : a. report to the Minister on legal aid programs; b. report any expenditure of the state budget that is used for the provision of legal aid. c. provide education and training of legal aid for lawyers, paralegals, lecturers, law students . d. maintain confidentiality of data, information, and/or information obtained from the Legal Aid Recipient relating to the matters being dealt with, unless otherwise stipulated by the Law; and e. provide a Legal Aid to the Legal Aid Recipient in accordance with the terms and procedures specified in this Law until the case is completed, unless there are legitimate reasons. Eligibility Criteria and Merits Test The definition of the concept of the poor under article 5 of Indonesia Legal Aid Act states : (1) Recipients of Legal Aid as referred to in Article 4 paragraph (1) includes any person or a group of poor people who cannot meet the basic right appropriately and independently. (2) Basic rights referred to in paragraph (1) includes the right to food, clothing, health services, education services, employment and enterprise, and/or housing. The beneficiary of legal aid must meet the following condition to obtain free legal services such as : : a. submit a written application containing at least the identity of the applicant and a brief description of the case based on which a Legal Aid is requested; b. submit documents pertaining to the case; and c. attach this letter of information certifying that he/she is poor from the head of village or any other official having equal level at the Legal Aid applicant's residence. Scope of Legal Aid Services The variety of legal aid services : criminal, civil and administrative cases. Litigation cases through assistance and/or representation from the investigation stage, prosecution stage; assistance and/or representation in the process of examination in the court; assistance and/or representation of the legal aid aid provider in the state administrative court. The non-litigation legal aid includes activities of legal information dissemination, legal consultation, cases investigation electronically or non-electronically, legal research, mediation, negotiation, community empowerment, assistance outside of the court and or legal drafting. The assistance can be given by the lawyers, paralegal, lecturers and students of the law faculty within the accredited and verified legal aid organisation’s coverage. Legal Aid Budget and Payment of Legal Aid The source of legal aid funding : The State Budget (APBN) 2. The regional budget (APBD). 3. Other source may include grant, donation and other untied and legal source of funding is permitted. Legal Aid budget in 2013 = IDR 40,3 billion (USD 358,333). Legal Aid budget in 2014 = IDR 50 billion (USD 416,666). The allocation of the legal aid budget do not cover operational cost of legal aid providers but only for the cases. One case for criminal and civil law in the court is IDR 5 million (USD 416). The system of management funds is a reimbursement. 1. Paralegals In the history of legal aid in Indonesia, the role of paralegals is important to help poor people get justice. They are limited number of advocates who provide legal aid services for the poor so paralegals can help the community to solve their legal problems in their regions. Paralegals solve legal problem in the community, if the case is too complex Paralegals will communicate and coordinate with lawyer. Paralegals can not represent poor people in the court, but they can help lawyers to find the evidences. Their role in legal aid services become strong as the Legal Aid Act is the first regulation which recognizes the legal aid paralegal's role in providing legal aid to the poor. Challenging for the Implementation of Legal Aid Act The purpose of the Legal Aid Act is to ensure poor people get access to justice through free legal aid services. It is also the implementation of constitutional rights of every citizen to treat equal before the law. One of the conclusions regarding the availability of adequate legal representation for the poor from UNDP Research such as: 1. 2. 3. 4. Most of legal aid providers locate in big cities especially Java and Sumatra. Legal aid providers still find difficulty to provide their services as the wide of working area and the geographic problems. Limited lawyers, lack of funding, do not have legal status in the legal aid providers. The reimbursements system makes only limited poor people can get free legal services as legal aid provider do not have money for operational cost of cases. BPHN identified several obstacles to implement Legal Aid Act namely: 1. 2. 3. 4. The dissemination of legal aid providers are imbalanced with the location of the poor. Legal aid providers do not have experience to report fund from the State. Many of society and law enforcement officials who do not know Legal Aid Act. Limited number of Advocates. The programs of BPHN to solve the problems : 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. BPHN will help legal aid providers to get a legal status; Making synergy and cooperation with the Supreme Court to handle cases of the poor. Data base synchronization with other institution to defines poverty. Road map of legal assistance. MoU between BPHN and the Indonesian Advocates Association. Socialization program of Legal Aid Act.