POLICY MONITORING <br> House fully in control of MK justice selection - Elsam.or.id POLICY MONITORING
House fully in control of MK justice selection

An independent team of experts tasked with supervising the ongoing selection of two new Constitutional Court (MK) justices by the House of Representatives has called on lawmakers to fully engage them in the process.

The experts, backed by activists, slammed lawmakers for making them mere tokens in the selection to give the impression that the process was transparent.

Lawmakers on House Commission III overseeing legal affairs set up the team of experts “to ensure an accountable selection”. Yet as of Tuesday afternoon, when 12 applicants for justices submitted their papers, members of the team were in the dark over their roles and authority.

Wahyudi Djafar of the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) accused the House of playing politics by sidelining the experts.

Wahyudi said the credibility of the court was at stake following the arrest of former chief justice Akil Mochtar on bribery charges.

“They must ensure that the team is fully involved in the selection instead of making it a mere tool to justify their selections. The result of the team’s assessment should be used to help determine the winners,” 
Wahyudi said on Tuesday. 

Previously, the House was criticized for promoting politicians to join the race after lawmakers had supported a call to bar politicians from becoming justices at the court. 

Former Constitutional Court justice Laica Marzuki, who is also a member of the team, said he had yet to receive details about his role in the selection of justices.

“I want to use the mandate to the maximum so that we can come up with the best results,” he said.

Another member, former justice AS Natabaya, said: “To pick someone with integrity requires transparency.”

Other members of the team are legal expert Saldi Isra; the former chairman of Indonesia’s second-
largest Islamic organization Muhammadiyah, Ahmad Syafii Maarif; and the former chairman of the largest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama, Hasyim Muzadi.

Two figures with political backgrounds, former law and human rights minister Andi Matalatta — who is also a former Golkar Party lawmaker — and former United Develompent Party (PPP) lawmaker Zain Badjeber, are also on the team, along with Lauddin Muzani.

The House set a schedule from Monday to Friday to hold confirmation hearings for the 12 candidates. On the night of the last hearing, the lawmakers will hold a meeting with the team of experts to discuss the results and will decide on a justice either through consensus or a vote.

Commission III deputy chairman Al Muzammil Yusuf of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) said the team would be given time to interview the candidates during the hearings.

However, the ultimate decision will be in the hands of the lawmakers.

“Later, on Thursday, we will have a mechanism on the technical matters,” he said. “In general, the team will have more time to question them than the lawmakers. And later, the team will tell us its judgment, which will be used by us to assess the candidates.”

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/02/26/house-fully-control-mk-justice-selection.html