Australia supports justice and democracy in Indonesia

Media release

Bali

9 December 2010

The poor and marginalised in Indonesia will have greater access to the courts, following an expansion of Australian support for Indonesian reform of its law and justice sector.

Attending the Bali Democracy Forum, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said Australia's new 5-year $50 million Partnership for Justice with Indonesia, will assist efforts to make Indonesia's legal system more transparent and accessible.

“Over the past decade Australia's assistance has had a real impact on getting justice and resolving disputes for disadvantaged Indonesians,” Mr Rudd said.

“Already, Australian-supported mobile courtrooms in remote areas have played a significant part in providing access for women to get birth and marriage certificates — necessary for formal recognition from the state which enables access to health and education services. Certificates such as these enable children to enrol in school and access free rice, health services and cash transfers.

“This new Partnership will build on this work including legal aid and fee waivers for the poor and improving the technical knowledge and training of corruption prosecutors.”

Lack of access and faith in the justice system, means that Indonesian courts currently hear around the same number of cases as the Philippine court system, despite serving almost three times the population.

Mr Rudd is also pleased to announce that Australia will provide an additional $500,000 over two years for the Institute for Peace and Democracy.

This investment will help the Institute support the Bali Democracy Forum and improve peace and democracy in Indonesia and the region. An Australian volunteer will also be placed in the Institute to help establish a program of e-publications and manage related website operations.

The Institute aims to become a regional research think-tank on peace and democracy, thereby providing support not only to Indonesia but to other countries in the region.

Media enquiries

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