Skip Navigation
Indonesia

Improvements to Legal Aid (ID0105)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Indonesia Action Plan 2018-2020

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: National Law Development Agency of Indonesia

Support Institution(s): Ministry of National Development Planning /Bappenas, 1. Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation 2. Medialink

Policy Areas

Access to Justice, Capacity Building, Civic Space, Defending Journalists and Activists, Justice, Regulation, Sustainable Development Goals

IRM Review

IRM Report: Indonesia Transitional Results Report 2018-2020, Indonesia Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: No IRM Data

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

January 2019 - December 2020
Commitment Description
Lead implementing
agency/actor
National Law Development Agency of Indonesia
Article 28D Paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution of
the Republic of Indonesia affirms that everyone gets
the right for recognition, guarantee, protection,
impartial legal certainty and equal treatment before the
law, so that public access to justice and equality before
the law is a human right that must be fulfilled by the
State. In this case, legal aid services play an important
role in helping the community, especially the poor, to
obtain their constitutional rights through free provided
legal services mandated by Law of the Republic of
Indonesia Number 16/2011 on Legal Aid.
However, the reality shows these rights have not been
fully fulfilled due to several factors, namely (i) the
limited budget for national legal assistance followed
the increasing legal cases handled; (ii) the limited
range of legal assistance due to the unequal
distribution of the Legal Aid Organization (LAO) to the
regions outside Java Island; (iii) the quality of legal aid
services is still low both in terms of its institutional
aspects and their capacity to handle legal cases; and
(iv) lack of legal awareness of the community,
especially the poor.
Based on these conditions, this Action Plan is
committed to expand and increase the quantity and
quality of legal aid services that target the entire
community, including the poor.
What is the public problem that
the commitment will address?
The commitment to nurturing legal aid access for the
community is encouraged through two aspects;
through policies and also education to the community
and LAO. Provision of regulations that guarantee the
government to support access to legal aid will provide
bases for legal aid organization to be able to provide
legal assistance to the community.Furthermore, the
education and socialisation stages for the law
awareness of the community also become one of the
points so that the community understand the right to
equality before the law. In the end, the goal of this
commitment is to be able to improve the quality of legal
aid organization services so that people get equal
access before the law. getting quality legal aid services. In addition, this
commitment is also to strengthen the awareness and
legal capacity of the community (especially the poor
and marginalised). Beside being used for providing
legal aid services through legal aid organisation, the
legal aid budget in the national and regional budget
must also be increased for the legal aid socialisation
programs. The establishment of a Community Legal
Center conducted by National Law Development
Agency of Indonesia will also be a space for the
community to obtain legal information. Higher legal awareness will also increase the capacity
of the community to access information. Provision of
legal aid services will also provide space for people to
suing public policies that violate their rights as citizens.
Why is this commitment relevant
to OGP values?
● In the 2015-2019 National Medium-Term
Development Plan the objectives of legal
development are to strengthen the state's
presence in implementing system reform and
corruption-free, dignified and trusted law
enforcement.
● Indonesia has a 2016-2019 National Access to
Justice Strategy prepared by The Ministry of
National Development where legal aid is
designated as Strategy 3, i.e. Strengthening
Access to Justice to Legal Aid.
● Through Presidential Regulation 59 of 2017 on
Sustainable Development Goals, Indonesia
establish its commitment to run the SDGs
especially on Goal 16. Milestone Activity with a verifiable
deliverable
Start Date: End Date:
1. Increasing number of 100 legal
aid regulations in district/city level
January 2019 September 2019
2. The availability of 21 legal aid
regulations at the provincial level
January 2020 September 2020
3. Increasing number of legal aid
services recipients (in terms of
information, consultation and legal
assistance) to 20,000 people.
January 2019 September 2020
4. The improvement of the
satisfaction index of legal aid
services recipients (target 50%
quite satisfied or very satisfied)
September 2019
September 2020
December 2019
December 2020 Contact information
Other Actors
Involved
State actors
involved Ministry of National Development Planning /Bappenas
CSOs, private
sector, multilaterals,
working groups
1. Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation
2. Medialink

IRM Midterm Status Summary

14. The Expansion and Increase in Quantity and Quality of Legal Aid Services

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

The commitment to nurturing legal aid access for the community is encouraged through two aspects; through policies and also education to the community and LAO. Provision of regulations that guarantee the government to support access to legal aid will provide bases for legal aid organization to be able to provide legal assistance to the community. Furthermore, the education and socialization stages for the law awareness of the community also become one of the points so that the community understand the right to equality before the law. In the end, the goal of this commitment is to be able to improve the quality of legal aid organization services so that people get equal access before the law.

Milestones:

  1. Increasing number of 100 legal aid regulations in district/city level.
  2. The availability of 21 legal aid regulations at the provincial level.
  3. Increasing number of legal aid services recipients (in terms of information, consultation and legal assistance) to 20,000 people.
  4. The improvement of the satisfaction index of legal aid services recipients (target 50% quite satisfied or very satisfied).

Start Date: January 2019                                                               End Date: December 2020

Context and Objectives

The 1945 Constitution of Indonesia guarantees the basic right of all citizens to justice and equality before the law. Law No. 16/2011 [148] on Legal Aid reaffirms these rights by mandating the provision of legal aid, especially for those who cannot afford representation. The Law further mandates that legal aid services be provided on the principles of fairness, equality before the law, openness, efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability. [149] As such, the provision of legal services by legal aid organizations (LBH) must adhere to these principles.

Legal aid services in Indonesia face many challenges, such as disproportion between funding for legal aid organizations and their caseloads, varying legal aid availability across different regions, a lack of awareness about legal aid services, especially in poor communities, and weak institutional capacity of legal aid organizations. [150]

The process of developing this commitment was largely shaped by civil society, particularly the Tifa Foundation, in response to conversations involving the Indonesian government in improving access to justice in the country. [151] The focus of this commitment is to gain government pledges to provide more funding for legal aid organizations who provide free legal services.

Objectives of this commitment include more local regulations (Perda) on legal aid services, increasing the number of individuals receiving legal aid services, strengthening the capacity of legal aid organizations to provide legal services, and achieving high satisfaction rates based on the quality of services provided by legal aid organizations.

A 2018 report [152] from the Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) noted that the National Law Development Agency (BPHN) has accredited a total of 405 legal aid organizations across 167 cities or regencies in 34 provinces. However, a large average percentage (71%) of poor people [153] are not aware of legal aid services. This is in line with findings from CSOs who indicated a large gap between the availability and capacity of legal aid organizations to provide legal services. [154]

In the 2019 state budget, the government allocated 53 billion rupiah (3.73 USD) for legal aid services throughout Indonesia, an increase from the previous year’s 48 billion rupiah (3.38 USD) allocation. [155] This was followed by an increase in the number of legal aid organization accreditations from 405 to 524. [156] The BPHN also monitors the performance of all accredited legal aid organizations through a Legal Aid Performance Index which measures the satisfaction rate of clients.

Despite an increase in funding, the capacity and availability of legal aid organizations still needs to increase significantly in order to guarantee access to legal services for poor citizens. To fill in the gap, this commitment aims to secure commitments from local government leaders in 100 cities or regencies by issuing local regulations on legal aid services. Using these regulations, local governments will have a basis to also allocate a portion of their budget to fund legal aid organizations. Through collaboration with civil society and the formation of community legal centers at the local level by the BPHN, this commitment will also raise public awareness of legal aid services.

Next Steps

Given the scale of the problem that this commitment addresses, the government and civil society are advised to collaborate to determine priority areas. The government plays a pivotal role in funding, monitoring, and raising public awareness of citizens’ legal rights, including the availability of legal aid services for those in need. Meanwhile, civil society can help facilitate initiatives and efforts to build the capacity of legal aid organizations to continue increasing available legal aid services throughout the country.

In doing so, the government and civil society should consider the following actions:

  • Establish a nationwide network of all legal aid organizations to build capacity;
  • Develop a collaborative strategy involving legal aid organizations across the country to raise public awareness of the availability and importance of legal aid services; and
  • Improve access to legal aid service information by creating an online platform where citizens can acquire basic legal information on their rights and connect with nearby legal aid organizations.


[148] Government of Indonesia, “Undang-Undang No. 16/2011 tentang Bantuan Hukum” (2011), https://www.bphn.go.id/data/documents/11uu016.pdf.

[149] Ibid.

[150] Open Government Indonesia National Secretariat, “Indonesia OGP National Action Plan 2018–2020” (2018), 47, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Indonesia_Action-Plan_2018-2020.pdf.

[151] Darwanto (MediaLink), interview by IRM researcher, 7 Mar. 2019.

[152] Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation, Tifa Foundation, Ministry of Home Affairs, and Ministry of Law and Human Rights, “Panduan Penyelenggaraan Bantuan Hukum di Daerah” (2018), https://ylbhi.or.id/bibliografi/panduan-penyelenggaraan-bantuan-hukum-di-daerah.

[153] Ibid.

[154] Darwanto, interview.

[155] National Law Development Agency, "Perluas Jangkauan, BPHN Loloskan 524 Organisasi Bantuan Hukum" (2019), https://bphn.go.id/news/2019010413001183/Perluas-Jangkauan-BPHN-Loloskan-524-Organisasi-Bantuan-Hukum.

[156] Ministry of Law and Human Rights, “Lembaga/Organisasi Bantuan Hukum yang Lulus Verifikasi dan Akreditasi sebagai Pemberi Bantuan Hukum Periode Tahun 2019 s.d. 2021” (2018), https://bphn.go.id/news/2019010202381490/LEMBAGAORGANISASI-BANTUAN-HUKUM-YANG-LULUS-VERIFIKASI-DAN-AKREDITASI-SEBAGAI-PEMBERI-BANTUAN-HUKUM-PERIODE-TAHUN-2019-SD-2021.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

14. The Expansion and Increase in Quantity and Quality of Legal Aid Services

Substantial:

The Ministry of Law and Human Rights reports that between 2018 and September 2020, the number of districts and cities with local legal aid regulations rose by 29%, increasing from 140 to 180 regulations, but fell short of the target increase of 100 district and city level regulations. The number of provinces with local legal aid regulations rose by 31% between 2018 and September 2020, increasing from 16 to 21 regulations, meeting the commitment’s target. These regulations aimed to improve legal aid quality and local funding. [83] However, according to the Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI), a number of the local regulations were released before the implementation period, with progress on new regulations failing to meet expectations of this commitment. [84] Additionally, in terms of results, the Indonesian Judicial Research Society points out that these regulations did not improve distribution of legal aid beyond major cities. [85] Meanwhile, the number of legal aid service recipients decreased by 13% between 2018 and September 2020, falling from 13,325 to 11,577 recipients. In particular, this reflected a dip in non-litigation legal aid services. By 2020, 66% of legal aid service recipients expressed satisfaction about legal aid—representing minimal progress from the baseline of 64% in 2018, [86] but exceeding the target of 50%. Most Indonesians continue to lack access to legal aid, [87] and efforts to improve legal aid access were carried forward into the sixth action plan.

[83] Masan Nurpian (Min. of Law and Human Rights), correspondence with IRM, 23 Jul. 2021.
[84] Febi Yonesta (Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation), interview by IRM, 8 Apr. 2021.
[85] Dio Ashar Wicaksana (Indonesian Judicial Research Society), interview by IRM, 12 Jul. 2021.
[86] Nurpian, correspondence.
[87] Wicaksana, interview.

Open Parliament Indonesia Commitments


Commitments

Open Government Partnership