Strengthening Legal Aid Provision for Vulnerable Persons (ID0147)
Action Plan: Indonesia Action Plan 2022-2024
Action Plan Cycle: 2022
Lead Institution: Indonesia Judicial Research Society (IJRS), Perkumpulan Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (PBHI), Asosiasi LBH APIK Indonesia
Support Institution(s): Badan Pembinaan Hukum Nasional (BPHN), Ministry of Law and Human Rights/Kemenkumha m, Indonesia Judicial Research Society (IJRS), Perkumpulan Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (PBHI), Asosiasi LBH APIK Indonesia
Policy AreasAccess to Justice, Capacity Building, Inclusion, Justice, Public Participation
Brief Description of the Commitment
This commitment supports public participation in mapping the legal needs of vulnerable persons, providing recommendations for the revision of the Legal Aid Law, and capacity building for legal aid providers in providing legal aid services for vulnerable persons.
1. What problem does the commitment aim to address? The provision of legal aid in Indonesia is regulated under Law Number 16 Year 2011 regarding Legal Aid (“Legal Aid Law”). However, this Law limits the scope of those eligible to receive free legal aid to the poor, while vulnerable persons are also in need of special legal aid. Additionally, the Regulation of the Minister of Law and Human Rights Number 4 Year 2021 regarding Legal Aid Service Standards stipulates that legal aid providers are required to conduct an assessment of the legal aid recipient’s vulnerability and legal needs in relation to the legal problem they are facing. However, the vulnerable persons that fall under this category are not clearly defined, both in the Law and the Ministerial Regulation. The absence of a clear definition has an implication towards the lack of disaggregated legal data regarding vulnerable persons. The disaggregation of the legal data tends to be limited to gender and age—which only describes the conditions of certain vulnerable groups such as women and children (Sidbankum). Meanwhile, when referring to various regulations regarding vulnerable groups, vulnerable groups may include persons with disabilities, sexual minorities, the elderly, indigenous persons, and so on. The absence of data on legal needs concerning this vulnerable group means that existing policies and regulations do not comprehensively regulate the fulfilment of needs and the handling of special conditions which vulnerable groups have, especially when dealing with the law. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the provision of legal aid for vulnerable persons.
2. What are the causes of the problem? The potential for minority and vulnerable groups to experience risks such as discrimination, stigmatization, violence or criminalization tends to be greater when compared to non-vulnerable persons (PSHK, 2021). Moreover, when faced with legal problems, vulnerable persons such as women, the disabled, and other persons often experience discrimination and unfair treatment from law enforcement officers, are often blamed, receive questions or statements which corner and harass them and result in fear and trauma, which makes it difficult to obtain evidence in several cases such as sexual violence, causing the legal process to become convoluted and ineffective (Ashila, dkk., 2019, p.3). The existence of these conditions shows that it is important for vulnerable persons to obtain legal aid in accordance to their needs. Furthermore, based on the indexation of court decisions conducted by IJRS, it was found that only 8.7% of female victims of sexual violence (falling under the ‘vulnerable group’ category) were accompanied by legal counsel when they were in court (Budiarti, dkk., 2022). With these various obstacles and problems that vulnerable persons experience, there is still no study that looks specifically into which vulnerable persons can obtain free legal protection, what the legal and other needs of these vulnerable persons are, and so on. The lack of research regarding this matter correlates to the absence of uniformity and specificity in regulations concerning vulnerable persons.
1. What has been done so far to solve the problem? In the previous OGI NAP (2020-2022), the Civil Society Coalition involved in this proposal collaborated with BPHN, which led to the successful drafting and passing of the Regulation of the Minister of Law and Human Rights Number 4 Year 2021 regarding Legal Aid Service Standards. This Regulation stipulates that legal aid providers must conduct an assessment of the vulnerability and legal needs of the Legal Aid Recipients in relation to the problems they face. This implicitly points to the fact that there are vulnerable legal aid recipients who need to be paid special attention to. In 2019, a number of civil society organizations (CSOs) convened a Legal Aid Conference between CSOs and the Government, which resulted in a number of recommendations that can be followed up regarding vulnerable persons. Furthermore, capacity building for legal aid providers have also been regularly conducted.
2. What solution are you proposing? The existence of a scope regarding vulnerable persons in the Legal Aid Law can support the work of legal aid providers in ensuring that vulnerable persons can obtain adequate access to justice. Additionally, including vulnerable persons within Legal Aid Service Standards can also ensure that quality legal aid is provided based on the conditions and needs of the vulnerable persons. These provisions can become a reference for legal aid providers in increasing their capacity to assist vulnerable persons. Thus, information regarding the legal needs for vulnerable persons is needed to ensure the scope of vulnerable persons eligible for legal aid is in accordance to the needs and conditions of said vulnerable persons.
3. What results do we want to achieve by implementing this commitment? By assessing the legal needs of vulnerable persons, this commitment aims to obtain comprehensive information based on the needs of vulnerable persons. This assessment is hoped to serve as a reference in ensuring the inclusion of vulnerable persons in the revision of the Legal Aid Law and in drafting an operational standard for legal aid provision. Through this, capacity building can also be conducted for legal aid providers in assisting vulnerable persons, as regulated within the Law and Legal Aid Service Standards.
1. How will the commitment promote transparency? N/A
2. How will the commitment help foster accountability? N/A
3. How will the commitment improve citizen participation in defining, implementing, and monitoring solutions? The review and reform of legal aid policies for vulnerable groups with the involvement of civil society is an implementation of participatory and inclusive principles. Furthermore, ensuring that all vulnerable groups are guaranteed the right to legal aid is a form of effort to achieve the principles of participation, representation, and inclusion in the provision of legal aid in Indonesia.
Commitment Planning (Milestones | Expected Outputs | Expected Completion Date)
The involvement of civil society in mapping the legal needs of vulnerable persons to provide input for the revised Legal Aid Law (RUU Bantuan Hukum) | 1. Research results from mapping the legal needs of vulnerable persons and inputs for the revision process of the Legal Aid Law | December 2024
Capacity building for legal aid providers in providing legal aid services for vulnerable persons | 1. Training curriculum for legal aid providers in providing legal aid for vulnerable persons 2. Results from socialization of training curriculum for legal aid providers | 1. June 2024 2. December 2024