President Joko Widodo Officially Opens AACC's Third Congress

12 August 2016

President Joko Widodo officially opened third congress of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions on Thursday (11/8) in Nusa Dua Convention Center, Bali.

The President said the AACC Congress is a form of cooperation among constitutional courts throughout the world. He said that as the third biggest democracy country, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia (MKRI) ready to play vital role in regional and global. He further asserted the MKRI has given significant contribution in law and democracy development, particularly regarding Indonesian citizen’s constitutional rights protection. “Thus, the existence of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia as constitution guardian should be strengthened. The Court is a justice stronghold that determine the enforcement of law and democracy law state,” said him in front of congress delegations.

According to him, congress theme ““The Promotion and Protection of Citizen’s Constitutional Rights” discusses normative and conception framework of citizen’s constitutional rights. He argued that constitutional values are supreme norms in Constitution hierarchy. He said that Indonesia government always maintains commitment to protect citizen’s constitutional rights, including indigenous people’s rights.

“Indigenous people are also Indonesian. Respecting indigenous people’s existence as well as fulfilling their constitutional rights is tantamount to maintaining Indonesia as nation,” said him.

Referring to the spirit of Nawacita, the president said, all effort and action of neglecting and harming indigenous people’s constitutional rights clearly cannot be justified. “I appreciate on things have been done by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia. By Constitutional Court verdicts, particularly verdicts of constitutional review, the Court provides confirmation which contribute to people, government, and entire nation in promoting and protecting citizen’s constitutional rights,” said him.

Constitutional Rights Protection

Meanwhile, Chief Justice of Indonesia’s Constitutional Court delivered that congress theme implies that attempts of promoting and protecting constitutional rights is a part of constitutional court history. “Further, constitutional history is basically history of people struggle to get their fundamental rights,” said Arief.

Arief argued that by this congress, variations of constitutional practices and experience will be knwn. “In this congress, (member countries, ed) will discuss about how the mechanism of promoting and protecting citizen’s constitutional rights, how the role of constitutional courts and equivalent institutions, and how the challenge faced by constitutional courts in the future,” said Arief.

The third congress of the AACC was participated by 18 institutions consisted of AACC member countries, neighbor countries, and international institutions. Indonesia hosted the congress in the end of MKRI’s term as AACC President. The result of the congress will be noted in Bali Declaration. The congress also scheduled to discuss permanent secretariat and next AACC President. (iwm/rit/lul)