Making Human Rights A Constitutional Right Menjadikan Hak Manusia sebagai Hak Konstitusional
On December 7, 2006, the Constitutional Court finally gave its decision on two petitions for a judicial review of Act No. 27/2004 on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (from hereon referred to as TRC Act), but it came up with different decisions. The first decision was on case No. 006/PUU-IV/2006, stating that the Constitutional Court accepted the petition of the petitioners. It declared that the TRC Act conflicted with the 1945 Constitution and that the TRC Act did not have any binding force. On the other hand, the Constitutional Court’s second decision, No. 020/PUU-IV/2006, stated that the petitioner’s petition was not accepted, because of the fact that the law on which the petitioner’s request was based, was not binding legally.1 The decision of the Constitutional Court to scrap the TRC Act surprised many parties. It is perceived as ironic, considering the efforts that the victims have put into demanding accountability for past abuses through the only recognized legal framework available to them, namely, the TRC Act. This Act is a legal pillar upholding the demand for political commitment on the part of the government not to avoid its responsibility for past abuses, as well as to ensure that the same tragedy does not recur in the future. Nevertheless, the contents of the said Act did not fully satisfy the sense of justice of the victims. Because of this, together with other actors and concerned activists, they asked for a judicial review. Their attempt to improve the Act focused particularly on three important points: the articles on amnesty, on giving compensation that depends on amnesty, and on the character of the TRC as a substitutive mechanism for a court.
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