February 26, 2024

MK Judges Should be Handpicked, Not Recruited from Job Application

Former Chief Judge of the Supreme Court (MA) for the term of 2001-2008, Bagir Manan, says that the government should handpick the judges for the Constitutional Court (MK), not recruit them through jobs opening and application. Bagir also says that all judges should be recruited with one method of recruitment only, not three as currently regulated in the Constitution. According to Bagir, MK judges should be selected by president, based on inputs provided by MK and members of Parliament.

Bagir also recommends that the government should limit the term of office for every judge to be only one period only, with seven or eight years per period. Based on the current regulation in Article 22 of the Laws No.24/2003, the term of office for MK judges is five years for one period, and every judge is allowed to serve for two periods.

“The government need to limit the term of office to fulfill the das sollen principle and to prevent any politicization of the judiciary,” says Bagir during a public discussion titled “Constitutional Court Hears You” in Jakarta (02/09).

An expert of constitutional law, Refly Harun, agrees with Bagir. According to Refly, MK judges are statesmen, and statesmen are not jobseekers. Judges of MK should be handpicked by president, not recruited through job opening. Refly also says that the government should establish some strict requirements for the position.

Same with Bagir, Refly also thinks that judges of MK should only serve for one term only. However, Refly says that one term of office should be consisted of nine years.