The Strengthening Access to Justice (SAJI)

What We Do

Indonesia registers only 17 percent of its vulnerable population with access to legal service while the poorer provinces throughout the Eastern part of the country has only as low as 10 percent of capacity in bringing cases to court. For the most part, this issue was caused by limited income of the communities that has hindered the access to pursue legal action through the formal justice system. The level of awareness to the legal aid service provided free of charge by the Government has proven to be low with as much as 96.5 percent of the Supreme Court’s IDR 34.5 billion legal aid budget had remained untouched in 2011.

The Strengthening Access to Justice in Indonesia (SAJI) project seeks to improve the access and the delivery of justice especially to the poor, women and diffable groups of the communities. Funded by the Norwegian Government, UNDP Indonesia and the National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS) has launched the project focusing on the policy, legal and regulatory reforms and strengthening the capacity of government and non-government service providers to implement Indonesia’s National Strategy on Access to Justice (NSA2J) throughout the National and Subnational levels. The latter include Maluku, North Maluku, Central Sulawesi, Aceh and Central Kalimantan Provinces. 


Key Milestones


The National Strategy on Access to Justice (NSA2J)

Through the collaboration with BAPPENAS, NSA2J was mainstreamed into the National Mid-term Development Plan (RPJMN).  The outcome of this exercise had resulted in identified ministries and institutions to implement NSA2J mandatorily. The key achievements under NSA2J include as follows:

  • Established the National Access to Justice (A2J) Secretariat in BAPPENAS to coordinate the implementation of the NSA2J.
  • Facilitated gap analysis in six ministries/institutions which maps the extent to which the NSA2J action plan have been effectively implemented. This ministries/institutions include: Ministry of Home Affairs; Ministry of Law and Human Rights; Supreme Court; Ministry of Social Affairs; Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection; and the Office of the Ombudsman.
  • Disseminated information about the NSA2J to around 8 million people through various communication media. This includesjournalism award and national conference events, SAJI newsletters, radio talk-shows, media trips, and TV ads.
Public Complaints and Grievance Handling Mechanisms(PCMs)
SAJI also seeks to improve the coordination between service providers, clarify overlapping jurisdictions and minimum service standards for PCMs. These are the main hurdles that have hindered the effectiveness of grievance handling mechanisms. The project strives to adapt the legal services to the actual needs and interests of the public while at the same time ensuring to enhance the accountability of the ministries/institutions. The key achievements under PCMs include as follows:
  • Commissioned a study which examines the strengths and weaknesses of PCMs in four targeted government institutions which include the Supreme Court, Judicial Commission and the Ombudsman.
  • Supported the development of a Presidential Regulation on PCMs based on the results PCMs study that stipulates the needs to further develop the technical capacity as well as minimum operational standards for PCMs. A training was provided on how to manage effective complaint handling mechanisms on public servicein Aceh, Central Kalimantan, and Central Sulawesi.
  • Provided capacity development support through advisory and training facilitationto the Ombudsman to coordinate the quality standardization of the PCMs.
  • Begun piloting PCMs in three targeted districts/townships which include Bener Meriah District, Aceh Province, Palangkaraya Township, Central Kalimantan Province and Palu Township, Central Sulawesi Province. Through this engagement, it is estimated that around 600,000 people will benefit from the PCMs whereby citizens’ grievances on public service will quickly be solved and the concerned services can be improved and made more accountable to citizens

Legal Aid

In line with the Human Rights work, SAJI also seeks to ensure that free legal aid for the poor which equates to approximately 28.6 percent of the total 240 million populations is utilized to its intended purpose. The key achievements from SAJI on Legal Aid include as follows:

  • Disseminated Law No. 16/2011 on Legal Aid at both the National and Subnational levels.
  • Developed by-laws on legal aid funds transfer mechanisms, eligibility criteria for legal aid providers and minimum service standards impose for legal aid providers.
  • Accredited 41 legal aid providers throughout Maluku, North Maluku, Central Sulawesi, Aceh and Central Kalimantan provinces.

Informal Justice

Through the institutional capacity and networks built by UNDP in Aceh Province since 2008 to date, SAJI has fostered a close collaboration with the Aceh Customary Council (MAA) and had succeeded to strengthen the quality of informal or adat justice service provision. The key achievements on this are as follows:

  • Studies from 2013shown about 91percent of justice users are satisfied with the quality of services provided in Aceh under auspice of the Aceh Customary Council (Majelis Adat Aceh/MAA) More district government institutions in Aceh provided state funding for adat justice mechanisms based on the MAA report. In 2010, only 2 out of 23 districts/townships allocated funds for informal justice service provision. In 2012, MAAreport had shown that it has increased to 13 out of 23 districts.
  • From several discussions/workshops between the customary justice actors and police in Aceh,it wasshown that there is an increase synergy between adat and formal justice systems in Aceh Province, particularly in the rule of law implementation for petty criminal cases such as quarrelsamong family/community members, small valued theft. This is attributable to greater clarity about the jurisdictional boundaries between the informal and formal legal systems as described in the adat justice guidelines.
  • Women are increasingly involved in adat justice service provision, particularly in cases involving gender based violence and discrimination and/or disputes relating to marital rights. This was shown through the UNDP commissioned research in 2013 on the satisfaction level of Aceh customary justice.

As part of best practice from SAJI’s work with the MAA, similar approaches have been replicated in Central Sulawesi through the development of adat justice guidelines and adat Council which was established to oversee the implementation of informal justice processes.


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