Improving Access to Justice in Central Sulawesi: linking formal and customary systems to address local disputes

May 20, 2016

The Government of Central Sulawesi, the Central Sulawesi Regional Policeand the Central Sulawesi Customary Justice Forum signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the office of the Governor of Central Sulawesi in Palu, Friday, May 20th, 2016.

The MoU covers minor cases, which can be settled through the Central Sulawesi customary justice system.

The MoU was signed by Governor Longki Djanggola, Central Sulawesi Chief of Police Brig. Rudy Sufahriadi and Head of the Central Sulawesi Customary Justice Forum Andreas Lagimpu, S. Th.

With the signing of the MoU, minor cases such as social conflict, village disputes, domestic violence, land disputes and petty theftare resolved through the customary justice system that underscores the principles of restorative justice and settling of disputes outside the court.

The signing was witnessed by Deputy Country Director of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia, Dr. Francine Pickup and National Planning Agency (Bappenas) Deputy Director, Soraya Mumtaz, which support the MoU through the Strengthening Access to Justice in Indonesia project.

The Norwegian-funded collaborative project between UNDP and Bappenas was launched in 2012 to develop a comprehensive approach to the justice system in Indonesia.

The MoU is the second in Indonesia after a similar one in Aceh.

“Customary justice is expected to serve as such mechanism whereby poor people, women and the most vulnerable can settle local disputes. At a time when the court system is perceived as complicated, lengthy and expensive, customary justice offers fast and accessible dispute resolutions for poor people, particularly those who live in villages,”said Dr. Pickup in her speech.

In the past six years, UNDP Indonesia has collaborated with the Aceh Customary Council (MAA) to strengthen the quality of theinformal justiceor customary justicesystem. This effort was successful and 91 percent of the people who have usedthe judicial services were satisfied with the quality of the services provided and more distict governments have allocated funds to replicate customary judicial mechanisms.

Synergy between the customary and formal justice systems has increased, and women are becoming more involved in thecustomary judicial process. Between 2012 and 2015, 28% of the 4000 adat leaders trained through the project were women.

SAJI, in cooperation with MAA and the National Legal Development Agency (BPHN), Ministry of Law and Human Rights have developed the Aceh model in Central Sulawesi and Central Kalimantan.

The three provinces were selected as pilot projects because they are post-conflict areas, and access to justice is needed to achieve peace and development in these areas, especially for poor communities.

Contact information
Emilda Rosén
UNDP Communication Specialist

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