Statement in Support of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation and the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute
The International Commission of Jurists expresses its concern over recent actions by Jakarta police and also Indonesian non-state mass organisations that served to intimidate and stigmatise the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (‘YLBHI’) and the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute, Lembaga Bantuan Hukum (‘LBH’) in Central Jakarta, Indonesia.
ICJ reminds the Government of Indonesia and its security forces of state obligations affirmed in the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms; and entrenched in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (‘ICCPR’) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Legal aid organisations are essential to the rule of law and to the successful implementation of human rights treaty obligations. Legal aid ensures access to justice for all members of society, and guarantees fundamental principles such as equality before the law, equal protection under the law, and the right to an effective remedy.
The International Commission of Jurists also refers to the United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly; and paragraph 14 of the Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Rule of Law at the National and International Levels, emphasising the right of equal access to justice for all, including members of vulnerable groups, and the duty of States to take all necessary steps to provide fair, transparent, effective, nondiscriminatory and accountable services that promote access to justice for all, including legal aid.
Finally, ICJ affirms that measures taken by the Government of Indonesia to protect the fundamental principles of democracy and rule of law must be in accordance with Constitutional principles and universal human rights.