Emory International Law Review


Simon Butt


Indonesia's role in international and regional affairs has increased markedly since the fall of Soeharto in 1998. It has, for example, signed many international treaties. However, Indonesian law is silent on the position of international law, whether treaty or custom, in Indonesia's legal system. This has led to a significant unresolved legal debate about whether Indonesia follows monism or dualism. This Article argues that, while Indonesia appears to be dualist in practice, there is some evidence of monism, particularly in the decisions of Indonesia's Constitutional and Supreme Courts. Regardless, the uncertainty has allowed the Indonesian government to, on the one hand, leave the international community to believe that ratified treaties have automatic application, but on the other hand, to refuse to grant any rights to citizens that those international treaties seek to provide, claiming that treaties have no domestic application until incorporated by an Indonesian legal instrument.