Legal aid law in Indonesia enacted, by Uli Parulian Sihombing (The Indonesian Legal Resource Center)


The house of representative of Indonesia has enacted the bill of legal aid to a new legal aid law on October 4th 2011.

The bill has been drafted in the House of Representative since 2009. A newly made legal aid law consists of 25 articles including the provisions of legal aid beneficiaries, legal aid providers, a state - funded legal aid.

The law has the following important elements:

The legal aid beneficiary - the poor people both individually and collectively who cannot fulfill their basic rights including right to food, education, health, education, work and or housing (article 1 para. 2 & article 5 of the law)

The legal aid providers – a legal aid institute or non-governmental organization (NGO) which provides free legal aid to the poor people (article 1 para. 3 of the law). The legal aid providers shall meet the following requirements: a. having a legal status, b. accredited, c. having a permanent office/secretariat, d. having an organizational structure, d. having a legal aid program (article 8 of the law).  The legal aid providers have the following rights; a. to recruit an advocate, paralegal, law professor, and a law student, a. to provide a legal aid service, c. to conduct a community legal teaching, legal advise, to receive a state-funded legal aid, to issue a legal opinion, to receive relevant information/data from the state or other the state institutions in relation to the case handling, to get legal and security protection in doing legal aid (article 9 of the law).

The role of Ministry of Justice and Human Rights - The Ministry office has the following mandates:

  1. To develop and to enact the National Legal Aid plan;
  2. To develop and to enact the National Legal Aid standards;
  3. To develop the National Legal Aid Budget;
  4. To govern effective, transparent, efficient and accountable legal aid budget;
  5. To develop and submit annual legal aid report to the House of Representative (article 6 paragraph 3 of the law).

Accreditation and Verification of the legal aid providers – the Ministry of Human Rights and Justice shall conduct accreditation and verification to the legal aid providers in every 3 years. The Ministry office shall create a committee for conducting accreditation and verification which consists of Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, academician, public figure and the legal aid providers (article 7). 

A state-funded legal aid – a legal aid fund comes from the both national and local budgets, and other grants and/or legitimate funding resources.

  • Geographical area: Indonesia
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