Jakarta – The Constitutional Court on Wednesday (05/04) ruled that the Home Affairs Ministry can no longer revoke local regulations issued by provincial, city or district administration unilaterally.
The court partly approved a judicial review on Article 25 of the Regional Government Law filed by the Association of Regional Governments, or Apkasi, who demanded the full annulment of the ministry's authority to revoke local laws.
The lawsuit was filed after the government canceled more than 3,000 problematic regional regulations in June last year in an effort to simplify and integrate them with national laws.
The government argued local laws had actually stalled regional growth by complicating bureaucracy, slowing down licensing process – and hence investment, damaging ease of doing business and contradicting national laws.
The Constitutional Court said the Home Affairs Ministry's decision to cancel local laws had violated the 1945 Constitution. Canceling local regulations can only be done through a judicial review at the Supreme Court, the verdict said.
Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo has made his displeasure with the Constitutional Court ruling clearly known.
"Honestly, I don't get why the court had taken away the ministry's power to revoke problematic local regulations," Tjahjo said in Jakarta on Thursday.
"We have a lot of local laws that contradict national laws and create a bottleneck in the bureaucracy. They're also slowing us down in processing investment permits for both local and international companies," he added.
He also expressed doubts that the Supreme Court will be able to handle judicial reviews on local laws as it only managed to cancel two in 2012.