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Government encourages critics of jobs law to apply for judicial review rather than staging protests

Jakarta Post - October 8, 2020

Rizki Fachriansyah, Jakarta – As Indonesia contends with large-scale protests against the endorsement of the Job Creation Law, the government has encouraged those who oppose the law to file a judicial review with the Constitutional Court to ensure a more amicable process.

Donny Gahral Adrian, a leading expert at the Office of the Presidential Staff, said the government had done its best to ensure fair legislation, but that it could not possibly accommodate every public interest.

"If certain parties are not satisfied [with the legislation], there's a constitutional mechanism called a judicial review that can be applied for at the Constitutional Court," Donny said by phone on Thursday, adding that the government had prepared the legal route for its critics.

He went on to say that opposing opinions are a common feature in democracy, noting that there has to be a side that "loses" for the greater good.

Responding to the mass protests against the new law across the country, Donny said large crowds could only increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission and jeopardize public safety.

"If some object [to the law], then take the constitutional route. Demonstrations should be a last resort," Donny said.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan echoed a similar sentiment, advising those opposed to the new law to apply for a judicial review at the court instead.

"Feel free [to apply for a judicial review], we advise it. That's the way to do it," Luhut said on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.

Applying for a judicial review is more patriotic than staging public protests against the law, he suggested.

He warned that the government would act against people found to have incited anarchy during the protests. "We do not infringe on constitutional rights, but if you trigger anarchy, the state will be forced to act. That's definitive," he said.

It has previously been reported that several of the country's labor unions plan to challenge the recently passed omnibus law through a petition for a judicial review at the Constitutional Court.

The National Federation of Trade Unions (KSPN) said a special team had been deployed to scrutinize the 905-page law to single out provisions that contravened the Constitution or infringed on workers' rights.

Thousands of people staging protests against the newly passed law in the past few days have also urged President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to issue a regulation in lieu of law (Perpu) to revoke the controversial law, deemed threatening to labor rights and the country's environment.

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/10/08/govt-encourages-critics-of-jobs-law-to-apply-for-judicial-review-rather-than-staging-protests.html