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Indonesia court rejects petition to review pro-investment law

Reuters - October 2, 2023

Jakarta – A top court in Indonesia on Monday rejected a petition to review a controversial pro-investment law passed earlier this year that labour and environmental groups have said is too pro-business.

The so-called 'omnibus law', which aims to streamline bureaucracy and attract investment into Southeast Asia's biggest economy, is key to President Joko Widodo's legacy of economic reform as he prepares to leave office next year.

Labour groups had petitioned the Constitutional Court to review the omnibus law, which they said was formulated in an unconstitutional manner and unfairly favoured businesses over workers and consumers.

Judges on Monday rejected the petition in a hearing streamed online, saying the government's formulation of the law was in line with the constitution.

Meanwhile, workers marched outside the court in central Jakarta, carrying banners and setting fire to a tyre.

The original Job Creation Law sparked massive protests across the country in 2020 as it attempted to loosen rules on mandatory severance pay and paid leave, and limit outsourcing to certain sectors.

In 2021, the Constitutional Court ruled the passage of that law was flawed due to inadequate public consultation and ordered lawmakers to restart the process within two years, or the law itself would be deemed unconstitutional.

In December, President Jokowi, as he is known locally, issued an emergency decree to expedite parliamentary approval of the omnibus law.

Legal experts had criticised the presidential decree as a government ploy to bypass proper debate in parliament.

Meanwhile, civil society has questioned the independence of the Constitutional Court after President Jokowi's brother-in-law was reappointed chief justice in March.

Source: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/business/indonesia-court-rejects-petition-review-pro-investment-law-381424