Indonesia’s Law

There are other sources of law in Indonesia, besides laws made by the MPR and the DPR. The President has a power to make laws and so do Ministers and other government officials. In fact, there are so many different types of laws in Indonesia, it can be confusing.
This issue is important to our studies in intellectual property. Although the basic principles of PR may be set out in legislation (undang-undang), many of the more specific provisions are contained in government regulations, presidential decisions and lower level laws. It is important that you know, as far as it is possible, which law to use if two or more laws are inconsistent.

In 1966, the MPR passed a Decree, which explained which bodies can make laws in Indonesia and what types of laws they can make. The Decree also explained the authority of those laws in relation to other laws. So, for example, if two laws were inconsistent with one another, the Decree sets out which one would stand and which one would be invalid to the extent of the inconsistency. The law highest on the list would be valid, and those below it would be invalid.

  1. The 1945 Constitution (Undang-undang Dasar 1945). This is said to be the basis and source of all statutes and lower regulation laws. It can beĀ  implemented by a decree of the MPR (Ketetapan MPR), by statute from the DPR (Undang-undang), or Presidential Decision (Keputusan Presiden).
  2. Decrees of the MPR (Ketetapan MPR). The MPR determines the Broad Outlines of State Policy (GBHN) and may also issue decrees or decisions (Ketetapan) to implement the GBHN. Together, the GBHN and the Ketetapan are like instructions for the legislature (the DPR) and executive (the President and cabinet). Provisions concerning the DPR are implemented by statute. Those for the Executive are to be implemented by Presidential or Ministerial Decree or other subordinate Regulations.
  3. Statutes (Undang-undang). These are enacted by the DPR and ratified by the President to implement the 1945 Constitution or a Decree of the MPR. Of the same rank as statutes are interim statutes (PERPU). These can be passed by the President in an emergency and must be withdrawn unless approved by the House of Representatives at its next session.
  4. Government regulations (Peraturan Pemerintah). These contain general provisions and are promulgated by the President for the purpose of implementing a statute.
  5. Presidential Decisions (Keputusan Presiden). This form of law contains specific provisions and is promulgated by the President to implement either the Constitution, a decision of the MPR in the Executive sphere, or a Government Regulation.
  6. Other implementing regulations. These must implement, and be grounded in, a higher order of regulation. They are normally promulgated by a Minister (Ministerial Regulations (Peraturan Menteri), Ministerial Instructions (lnstruksi Menteri) or Ministerial Decisions (Keputusan Menten)).There are other types of laws which were not mentioned in the Decree, so their status is unclear. For example:
  • circular letters (surat edaran), issued by Heads of Directorates within a Ministry. These provide the official interpretation of key provisions in regulations;
  • Presidential Instructions (Instruksi Presiden); and
  • Regional Regulations (Peraturan Daerah).

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