Requested to Fix the Application by the Constitutional Court, the Palm Oil Companies Revoked the Lawsuit on Law 32/2009

Foto; Bina Desa

JAKARTA, BINADESA.ORG- Corporations members of the Association of Indonesian Forest Concessionaires (APHI) and Indonesian Palm Oil Entrepreneurs Association (GAPKI) through their legal counsel Refly Harun and M. Salman Darwis, revoked the filing of judicial review (12/06/2017) against Law No. 32/2009 on the Protection and Environmental Management and Law 41/1999 on Forestry in the Constitutional Court (MK).

The session led by the judge of Constitutional Court Manahan MP Sitompul questioned the improvement of the petition. Unexpectedly, Refly Harun as the applicant’s attorney requested the time to read the statement revoking the petition for judicial review of article 69 paragraph (2), article 88 and article 99 of Law No. 32/2009 juncto section 49 of Law 41/1999 on Forestry.

As the public knows that the large oil palm and forestry companies have filed a lawsuit to the Constitutional Court related to the above-mentioned articles that are considered very detrimental to the companies.

According to the petitioners, the existence of article 69 paragraph 1 is inconsistent and counterproductive with article 69 paragraph 2 and its explanation. It permits the burning of forest or land with a maximum land area of two hectares per head of household to be planted with local varieties and surrounded by fire breaks as a deterrent to the propagation of fire to the surrounding area. The petitioners also object to the absolute liability for damages incurred without the need to prove the element of error in article 88. Applicants assume that large corporations are always the party to be blamed and are subject to strict liability due to forest and land fires.

Meanwhile, the petitioners considered the phrase “negligence” in article 99 paragraph 1 has a broad coverage and does not reflect the principle of legal certainty and the principle of criminal law “no penalty without error.” Therefore, the petitioners felt that their constitutional rights were violated.

However, the petitioner’s statement was denied by Ridwan Darmawan, Executive Chairman of the Indonesian Human Rights Committee for Social Justice (IHCS). Ridwan declared their readiness to immediately conduct an intervention suit with the Civil Society Coalition which has been consistent in preventing environmental crimes.

Ridwan Darmawan considers that Law Number 32 of 2009 needs to be strengthened because the law has been by the Constitution and is very progressive and has been referring to the principles of universal environmental law. The law has also accommodated the rights of smallholders and indigenous peoples, particularly concerning local wisdom in managing forests for life and livelihoods.

Ridwan said, “The law does have to take sides with small communities and indigenous peoples, not in the interests of large corporations and investors. Since local wisdom is our culture, so the petition for judicial review is an attempt to eliminate the universal communal rights.”

Revealed: Withdrawal of One of the Corporation Lawyer

One of the petitioner’s lawyers withdrew for no apparent reason. Refly Harun said, “Yes, one lawyer withdrew. It was during the judicial review process.” The statement was submitted when the Chairman of the Court asked about the number of signatories of the withdrawal of the judicial review.

Officially the Chairman of the Court received the revocation of the judicial review as petition No. 25 / PUU-XV / 2017. The decision reading will be held on June 14, 2017. (bd018)

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