Student councils send amici curiae to court, want election result annulled

Source – April 16, 2024
BEMs from 4 campuses hand over amicus curiae to Constitutional Court – April 16, 2024 (Kompas)

Ihsanuddin, Jakarta – On Tuesday April 16 the faculty of Law Student Executive Councils (BEM FH) from the Gajah Mada University (UGM), the Diponegoro University (Undip), the Padjadjaran University and the Airlangga University submitted amici curiae related to the 2024 presidential election dispute currently being heard by the Constitutional Court.

The commissioner for movement affairs from the UGM Student Judicial Board, Muhammad Emir Bernadine, stated that one of the recommendations conveyed in the amici curiae was that the Constitutional Court annul the 2024 election result.

"We are recommending to Your Excellencies, the judges of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, to make a consideration in making its ruling as follows, first, annulling KPU [General Elections Commission] decision Number 360/2024 on the determination of the results of the general elections", said Bernadine on Tuesday.

The meaning of amicus curiae is a friend of the court. The plural form of amicus curiae is amici curiae. Amicus curiae means a party who feels an interest in a case so they provide their legal opinion to the court. However the involvement of the party that feels it has an interest in a case is limited to providing an opinion and not opposing or challenging the judges.

Bernadine said that the election results that should be annulled include the results of the presidential and vice presidential election, the members elected to the House of Representatives (DPR) and the provincial, regency and municipal Regional House of Representatives (DPRD).

They are also asking the Constitutional Court order the KPU to rerun elections that are independent, impartial and have integrity.

Bernadine said that the Constitutional Court should not only prioritise narrow aspects of formal justice or legal certainty alone, but act progressively by prioritising the values of substantive justice and expediency when making the ruling.

"Your Excellencies, the panel of judges at the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, should decide this case based on their conscience and reject all forms of intervention so that it can produce the fairest possible ruling", said Bernadine.

In the documents submitted to the Constitutional Court, the students explained various problems in the implementation of the election, starting from Constitutional Court Ruling Number 90 which changed the age requirements for presidential and vice presidential nominations, the involvement of government officials and the politicisation of social assistance (bansos).

Undip BEM FH movement expert commissioner Khalid Irsyad Januarsyah said that one of the problems that was being emphasised was the involvement of state civil servants (ASN) and public officials in campaign activities.

He reminded the court that the election law stipulates that state civil servants and public officials cannot take sides, but instead they campaigned and even used state facilities.

"Through this amici [curiae], we clearly emphasise that the points regarding the involvement of state civil servants and the president specifically are points that must be considered by Your Excellencies the panel of judges at the Constitutional Court", said Januarsyah.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Mahasiswa Hukum Empat Kampus Serahkan "Amici Curiae", Minta MK Batalkan Hasil Pemilu".]