An Independent, impartial and competent judiciary is one of the primary components of a state based on laws. Thus, it comes as no surprise to find that the importance of judicial independence, impartiality and competence is specifically dealt with by the number of international instruments such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 10), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (article 14), International Bar Association Code of Minimum Standards of Judicial Independence, Beijing Statement of Principles of Independence of Judiciary in the Law Asia Region, etc.
The Situation in Indonesia as regards the independence, impartiality and competence of the judiciary, however is far from being satisfactory. In the past, the Supreme Court was subject to frequent interventions by the other organs of state and many have raised seroius doubts about the integrity of the country's judges and Supreme Court justices. The quality of Supreme Court decisions has also often been attacked due to their lack of proper legal reasoning and argumentation, frequent inconsistency and sometimes, their unenforceability.
The Supreme Court has not been unware of the criticism leveled at it, and for some time now has been striving to gradually address its various weaknesses. Efforts to improve the effectiveness of the supervision exercised over the country's judges are continuing as are the efforts to overhaul the judicial transfers and promotions system and to speed up the delivery of justice.
In attempting to institute these reforms, the Supreme Court has adopted a new version, which is as follows: "To uphold the rule of law through the creation of an independent, effective, effecient, professional and trustworthy, judicary and the provision of quality, ethical, accessible and affordable legal services in response to the needs of the public." In order to achieve this vision, the Supreme Court has set for itself the following missions:
- To create a sense of justice in accordace with the provions of the laws and regulation it effect and to satisfy the public's sense of justice;
- To create a judicial system that is truly independent and autonomous, and free from intervention by third parties;
- To improve public access to court services;
- To improve the quality of internal input into the judicial processes;
- To creata effective, efficient and respected judicial institutions;
- To exercise the judicial power in an independent, impartial and transparent manner.
The effort to realize the above vision and missions will clearly not be an easy one. An in-depth understanding of the problems facing the Supreme Court and appropriate and comprehensive strategies for overcoming these will be required. It is in this context thet the Supreme Court has prepared this blueprint for reform.