Indonesian Mediation Center
The Pusat Mediasi Nasional (PMN), and in English, Indonesian Mediation Center) was established in August 2003. It is a non-profit foundation and is dedicated to resolving commercial disputes. Mediation at PMN is conducted under guidelines and standards established by the Jakarta Initiative Task Force (JITF), established by the Government of Indonesia in 1998 to assist with corporate debt restructuring during the Asian financial crisis. A great deal of the work by JITF involved mediation. Many of the PMN permanent staff are veterans of the JITF program, and already have many years of valuable mediation experience in Indonesia.
PMN mediators come from diverse specializations including law, banking engineering and business. PMN has provided training for sitting judges of the Indonesian courts, and many are members of PMN’s panel or on the mediation panel of local courts1.
Terms of Mediation
Prior to the commencement of mediation, parties must sign an Agreement to Mediate which preserves, inter alia, the confidential nature of the mediation.
Legal System of Indonesia
Indonesia’s legal system is based on Dutch civil law2. When Indonesia gained independence in 1945, the Indonesian Constitution provided that old Dutch laws not in conflict with the new Constitution would continue to prevail. Since Independence, Indonesian law has developed to meet its economic and development needs.
An important feature of the Indonesian legal system is the state ideology, Pancasila, which calls for deliberation to reach consensus and discourages confrontation of any kind3. Following this, court practice requires that before any case can be commenced, the plaintiff must demonstrate that an attempt has been made at settlement.
Attitudes towards Mediation4
Indonesia has a strong cultural tradition for mediation5. Its various cultural and ethnic groups have utilized customary forms of dispute resolution such as Jurai Tue or Sungut Jurai (using third party conciliators) in Pasemah, South Sumatera. In West Sumatera, a similar form of conciliation is known as Kerapatan Adat Nagari or Kerapatan Ninik Mamak. Under this, disputes are settled based on customary rules.
Institutionally, there is strong government support for mediation in Indonesia. The PMN was inaugurated in September 2003 by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Dorodjatun Kuntjororo-Jakti, and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Bagir Manan. The PMN is seen as a “necessary complement to various policy initiatives aimed at revitalizing Indonesia's economy, especially in terms of stimulating businesses that are major participants in the chain of jobs creation, foreign direct investment, industrial orders and production”6.
A week after the inauguration of the PMN, the Chief Justice issued Supreme Court Regulation No. 2 regarding Court Annexed Mediation under which all civil disputes must first be mediated prior to litigation.
For more information on the Indonesian Mediation Center, see their website at http://www.pmn.or.id/. Information is available on the website in both Bahasa Indonesia and English.
1 Karen Mills, “Indonesia” in Dispute Resolution in Asia, Michael Pryles Ed., 3rd Edition, (Kluwer Law International, 2006).
4 Last updated on 8 January 2008.
5 Mas Achmad Santosa, Development of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Indonesia, presented at the 8th General Assembly of the Asean Law Association in 2003, available at http://www.aseanlawassociation.org/docs/w4_indo.pdf, last accessed 8 January 2008.
6 From the website of the PMN.