Jakarta, Indonesia – Indonesians proceed to carry their breath as they await the result of a landmark authorized battle over who’s accountable for Jakarta’s soiled air after a panel of judges delayed their resolution for the second time in two months.
The citizen lawsuit was filed in 2019 in a bid to carry the Indonesian authorities accountable for air air pollution in the Indonesian capital.
In authorized filings, the 32 plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit additionally requested that officers be compelled to enhance the town’s air high quality – which commonly hits hazardous ranges in keeping with air high quality indexes – by way of more durable laws and sanctions.
The case has been plagued with delays in current months. The plaintiffs had initially been anticipating a verdict on May 20, earlier than the judges issued a primary postponement till June 10. On Thursday, it was postponed again – till June 24.
During the listening to on the Central Jakarta District Court, Chief Justice Saifuddin Zuhri blamed the big variety of paperwork filed in the case for the delay, telling the court docket that the panel of three judges wanted further time to learn by way of all of the authorized literature.
“I hope you can accept that we are not able to read the verdict today. Therefore, we have agreed to postpone the decision for two weeks,” he mentioned in the course of the simply greater than three-minute listening to, which was screened to the general public through Zoom attributable to coronavirus protocols.
In a news launch issued by the Clean Air Initiative Coalition, which is made up of the plaintiffs in the citizen lawsuit and their advocacy staff, the authorized counsel for the plaintiffs, Ayu Eza Tiara, mentioned that she was shocked and disillusioned.
“A reading of a verdict that takes up to eight weeks is not something that can be considered reasonable,” she mentioned. “This delay is obvious proof of poor time administration … and a violation of the precept of a quick, easy and low-cost trial.
“If we refer to the adage ‘justice delayed, justice denied’… a slow judicial process will certainly not provide justice for the parties. Therefore, we hope that the panel of judges will no longer procrastinate in the future.”
One of the 32 plaintiffs concerned in the lawsuit, Elisa Sutanudjaja, instructed Al Jazeera that the repeated delays solely served to bolster the premise of the case.
“As far as I’m concerned, the postponement is further evidence that air pollution and the climate crisis are not the main priorities of the state, and even the judiciary doesn’t consider poor air quality an urgent issue,” she mentioned.
The case has been controversial because it was filed in 2019, in half as a result of the defendants embrace Indonesia’s president, the minister of atmosphere and forestry, the minister of dwelling affairs, the governor of Jakarta and the governors of Banten and West Java provinces.
The defendants have additionally sought to forged doubt on their accountability for Jakarta’s filthy air, with the governor of Jakarta, Anies Baswedan, even going so far as blaming the plaintiffs themselves for having contributed to the thick smog that commonly cloaks the town.
Istu Prayogi, who beforehand instructed Al Jazeera that he was identified with spots in his lungs and suffered from complications and congestion after residing in Jakarta in the Nineteen Nineties, mentioned that he felt that the court docket was profiting from authorized loopholes to keep away from making a call.
“This is the judicial process that we have come to expect in Indonesia,” he mentioned. “The panel of judges should have been able to deliver a verdict, but because they had the option of postponing it, they used that option to buy time.”
Others observing the case puzzled if the panel of three judges have been locked in a authorized deadlock, which might additionally clarify the repeated delays.
Indonesian legislation follows the civil legislation system, and makes use of a mixture of Dutch colonial legislation, customary legislation and trendy Indonesian legislation. There are not any juries in Indonesian courts and all verdicts, each in civil and legal circumstances, are determined by a panel of judges.
“The length of the verdict and the repeated delays make us suspect that there is a tough debate among the panel of judges about whether to side with a healthy environment or continue to let Jakartans breathe polluted air,” Dwi Sawung, the Energy and Urban Campaign Manager of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), mentioned in a press release.
“However, residents eagerly await the decision of the panel of judges to ensure the future of the quality of the air we breathe in Jakarta.”