This Note contains comments by the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) on the draft Law Pertaining to Mass Organisations (draft Law) which currently before the Indonesian House of Representatives. It aims to provide interested stakeholders with an assessment of the extent to which the draft Law conforms, and does not conform, to international standards and better comparative practice regarding freedom of association. It provides recommendations for reform as relevant, with a view to helping interested stakeholders in Indonesia to promote a law in this area which respects, as fully as possible, the right to freedom of association.
The draft Law is intended to replace the existing regime for regulating civil society organisations (CSOs), Law No. 8 of 1985. This Law, which was passed during the Suharto regime, contains rules and standards which are manifestly inappropriate in a democracy. We therefore welcome the initiative by the Government of Indonesia to replace it with a more appropriate and democratic law. At the same time, the draft law fails to conform fully to international law in important respects, as outlined below.