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Asian Journal of Comparative Law

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Freedom of Information Law and Its Application in Indonesia: A Preliminary Assessment

Simon Butt
  • Corresponding author
  • Sydney Law School, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
  • Email:
Published Online: 2013-11-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/asjcl-2013-0030


In 2008, Indonesia introduced its first “freedom of information” statute – Law 14 of 2008 on Disclosure of Public Information (the “FOI Law” or the “Law”) – which became fully operational in 2010. The FOI Law is an important component of the government transparency and accountability mechanisms established after Soeharto and his authoritarian “New Order” government fell in 1998. This article assesses the extent to which the FOI Law has been effective in requiring public bodies to disclose “public” information that they would rather keep within their ranks. More time is needed for these reforms to take hold. However, this article, which provides the first academic analysis of the freedom of information reforms “in practice”, shows that Indonesia’s central Information Commission and the courts have, with two important exceptions, applied the FOI Law in favour of information-seekers, thereby providing some reason for optimism for the future of this reform.

Keywords: law; Indonesia; freedom of information; transparency

About the article

Published Online: 2013-11-23

Citation Information: Asian Journal of Comparative Law, ISSN (Online) 1932-0205, ISSN (Print) 2194-6078, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/asjcl-2013-0030. Export Citation

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