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Indonesian Supreme Court Improves Public Information Services .

From May 2010 through May 2014, a USAID project is cooperating with the Indonesian Supreme Court and Attorney General’s Office to increase transparency and accountability in the Indonesian justice system.

The Indonesian Supreme Court is initiating reforms to increase transparency and public access to information through its Legal and Public Affairs Bureau (Humas). Humas, which was established in September 2007, has been carrying out public information reforms within the Supreme Court. A four-year USAID project, Changes for Justice, has been assisting Humas in carrying out its public relations functions through improved directives and guidance. Through these reforms, new standards are being introduced within the courts at all levels of the judiciary.

To assist the Supreme Court, through Humas, in achieving its goal of improved public transparency in the courts, the project facilitated a workshop on “Revitalizing Public Relations Functions” in March 2011. In the workshop’s keynote speech, Justice Djoko Sarwoko, leader of the court’s Public Information Task Force, said Humas must face challenges, including increased human resource capacities, training, and more proactive interaction with the public.

Throughout the workshop, participants, including Supreme Court officials and leaders for all court levels in Jakarta, emphasized the need for improved guidelines on public relations. As noted by one representative from the military courts, “it is essential for the court to gain the public’s trust and confidence. This can be obtained only by having a well-performing and proactive public relations bureau.”