The Indonesian government has intensified negotiations on an extradition agreement within the ASEAN region to facilitate member countries in Southeast Asia in bridging legal system gaps


THE Director-General of Legal Administration at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Cahyo Rahardian Muzhar, expressed optimism during a meeting of senior ASEAN officials in Jimbaran, Badung Regency, Bali, on 30th April 2024.

Indonesia spearheaded a working group meeting of the nine senior legal officials regarding the ASEAN Extradition Agreement in Bali from 29th April to 3rd May 2024. 

Since the first meeting in 2021, 11 articles have been agreed upon out of a total draft containing 28 articles. Although Mr. Cahyo did not go into depth about each article, it is anticipated that the negotiations could take a long time because each ASEAN country has its own legal system and set of criminal procedure laws. 

He cited Indonesia’s extradition agreement with Singapore, which took 16 years to materialise before both countries finally agreed to it.

He projected that ASEAN could reach consensus on the extradition agreement considering that countries in the region already have an ASEAN extradition model. Currently, this model needs to be formalised into an official agreement, although he acknowledged that it is not an easy task.

Once it becomes an agreement, extradition can be directly applied by ASEAN member states without reconsidering the national laws of the countries involved.

The ASEAN Extradition Agreement is expected to serve as a legal framework and basis for Southeast Asian countries to extradite criminals, defendants, and convicts fleeing from one ASEAN country to another.

He also emphasised that the extradition agreement within ASEAN is not aimed at standardising or harmonising the legal rules of each country in Southeast Asia, but rather at bridging these legal differences.

Indonesia currently has 12 extradition agreements with countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, India, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Singapore.

Source: Antara News