Small Claims in Indonesia: Fundamental Problems and Way Forward

Salman Alfarasi, I. Gede A.B. Wiranata, H.S. Tisnanta


An analysis of regulation as a legal umbrella and analysis of empirical data suggests that small claims in Indonesia need to be addressed because this trial is not conducted effectively. This article argues that the legal basis for the Indonesian small claim procedure has some weaknesses: identifying the limitations for the claimant, determining the lawsuit value, institutionalizing the initial examination process, settlement procedures, legal remedies submitted against the judge’s decision, execution procedures and application of auctions on small claim objects. By adopting a socio-legal approach, this article aims to restructure the small claims procedure in Indonesia, which creates a simple, fast, low-cost judicial system and guarantees legal certainty and fairness to the parties. Additional empirical data and analysis are presented in tabular form to make it easier to pinpoint the root problem. This paper finds that the legal reconstruction of small claims has important implications for judicial reform in Indonesia, primarily to achieve justice and expediency. Some fundamental issues must be attached to strengthen the small claim procedure in Indonesia, i.e., value limitation of loss, reinterpretation of parties, independent appraisal, optimizing the District Court’s role, and distinct procedure in small claim auctions.


Keywords: fundamental issues, Indonesian judiciary, legal reconstruction, small claim procedure.

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